Ducks Shoot Better but Drop to Tenth After NCAA West Regional Second Round
May 11, 2001
CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon improved upon its opening round scored by four strokes, but dropped from a tie for seventh to tenth place after Friday's second round of the NCAA West Regional, being played at the 6,089-yard, par-72 Trysting Tree Golf Course. Still, the Ducks are just four strokes out of the top eight, which would mean a return trip to the NCAA Championships.
Junior Kathy Cho fired a career-low 73 for Oregon, shooting 1-over par with three birdies, 12 pars, two bogeys and one double bogey. The transfer from Hawaii rolled in back-to-back 50-foot birdie putts on 13 and 14 that helped her beat her previous low, a 75 that she carded once in Hawaii and once in Arizona, by two strokes.
'That was especially exciting to get those two putts because everyone was watching at the time,' Cho said. 'The key to the round was getting off to a good start because the first three holes can be tough to get through. I think I was more ready and more mentally tough today and I got through those first three holes in 1-over and I just kept it going from there.'
Oregon's 16-over 304, its second-best second round score of the season, helped the Ducks remain in contention to win a bid to the NCAA Championships. Oregon has a 308-304-612 total (plus-36). The top eight teams out of the West advance to nationals, which will be held May 23-26 in Florida. Tennessee has the overnight hold on the eighth and final spot with a 308-300-608 two-day total, but has only a two-stroke cushion over ninth-place Washington, which carded a 302 Friday to go along with Thursday's 308, and a four-stroke advantage over Oregon.
'We're still right in it,' said Oregon head coach Shannon Rouillard. 'We made a few careless errors around the greens and I think that's where we can pick up some strokes Saturday. We played smart golf again today and tomorrow we're going to have to rally. It is going to come down to our putting and chipping.'
Top-seeded Arizona all but locked up the regional title with a 4-over 292 Friday for a 3-over 579 composite. The Wildcats' lead remained at 15 strokes over Stanford, which also had a 292 Friday and has a firm grip on second place with a 594 two-day total.
From there it will be a scramble to the finish as the third through tenth place teams are separated by just 10 strokes. Arizona State and Michigan State are tied for third at 602 after carding 294 and 298, respectively, on Friday. UCLA, which shot 297 Friday, and Ohio State, which had a 298, are tied for fifth at 604. USC, the region's second seed, fired a 298 Friday to hold onto seventh at 606 overall, followed by Tennessee (608), Washington (610) and Oregon (312). Eleventh-place Oregon State and Memphis headed the second group at 617. The Beavers had a 306 Friday, while Memphis fell out of the top five with a 312.
'We really didn't give up any ground,' said Rouillard. 'We expected teams to play better today and they did, but we also played better today, so Saturday is looking like a real shootout. Some of those teams who aren't used to feeling pressure may be feeling the heat a bit tomorrow. It should make for a very interesting and exciting round.'
Senior All-America candidate Jerilyn White continued to struggle with her short game and finished Friday with a 4-over 76. The Salem, Ore., native is 6-over for the tournament and tied for 17th. In addition to Cho's 73, the Ducks also got strong play out of senior Dawn Berry, who shot a 4-over 76 for her best round of the tournament. Berry had one of the highlights of the day when she holed out for birdie from 130 yards on No. 14. 'Those two really stepped up to the plate today and played really well when we needed them to,' said Rouillard.
Cho's two-day total of 152 left her tied for 27th overall, while Berry is tied for 36th at 154. Freshman Lacy Erickson had a 79 Friday and is tied for 51st at 156.
The Ducks will be paired with Oregon State and Memphis for Saturday's final round. That group is scheduled to open their round off the tenth tee at 7:30 a.m.
Oregon's only lower second round score this season was a 303 at the Wildcat Invitational in February. And though the Ducks need to make up at least four strokes Friday, they do have one pretty good trend in their favor: Oregon's last round of a tournament has also been its best round in four of the last seven events, including the Pac-10 Championships, where the Ducks fired a season-low 299.
'That's been our pattern all season,' said Rouillard. 'We get better as the tournament goes along.'
NCAA West Regional
Trysting Tree Golf Course
6,089 Yards, Par-72
TEAM SCORES - 1, Arizona, 287-292-579. 2, Stanford, 302-292-594. 3 (tie), Arizona State, 308-294-602, Michigan State, 304298-602. 5, UCLA, 307-297-604, Ohio State, 306-298-604. 7, USC, 308-298-606. 8, Tennessee, 308-300-608. 9, Washington, 308-302-610. 10, Oregon, 308-304-612. 11 (tie), Oregon State, 311-306-617, Memphis, 305-312-617. 13, Nevada, 310-311-621. 14, Missouri, 318-304-622. 15 (tie), Colorado State, 320-303-623, Furman, 312-311-623. 17, Indiana, 314-311-625. 18, Brigham Young, 322-313-635. 19, Southwest Missouri State, 334-324-659. 20, Weber State, 352-327-679. 21, Central Connecticut State, 363-336-699.
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