Trojans Capture NCAA West Region Title
May 10, 2008
For the third time in three years, USC will enter the NCAA Championships final as a regional winner after a wire-to-wire performance to win the 2008 NCAA West Regional, which wrapped up play on Saturday (May 10) at the Lincoln Hills G.C., in Lincoln, Calif.
USC, which won the Central Regional each of the past two years (first at Texas A&M and then at Michigan), clinched its 11th straight NCAA Championship final berth with an 15-stroke win for its third consecutive tournament win this season.
The top eight teams plus two individuals from each of the three 21-team regions playing this weekend advance to the championship round, scheduled for May 20-23 at the University of New Mexico Championship G.C, in Albuquerque, N.M.
Troy finished at 9-under 855 (283-288-284) with conference rival Arizona State in second at 6-over 870. UNLV was third (879), Arizona fourth (880), Oklahoma State and Arkansas fifth (882) and Tulsa seventh (883). (A playoff for eighth was being contested when this story was posted.)
'I wanted the girls to enjoy today and not put too much pressure on themselves,' Gaston said. 'I just wanted them to play, stay focused and not try to be too aggressive, but take the putts as they dropped. We did a good job and didn't see too many bad holes.
'The girls played great all tournament and I'm extremely proud. They've worked so hard and have dedicated themselves so much that they deserve whatever they get. I've never had a team be so ambitious and ready to work.
'But I told the girls, we've got more work to go. We have to come back and finish final exams and then get prepared for the NCAA Championships.'
Sophomore Stefanie Endstrasser, a spring semester transfer from Purdue, notched her highest finish as a Trojan, tying for third at 5-under 211 (71-71-69), one shot out of first. For the third day in a row, she birdied four times and had only one bogey for a 3-under performance that tied her low round of the season.
Senior Dewi Claire Schreefel turned in her third straight top 10 finish, taking seventh at 2-under 214 (71-70-73). She was 2-under on the front 9, 3-over on the back, enough to maintain her top 10 mark.
Sophomore Belen Mozo moved up the leader board and into a tie for ninth at an even 216 (73-73-70) with a 2-under round. She was 2-over after six holes, but birdied the 8th, 9th and 10th holes as well as the 17th to climb into the top 10 and maintain her streak of finishing in the top 20 of all 10 tournaments this season.
Senior Paola Moreno, who won the 2008 Pac-10 title two weeks ago, joined Mozo in a tie for ninth at 216 (68-74-74). She had two birdies in her final round as she notched her fourth top 10 finish of the season.
Freshman Lizette Salas rounded out USC's efforts, tying for 22nd at 5-over 221 (73-76-72). Her final round included three birdies.