Arizona wins 2015 Pac-12 women's golf championships
BOULDER, Colo. – In what was set to be one of the closest Pac-12 Women’s Golf Championships in recent memory with four teams within three strokes entering the final round, it was ARIZONA that was able to come away from the Boulder Country Club with the program’s eighth conference championship and first in five years.
Arizona opened the final round in third place, but rode the stellar play of sophomore Wanasa Zhou and junior Lindsey Weaver past second round leaders OREGON and UCLA to post a 5-under par in the final round and capture the school’s eighth Pac-12 Women’s Golf Championship.
Zhou hit a course record 65 in the final round, besting a course record held for just 20 minutes by host COLORADO’s Alexis Keating when she shot a 66 earlier in the final round.
“In this conference you never know because collectively we are so strong,” Arizona coach Laura Ianello said. “Oregon came out blazing this week, anybody in our conference can win. I’m really proud of how we stayed calm, stuck to the game plan and won.”
Oregon’s Caroline Inglis led after the first round with a career-best 4-under par 67 and then matched that total in the third round to finish 7-under par 206 (67-72-67). She become the first golfer in Pac-12 Women’s Golf Championship history to shoot a 206, besting the standing record by one stroke. She is also the first Duck to win medalist honors at the Championships.
“I didn’t know that I won but my teammates showed me right after with the water bath they gave me,” Inglis said. “It’s amazing, this is my first individual win and for it to come at Pac-12’s, it’s a special event, a special feeling. I don’t think it’s sunk in yet.”
The Wildcats entered the final round in great position to come away with a win. They were not part of the final two groupings, but they were tied for second and just one stroke behind the leader after putting together the best team total in the second round. They were also motivated after being as far as 10-under par as a team before a rocky finish on Tuesday.
[Related video: Caroline Inglis on becoming Oregon's first individual medalist]
“The second day we were 10-under at one point and couldn’t quite finish, but we ended up 2-under par so I didn’t want to harp on how badly we finished because anything under par is great,” Ianello said. “It was really a team effort. We were led by Kendall Prince in the second round and Lindsey [Weaver] shot 3- or 4-under. We didn’t have a great start but Lindsey birdied two of her final three holes today that really helped us and Wanasa [Zhou]’s course record set the tone for the championship.”
After a first round score of 8-over par 292 on Monday, the Wildcats were the only team to go under par in the second round, shooting 2-under 282. They improved by three more strokes in the final round for a final 54-hole total of 1-over par 853, a mark that is just one off the 54-hole team record of 852 for a Pac-12 Women’s Golf Championship, set by ARIZONA STATE in 2009.
Along with Zhou’s 65 and Weaver’s 69, senior Manon Gidali shot 1-over par 72 in the final round and freshman Krystal Quihuis shot a 2-over par 73 to give the Wildcats the best team total of any of the three rounds.
After winning their eighth title, the Wildcats are now tied with rival Arizona State for the most Pac-12 Women’s Golf Championships. The two Arizona schools have accounted for more than half (16) of Pac-12 Championships in the tournament’s 29-year history.
Oregon had its best finish ever in the Pac-12 Championship, out-ranking a third place finish in 2010 when the Ducks hosted the event in Eugene. This year’s host Colorado also had its best championship performance ever, finishing fifth in just its fourth year in the league.
Pac-12 teams now look toward NCAA Regional selection which will take place on Monday, April 27. NCAA Regionals are May 7-9 in Raleigh, N.C., South Bend, Ind., San Antonio, Texas, and St. George, Utah. The NCAA Championships will take place May 22-27 in Bradenton, Fla.
The Conference also announced the All-Pac-12 Women’s Golf team at the conclusion of the championships.
Final Team Results:
1. Arizona 292-282-279—853 (+1)
2. Oregon 284-289-285—858 (+6)
3. Washington 289-287-285—861 (+9)
4. UCLA 287-286-289—862 (+10)
5. Colorado 296-289-283—868 (+16)
6. USC 293-292-291—876 (+24)
7. Stanford 286-303-289—878 (+26)
8. Oregon State 294-295-292—881 (+29)
9. Arizona State 304-290-288—882 (+30)
10. California 297-299-292—888 (+36)
11. Washington State 299-305-297—901 (+49)
Final Individual Leaders:
1. Caroline Inglis, ORE 67-72-67—206 (-7)
2. Lindsey Weaver, ARIZ 72-67-69—208 (-5)
3. Bronte Law, UCLA 70-67-71—208 (-5)
4. Noemi Jimenez, ASU 69-70-70—209 (-4)
T5. Alexis Keating, COLO 72-72-66—210 (-3)
T5. Erynne Lee, UCLA 70-68-72—210 (-3)
7. Lauren Kim, STAN 72-72-67—211 (-2)
8. Anica Yoo, OSU 70-71-71—212 (-1)
9. Marthe Wold, CAL 71-72-70—213 (E)
T10. Wanasa Zhou, ARIZ 77-72-65—214 (+1)
T10. Ying Luo, WASH 72-73-69—214 (+1)
First-Team All-Pac-12 Women’s Golf Team
Manon Gidali, Senior – ARIZ
Noemi Jimenez, Senior – ASU
Kyung Kim, USC – USC
Lauren Kim, Junior – STAN
Bronte Law, sophomore – UCLA
Erynne Lee, Senior – UCLA
Esther Lee, Sophomore – COLO
Annie Park, Junior – USC
Mariah Stackhouse, Junior – STAN
Monica Vaughn, Sophomore – ASU
Lindsey Weaver, Junior – ARIZ
Jennifer Yang, Senior – WASH
Caroline Inglis, Junior - ORE
Krystal Quihuis, Freshman - ARIZ
Ying Luo, Junior - WASH
Eimi Koga, Sophomore – WASH
Gabriella Then, Sophomore – USC
Karen Chung, Sophomore – USC
Charlotte Thomas, Junior- WASH