Ducks Start Strong, Tied For Seventh After NCAA West Regional First Round
May 10, 2001
CORVALLIS, Ore. - Senior All-America candidate Jerilyn White birdied the final hole for a 2-over 74 Thursday and Oregon kept out of Trysting Tree's foot-long rough to shoot a 308 and tie for seventh with four other teams after the first round of the NCAA West Regional.
The Ducks, seeded 12th, used their drivers sparingly off the tee, opting primarily for long irons and the occasional 3-wood to keep the majority of their shots in play. Eastern and California teams fought the 15-mile an hour winds and were penalized for stray drives that found their way into Trysting Tree's unforgiving saw grass and sent scores soaring well above 300.
'I feel for the most part that we played pretty smart golf,' said first-year Oregon head coach Shannon Rouillard. 'We saw a lot of teams make mistakes out there and we took advantage of that. But we need to continue to improve on today's score and we can certainly do that by eliminating our three-putts. We had a few too many of those today.'
White, playing a few miles down Highway 34 from her hometown of Salem, had three bogeys, 14 pars and a dramatic birdie on the ninth hole, Oregon's last of the day after starting the morning on the tenth tee. The team captain smashed a drive on the par-5 ninth and followed with a 3-wood that left her 50 yards from the pin.
She then lofted a pitching wedge dead on to the flag at the back tier of the green and her ball passed the cup mere inches away from holing out an eagle. White stuck her two-foot birdie putt slightly too firm and her ball bounced off the back of the cup and up into the air before settling at the bottom for a 4.
'It was a good drive, great 3-wood, great wedge and then, well, that putt - I left too many shots short today, so I decided wasn't going to be short on that one,' smiled White, who is tied for ninth after the first round. 'I really struggled and I'm happy with a 74 because I don't think I played all that well.
'As a team, we really battled out there and I'm happy with where we're at because it was really hard to judge the wind it made your club selection extremely difficult. But we stayed away from the really big numbers and that's exactly what we've got to do if we want to advance to nationals.'
The top eight teams from the NCAA West Regional advance to the national championships, and other than first round leader Arizona, no one looked like a lock after the first day. The Wildcats, ranked second in the nation, played like the region's top seed with three of the day's top five individual rounds and fired a 1-under 287 to take a commanding 15-stroke lead.
Third-seeded Stanford was second with a 302, followed by the No. 8 seed, Michigan State at 304, the surprising 13 seed Memphis at 305, fifth-seeded Ohio State at 306, No. 7 seed UCLA at 307 and five teams, including Oregon, in seventh at 308. USC, the region's second seed, was a disappointing member of the group at 308, as were Tennessee, the No. 4 seed, sixth-seeded Arizona State and ninth-seeded Washington.
Nevada was 12th at 310, with host Oregon State in 13th at 311, followed by Oregon's playing partners - Furman at 312 and Indiana at 314. Missouri headed up the final five teams at 318, followed by Colorado State at 320, Brigham Young at 322, Southwest Missouri State at 334 and Weber State at 352.
Oregon's top four golfers played nearly within a stroke of each other as the Ducks carded their second-lowest tournament opening round score of the season. Only Oregon's 303 in the first round of the Peg Barnard Collegiate Classic, played on an easier course, was lower that Thursday's 308. Freshman Lacy Erickson, making her first NCAA Regional appearance, shot a 77, while senior Dawn Berry had a 78 and junior Kathy Cho carded a 79.
'We certainly put ourselves in a position to take advantage of a great opportunity,' said Rouillard. 'We're right in there. I like the way that we were thinking out there on the golf course and for the most part, I'm very pleased with the decisions our players made.
The Ducks' second round tee time is slated for 12:30 p.m. Friday off the first tee.
NCAA West Regional
Trysting Tree Golf Course
6,089 Yards, Par-72
TEAM SCORES - 1, Arizona, 287. 2, Stanford, 302. 3, Michigan State, 304. 4, Memphis, 305. 5, Ohio State, 306. 6, UCLA, 307. 7 (tie), Oregon, 308, Arizona State, 308, USC, 308, Washington, 308, Tennessee, 308. 12, Nevada, 310. 13, Oregon State, 311. 14, Furman, 312. 15, Indiana, 314. 16, Missouri, 318. 17, Colorado State, 320. 18, Brigham Young, 322. 19, Southwest Missouri State, 334. 20, Weber State, 352. 21, Central Connecticut State, 363.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS - 1, Natalie Gulbis, Arizona, 34-34-68. 2 (tie), Lorena Ochoa, Arizona, 33-37-70, Mollie Fankhauser, Ohio State, 33-37-70. 4, Jimin Kang, Arizona State, 35-36-71. 5 (tie), Meaghan Francella, Memphis, 36-36-72, Anna Lee, Arizona, 36-36-72. 7 (tie), Tina Schneeberger, Tennessee, 36-37-73, Kasey Grant, Michigan State, 37-36-73. 9 (tie), Jerilyn White, Oregon, 36-38-74, Kelli Kamimura, Washington, 37-37-74, Taya Battistella, Portland State, 36-38-74, Kim Rowton, Stanford, 37-37-74.