Sheridan Leads No. 25 Cal to Third At NCAA West Regional
May 7, 2005
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - No. 25 California advanced to the NCAA Championships by finishing third Saturday at the NCAA West Regional at the New Mexico State University Golf Course. Junior Sophia Sheridan led the way for the Golden Bears for the third straight competition by claiming the regional individual title by five shots over Tennesee's Violeta Retamoza.
'I'm pleased with an even-par score in the final round,' Cal head coach Nancy McDaniel said. 'It was a great way to close out regionals. We've been in the top three at regionals the last three years and are heading to our fifth straight NCAA Championships. It's a step in the right direction and a sign we're building a consistently solid program.'
Cal carded a 288 in the final round - its lowest score of the season - to conclude the tournament at 25-over 891. No. 2 UCLA, the top seed in the tournament and the defending NCAA champion, recovered from a 10th-place showing after the opening round to win the regional by virture of a tie breaker with No. 9 Tennessee. Both teams finished with an 889, but lower fifth-place scores over the three-day event gave UCLA the crown. UCLA fired the low round of the tournament today at 286, while Tennessee equaled Cal's 288 for a tie for the second-best round.
The other five teams advancing to the NCAA Championships from the West are: USC (892), Oklahoma State (898), UC Irvine (906), BYU (906) and Stanford (908).a
Sheridan won her first collegiate tournament and became the first Cal women's golfer to win an NCAA regional crown by equaling her career-best 54-hole score (212, -4). After a slow start Saturday, the product of Guadalajara, Mexico, was at plus-two after playing holes 10-14. She led played bogey-free golf over the final 13 holes, recording birdies on the par 5, 15th hole, an eage on the par 5, fourth hole and a birdie on the par 5, eighth hole. Sheridan won the 2004 Women's Western Amateur in Wisconsin last summer.
'We're thrilled for Sophia,' McDaniel said. 'She's been playing solid and knocking on the door for a win for a long time. For her first collegiate win to come in the postseason is extra special.'
Retamoza placed second at 217, and BYU's Rache Newren and USC's Dewi Schreefel tied for third at 218. Cal's Sofie Andersson shot a 72 today on her way to a tie for sixth place (220). Andersson rallied from a plus-two start through seven holes to play bogey free golf the rest of the way, including birdies on holes four (par 5) and six (par 3).
Cal freshman Enu Chung tied for 26th at 226 and wrapped up her first regional with an even-par 72. She played solid golf with a birdie on hole 18 (par 4) and a lone bogey on hole 2 (par 3). Sophomore Mika Takayama tallied a 74 - her best round of the tournament - for Cal's final counting third-round score. She tied for 62nd at 233. Senior Claire Dury also finished strong with a 75, tying for 65th at 234.
'We were planning for (an NCAA berth),' said McDaniel, whose team didn't place higher than 10th in the fall. 'People from the outside would never have seen this. Our motto is small steps to get to national contention. Don't get too high or too low. Our team is very professional in terms of how they handle themselves. They've trained themselves well.'
The Bears head to the 24-team NCAA Championships May 17-20 in Sunriver, Ore.
NCAA West RegionalPar 72, 6,319-Yard NMSU Golf CourseFinal of Three Rounds
Team Scores (21): 1t. UCLA 889 (304-299-286), 1t. Tennessee 889 (291-310-288), 3. California 891 (296-307-288), 4.USC 892 (293-302-297), 5. Oklahoma State 898 (304-301-293), 6t. UC Irvine 906 (308-300-298), 6t. BYU 906 (298-305-302), 8. Stanford 908 (306-301-301), 9. Georgia 911 (296-306-309), 10. Oregon 913 (301-304-308), 11t. UNLV 917 (301-312-304), 11t. Washington State 927 (302-305-310), 13. Arizona 922 (303-314-305), 14. Northwestern 923 (311-306-306), 15. Colorado State 925 (308-305-312), 16. San Francisco 926 (318-306-302), 17. Georgia State 932 (317-302-313), 18. Illinois State 938 (312-309-317), 19. Oral Roberts 942 (318-311-313), 20. Denver 944 (317-314-313), 21. Portland State 952 (320-326-306).
Top Five Scores: 1. Sophia Sheridan (California) 212 (69-73-70), 2. Violeta Retamoza (Tennessee) 217 (72-74-71), 3t. Rachel Newren (BYU) 218 (69-78-71), 3t. Dewi Schreefel (USC) 218 (73-71-74), 5. Kay Hoey (Long Beach State) 219 (74-71-74).