Top-Ranked Duke Fends Off No. 12 Washington For Mercedes-Benz Of Bend Fall Preview Title

Sept. 22, 2004

SUNRIVER, Ore. - -

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Top-ranked Duke showed why it has that distinction when it claimed the women's golf Mercedes-Benz of Bend Fall Preview title Wednesday after exchanging leads with No. 12 Washington throughout the final round at the par-71, 6,312-yard Meadows Course.

The two teams began the final round deadlocked at 9-over-par 577, but Duke shot a combined 3-under on its last three holes to seal the win with a 281 Wednesday and a total of 6-over 858.

Oklahoma State's Karin Sjodin held off Louise Stahle of Arizona State for a one-stroke win with a 7-under 206 and a final-round 72. Stahle, who was tied with Sjodin after two rounds, carded a 73.

Oregon State put together a 305 Wednesday and dropped to 18th, but secured a win over Oregon for a point in the Civil War series presented by Northwest Dodge Dealers. The Ducks finished 21st at 912.

OSU climbed as high as 14th Wednesday, but slid down the leaderboard when the Beavers shot a combined 15-over on the back nine.

The Beavers' three-round total of 909 is better than any score they posted last year.

'That's a good score - it could have been better, but it's a good start,' OSU coach Rise Lakowske said. 'Everyday, we competed and held our own with some of the best teams in the country. Even though we lost ground today, there are a lot of good things we'll take from this.'

The Beavers entered the third round in 15th.

Eleventh-ranked Auburn shot into fifth place thanks to a tournament-low 6-under 278.

OSU junior Leah Whiting carded a 2-over 73 and tied for 35th to lead the Beavers at 222, but finished with four bogeys after getting to 2-under.

Freshman Julie Uhrik matched Tuesday's round of 74 and tied for 52nd at 225, while nearby Bend native Lindsay Eide posted a 77 for a total of 227 and a tie for 62nd.

'They've got a lot of things they need to learn, but if this is the point we're starting at, then this is a good thing for us,' Lakowske said. 'We're very competitive within the team, and I think they're going to push each other all year. We're going to see some low numbers - we're going to see a lot of 72s, 73s and 74s - so I think it's only going to get better. You don't want to peak at this point in time, you want to get better as the year goes on and get to nationals.'

Alex Lucio tied for 87th and Jessi Gebhardt was 104th.

Tough greens proved to be the best defense for the Meadows Course, according to Lakowske.

'Everyone thought this should be a very scoreable golf course, but if you look at the winning score, its six-over par. The fact that that number won shows that this is a difficult venue. The greens are very tough, and the course is a good test. We played it better than we played any last year.'

TEAM SCORES (PAR 284/852)

1. Duke 283-294-281--858; 2. Washington 285-292-287--864; 3. Oklahoma State 289-291-286--866; 4. Arizona State 292-287-289--868; 5. Auburn 295-296-278--869; 6. 286-294-292--872; 7. UCLA 295-290-291--876; 8. New Mexico 287-301-296--884; 9. Ohio State 295-299-293--887; 10. Texas 301-295-294--890; 11. Tennessee 296-296-299--891; 12. Stanford 300-295-299--894; 12. California 298-292-304--894; 14. USC 300-305-294--899; 15. Arizona 294-302-306--902; 15. Vanderbilt 306-303-293--902; 17. South Carolina 303-302-298--903; 18. Oregon State 303-301-305--909; 19. Texas A&M 307-303-300--910; 20. Washington State 304-310-297--911; 21. Oregon 308-298-306--912.

TOP INDIVIDUALS (PAR 71/213)

1. Karin Sjodin, Oklahoma State 67-67-72--206; 2. Louise Stahle, Arizona State 68-66-73--207; 3. Brittany Lang, Duke 64-74-71--209; 4. Nicole Hage, Auburn 70-73-69--212; 5. Three tied at 214.

OREGON STATE SCORES

T35. Leah Whiting 77-72-73--222; t52. Julie Uhrik 77-74-74--225; t62. Lindsay Eide 75-75-77--227; t87. Alex Lucio 74-80-81--235; 104. Jessi Gebhardt 84-82-86--252.

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