Chen's Career Week Leads Ducks to Third-Place Finish
SOMIS, Calif. – Sophomore Ching-Tzu Chen capped the best week of her young career on Wednesday in the final round of the Bruin Wave Invitational, tying for second place overall to lead the Oregon women's golf team to a third-place finish at Saticoy Country Club.
Chen came in at 5-over-par for the week after firing a 4-over 76 in the final round, finishing just one stroke behind medalist Linn Grant (ASU) to record the highest finish of her career and the best individual showing by a Duck since 2019.
Oregon held on for third place after shooting 28 over on Wednesday, marking the program's eighth top-five finish in its last nine tournaments dating back to last season. The Ducks continued their history of success at the Bruin Wave Invitational, placing in the top three at the event for the third year in a row.
Playing on an incredibly difficult course with high winds and rain, the Ducks were the only school in the 15-team field to place three players in the individual top 10. Freshman Hsin-Yu Lu tied for seventh overall to put two of Oregon's five counting players in the top 10, and sophomore Briana Chacon – competing this week as an individual – tied for ninth place overall.
How it Happened: Chen entered the final round just two shots off the lead, and she started the day well by offsetting a pair of bogeys with two birdies to shoot an even-par 36 on the front nine. Chen carded two bogeys and a double on the challenging back nine, but she made par on the other six holes to finish at 4 over for the day and 5 over for the week and earn runner-up honors.
Lu provided the top moment of the day, recording the first hole-in-one and second eagle of her career on the par-3 fourth hole. Oregon's freshman phenom – currently the No. 51 ranked amateur in the world – delivered a perfect tee shot with a 5 iron from 176 yards out for the first ace of the season by a Duck. Lu finished the day with a 7-over 79 to come in at 14 over and tied for seventh place individually.
?? ACE! ??
— Oregon Women's Golf (@OregonWGolf) March 3, 2021
Senior Alexis Phadungmartvorakul bounced back from a difficult first two days with a 79 of her own on Wednesday, and Tze-Han (Heather) Lin rounded out the counting scores with an 82.
Chacon – who's scores did not count towards the team total this week – was 7 over on Wednesday and tied for ninth overall at 15-over-par for the week. Chacon also played well at the Bruin Wave Invitational last year, when she finished fourth overall.
Ducks on the Leaderboard:
3. Oregon – 306-309-316 – 931 (+67)
T2. Ching-Tzu Chen – 72-73-76 – 221 (+5)
T7. Hsin-Yu (Cynthia) Lu – 78-73-79 – 230 (+14)
T9. Briana Chacon* – 72-80-79 – 231 (+15)
T40. Tze-Han (Heather) Lin – 76-84-82 – 242 (+26)
T45. Sofie Kibsgaard Nielsen – 80-79-85 – 244 (+28)
T70. Alexis Phadungmartvorakul – 87-87-79 – 253 (+37)
* Competing as an individual
Notable: Chen recorded the best finish by a Duck since Petra Salko placed second at the Bruin Wave Invitational in 2019 … Lu was one of two players in the field with an ace on Wednesday, along with Arantza Armas of New Mexico State … Chen tied for the second-best mark in the field on both par-3 holes (E) and par-4 holes (+8) … Lu was also +8 on par-4s for the week … Chen was 3 under on par-5 holes, tied for the third-best mark in the field … Chen led the Ducks with nine total birdies, and she and Lin tied for the team lead with 32 total pars.
Up Next: Oregon will have a short turnaround with the Wildcat Invitational set to begin in Tucson, Ariz., on Monday, March 8.