Ducks Open NCAA Championships Friday In Scottsdale
EUGENE, Ore. - The Oregon women's golf team will begin its battle for a national title this weekend in Scottsdale, Ariz., with the 2021 NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championships set to begin on Friday at Grayhawk Golf Club.
The Ducks are making their first NCAA Championships appearance since 2017 and 11th overall on the strength of a tremendous spring season, which has featured six top-five finishes in six tournaments and the program's first win since 2016. Oregon advanced to Scottsdale as the No. 4 seed in the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional, which was unable to be played due to poor weather and course conditions.
The No. 13 ranked Ducks are one of 24 teams in the NCAA Championships field, and one of 21 ranked in the current Golfstat top 25. The top 17 teams in the rankings are all in the field.
"We are excited to be going to Scottsdale with the opportunity to compete for a national championship," said head coach Derek Radley. "I am extremely proud of our team and all of the hard work they have put in this season. They earned a top-six regional seed with their play throughout the spring and are being rewarded for that with a chance to go to the NCAA Championships."
2021 NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championships
Dates: Friday, May 21 - Wednesday, May 26
Location: Scottsdale, Ariz.
Course: Grayhawk Golf Club
Live Scoring: http://results.golfstat.com/public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=team&tid=22827
TV: Golf Channel (Monday-Wednesday)
The Field (by Golfstat Rankings)
#1 South Carolina, #2 Duke, #3 LSU, #4 Wake Forest, #5 Ole Miss, #6 Stanford, #7 Oklahoma State, #8 USC, #9 Florida State, #10 Arizona State, #11 Georgia, #12 Baylor, #13 Oregon, #14 Virginia Tech, #15 Auburn, #16 Kent State, #17 Texas, #20 Maryland, #21 UCLA, #22 Arizona, #23 Michigan, #26 Alabama, #28 Kentucky, #30 Michigan State.
NCAA Championships Format
The NCAA Championships consist of three days of stroke play on Friday through Sunday (54 holes), after which the field will be cut to the top 15 teams and top nine individuals not on an advancing team. The final 18 holes of stroke play will take place on Monday, determining the top eight teams that will advance to match play as well as the 72-hole individual champion. The team national champion will be determined by a match-play format that will consist of quarterfinals and semifinals conducted on Tuesday, followed by the finals on Wednesday.
Teeing Off For The Ducks (2020-21 scoring average)
1. Briana Chacon (72.50)
2. Hsin-Yu (Cynthia) Lu (73.89)
3. Ching-Tzu Chen (74.50)
4. Sofie Kibsgaard Nielsen (75.67)
5. Tze-Han (Heather) Lin (76.47)
Alt. Alexis Phadungmartvorakul (77.17)
Did You Know?
Oregon has two all-Pac-12 selections for the first time in program history in sophomore Briana Chacon and freshman Hsin-Yu (Cynthia) Lu.
Numbers to Know
-9 - Oregon shot a 9-under 279 to storm back and win the PING ASU Invitational, the program's first win since February 2016.
11 - UO is making the 11th NCAA Championships appearance in program history, and first since 2017. UO's best-ever finish came in 2016 (T-5th).
12 - Dating back to 2019-20, Oregon has finished in the top five in 12 of its last 13 tournaments, including six straight to open 2021.
13 - Oregon's strong spring has vaulted the Ducks up to No. 13 in the national Golfstat rankings, third-best among Pac-12 teams.
22 - With four consecutive top-10 showings, sophomore Briana Chacon has flown up to No. 22 in the individual national rankings.
48 - Freshman Hsin-Yu (Cynthia) Lu is Oregon's highest-rated player at No. 48 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
Oregon at the NCAA Championships
The Ducks head to Scottsdale in pursuit of the program's first-ever national championship. Oregon is making its appearance as a team at the NCAA Championships, and first under head coach Derek Radley. UO's best-ever finish came in 2016 at Eugene Country Club, when the Ducks advanced to the match-play portion of the championship and finished in a tie for fifth overall. The best individual finish in program history was by Paula Patterson in a tie for 12th overall in 1998. The last Duck to finish in the individual top 20 was Caroline Inglis, who tied for 16th in 2016. This will be the first NCAA Championships experience for every player on Oregon's roster.
Oregon's win at the PING ASU Invitational (March 26-28) is the headliner in what has been an impressive streak by Derek Radley's squad. With its strong finish at the Pac-12 Championships (T5), UO has now finished in the top five in all six tournaments in 2021, as well as eight straight and 12 of its last 13 dating back to last season. During that span, the Ducks have posted six top-three showings and four runner-up or better performances.
Ducks Tie For Fifth at Pac-12 Championships
After struggling the first two days, the Ducks put together a strong 1-under 283 in the final round of the Pac-12 Championships on April 25 to move up a spot and tie for fifth overall. Oregon made up an 11-shot difference to tie with UCLA in fifth, the program's best conference finish since taking second in 2015 and the third top-five conference showing since 1997.
Chacon On All-American Pace As A Sophomore
Briana Chacon impressed during a pandemic-shortened freshman season in 2019-20, but the Whittier, Calif., native has taken her game to the next level as a sophomore. Chacon enters the NCAA Championships with five straight top-10 finishes, headlined by a runner-up showing at the PING ASU Invitational. Chacon's stellar spring earned her all-Pac-12 honors, and she is up to No. 22 individually in the national Golfstat rankings. Chacon's team-best 72.50 scoring average would currently rank second in UO single-season history, and she has shot par or better in four straight rounds and nine of her last 12, including a trio of sub-70 performances. She has made a habit of finishing strong, posting her best score in the final round of each of the last four tournaments.
Freshman Phenom Lu Living Up To The Hype
Derek Radley made arguably the biggest recruiting splash in program history when he signed Hsin-Yu (Cynthia) Lu on Nov. 18, 2019, and the Tawain native has lived up to the hype so far as a true freshman. Currently the No. 48 ranked amateur in the world after coming to Oregon as the top-ranked recruit out of Asia in the 2020 class, Lu is an all-Pac-12 selection after posting three top-10 finishes through her first six tournaments. Lu tied for runner-up honors at the Wildcat Invitational, shooting 67-73-69 to finish 7-under-par in Tucson, and she has already tied the UO single-season record with four eagles this spring. One of those eagles was her first career ace, on a par 3 at the Bruin Wave Invitational.