Finally - It's Tournament Time
EUGENE, Ore. - The Oregon women's golf team will tee it up in a team tournament for the first time in 342 days when the Ducks open the Sun Devil Winter Classic on Monday at Talking Stick Golf Club.
UO will get a chance to compete in Scottsdale, Ariz., the site of the 2021 NCAA Championships, and get a look at nine other Pac-12 teams in the first of five spring tournaments before the Pac-12 Championships on April 23-25.
Sun Devil Winter Classic
Location: Scottsdale, Ariz.
Course: Talking Stick Golf Club
Format: 54 holes of stroke play
Round One: Monday, February 15
Round Two: Tuesday, February 16
Round Three: Wednesday, February 17
Arizona, Arizona State, California, Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA, USC, Washington, Washington State
Teeing Off For The Ducks (2019-20 scoring average)
1. Ching-Tzu Chen (75.56)
2. Hsin-Yu (Cynthia) Lu (NA)
3. Briana Chacon (73.22)
4. Sofie Kibsgaard Nielsen (72.52)
5. Alexis Phadungmartvorakul (73.11)
Numbers to Know
45 - Freshman Hsin-Yu (Cynthia) Lu (above) enters her first career collegiate tournament at No. 45 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
8 - Senior Alexis Phadungmartvorakul enters her final season with the Ducks as Oregon's all-time leader with eight career eagles.
72.52 - Sofie Kibsgaard Nielsen led Oregon with a 72.52 scoring average as a freshman, the second-best mark in UO single-season history.
14 - Oregon finished the shortened 2020 season at No. 14 in the Golfstat rankings, tied for the program's fourth-best end-of-season ranking. UO has not been factored into the 2021 rankings yet since the Ducks did not compete in the fall.
3.05 - The Ducks posted a terrific 3.05 scoring average vs. par in the shortened 2020 season, a new UO single-season record.
Back In Action With a Win
The Ducks eased back into competition with a two-day exhibition against Oregon State on Feb. 6-7 in Corvallis, and Oregon kicked off the 2021 spring season with a 20-16 victory across two rounds of head-to-head stroke play. There were six head-to-head matches with three points available per matchup, per round. A point was awarded each round to the winner of the front nine, the winner of the back nine, and the winner of the overall round. Sophomore Ching-Tzu Chen (73, 69) and freshman Hsin-Yu (Cynthia) Lu (71, 71) each shot even-par across 36 holes to lead the way for the Ducks, with sophomore Briana Chacon (71, 72) just one stroke behind. Along with a round at Eugene Country Club on Feb. 5, the weekend of action served as Oregon's qualifying round to determine the Ducks' five-player lineup for the Sun Devil Winter Classic.
Future On Display In Shortened Season
Oregon was just starting to hit its stride last March when the COVID-19 pandemic brought the 2019-20 season to a halt, ending a promising year for head coach Derek Radley's young squad. The Ducks finished the shortened campaign with a pair of top-three finishes and six total top-five showings in seven tournaments while closing at No. 14 in the nation, the program's highest end-of-season national ranking since 2014-15. Playing with a talented young roster made up of five underclassmen, Oregon set a new single-season record with a 290.48 team scoring average through seven tournaments. Radley brings back six of seven players from that talented squad, with Amy Matsuoka graduating and joining the professional ranks.
The Ducks return their top player from the 2020 shortened season in sophomore Sofie Kibsgaard Nielsen, who immediately established herself as one of the top players in the Pac-12 as a true freshman. The Denmark native became just the third player in program history to earn WGCA all-America honors, receiving honorable mention recognition after finishing the year at No. 24 on the individual Golfstat national rankings. In seven events (21 rounds) as a true freshman, Nielsen...
» Posted the fifth-best end-of-season national ranking (No. 24) in program history, and ninth-best in the NCAA among freshmen.
» Led the Ducks with a 72.52 scoring average, good for No. 2 in Oregon single-season history.
» Finished in the top 20 in all seven tournaments to open her collegiate career (Best: T-6th at Wildcat Invitational).
» Led UO with 10 rounds of par or better, headlined by a 5-under 66 at the Stanford Intercollegiate.
Already boasting a young roster full of talent, head coach Derek Radley made arguably the biggest recruiting splash in program history when he signed Hsin-Yu (Cynthia) Lu to join the Ducks this season as a freshman. The No. 1 ranked recruit out of Asia in the 2020 collegiate signing class, Lu enters her first collegiate tournament at No. 45 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings. Sofie Kibsgaard Nielsen - Oregon's sophomore all-American - is the next-highest ranked Duck at No. 132. Lu has flown up the rankings since she signed with Oregon on Nov. 18, 2019, as the No. 154 ranked amateur in the world. Radley has called Lu "one of the most talented recruits we have ever seen."
Next On The Tee
The Ducks will head to Los Angeles for the Bruin Wave Invitational on March 1-3. Oregon tied for third at the UCLA-hosted tournament last season behind a fourth-place finish from Briana Chacon.