Stellar Final Round Gives Ducks First Win Of Radley Era
PHOENIX – The Oregon women's golf team fired an incredible 9-under 279 on Sunday to fly five spots up the leaderboard and finish in a tie for first place at the PING ASU Invitational, securing the program's first tournament win since 2015-16 and first under head coach Derek Radley and assistant Monica Vaughn.
The Ducks recorded the fourth-best score vs. par in program single-round history and fifth-best score overall to tie with host Arizona State at 2-under-par for the weekend. Oregon's 279 was the only sub-280 score of the weekend, and the best overall round by four strokes.
Sophomore Briana Chacon led the way with a bogey-free 4-under 68, finishing 4-under for the weekend to tie for runner-up honors. Junior Tze-Han (Heather) Lin and freshman Hsin-Yu (Cynthia) Lu each finished with a 3-under 69 to give Oregon a trio of sub-70 rounds on the day.
How it Happened: The Ducks entered the final 18 holes in a tie for sixth place after moving up four spots from 10th in Saturday's second round. Oregon was one of the first groups out on Sunday and sat in third behind ASU and Michigan as Chacon wrapped up her round with a par on 18. The Ducks then went into waiting mode as the final groups finished up, and saw Michigan fall below into third and ASU come down to 2 under to give Oregon a share of the victory.
Chacon was terrific from the get-go, making par on her first eight holes before finishing the front nine with a birdie. She continued her bogey-free day on the back nine, making six pars and three more birdies to come in with a 4-under 68. The Southern California native finished the weekend at 4-under-par and in a four-way tie for second place, just one stroke behind individual winner Kelly Sim of Northwestern.
Chacon's runner-up finish is the third straight for the Ducks, who saw Ching-Tzu Chen tie for second at the Bruin Wave Invitational and Lu take second place outright at the Wildcat Invitational.
Lu was 1 over through eight holes on Sunday before dipping below par with back-to-back birdies. The freshman was 1 under going into No. 15, where she carded her fourth eagle of the spring to tie the UO single-season record and get to 3 under on the day. Lu made a bogey at No. 17, but bounced back with a birdie on her final hole to finish with a 69.
Lu closed the weekend at 1 under and in a tie for ninth place, her third straight top-10 showing.
Lin matched Lu with a 3-under 69 while recording a team-high six birdies in the final round. The junior started her day with two birdies before getting to 1 over through five holes, but she went 4 under across her final 13 holes without a bogey to help key Oregon's victory. Lin tied for 13th on the individual leaderboard at even-par for the weekend.
All-American Sofie Kibsgaard Nielsen rounded out Oregon's counting scores with a 1 over 73, shooting even on the front nine and 1 over on the back. Nielsen gave the Ducks four players in the individual top 30, tying for 26th place at 3 over.
Ducks on the Leaderboard:
T1. Oregon – 294-289-279 – 862 (-2)
T2. Briana Chacon – 74-70-68 – 212 (-4)
T9. Hsin-Yu (Cynthia) Lu – 74-72-69 – 215 (-1)
T13. Tze-Han (Heather) Lin – 74-73-69 – 216 (E)
T26. Sofie Kibsgaard Nielsen – 72-74-73 – 219 (+3)
T50. Alexis Phadungmartvorakul* – 74-73-78 – 225 (+9)
T70. Ching-Tzu Chen – 79-77-75 – 231 (+15)
* Competing as an individual
Notable: This is Oregon's first win since the Ducks won the Westbrook Invitational in February 2016 … The Ducks dominated the field on par-5 holes, shooting 21-under-par; New Mexico was the next-best team at 13 under … Ching-Tzu Chen joined Lu with an eagle on Sunday, giving Oregon a field-best three for the weekend … Lu was the only player in the field to make multiple eagles this weekend … Lin led the Ducks with 12 total birdies for the tournament, one shy of the individual lead.
Up Next: Oregon will head to Napa Valley, Calif., next for the Silverado Showdown (April 5-7).