Oregon Advances To Final Round Of Stroke Play In Scottsdale
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The Oregon women's golf team will move on to the final round of stroke play at the NCAA Championships and is within striking distance of advancing to match play after finishing round three with a 5-over 293 on Sunday at Grayhawk Golf Club.
The Ducks currently sit in 10th place at 19 over, comfortably making the 15-team cut going into Monday. The top eight teams after round four will move on to the match-play quarterfinals. Oregon is just two strokes back of eighth-place Florida State, and only three strokes behind seventh-pace Wake Forest.
"This has been an absolutely priceless experience for our team and I'm so proud of them for making it to this point," said head coach Derek Radley. "They are right there with the best teams in the country and are handling themselves so well on the biggest stage in college golf. We've done a great job of finishing strong all year long and will need to put our best foot forward tomorrow to get into that top eight."
Sophomore Ching-Tzu Chen – known as "CCT" – led Oregon with a 1-under 71 for the second day in a row, sinking a long birdie putt on No. 18 to close her round and give the Ducks some momentum going into Monday.
"That was such a big-time putt by CCT," said Radley. "We really needed something positive to end our day on and she came up huge for us. She's been so impressive these last two rounds."
How it Happened: Chen was even through six holes with a birdie on No. 2 and a bogey on No. 3, and she made the turn at 1 under after draining a birdie putt at No. 7. She got to 2 under with a birdie at No. 11 before a pair of bogeys put her back at even through 16, but she made par at No. 17 and then drilled a 24-footer on No. 18 to finish at 1 under.
Since not contributing a counting score for Oregon in Friday's opening round, Chen has climbed 64 spots up the leaderboard and is tied for 23rd overall at 3 over.
Sophomore Briana Chacon saw her streak of par-or-better rounds end at six, but she still put together a good round with a 1-over 73. Chacon was steady all day long, making 15 pars with a birdie and two bogeys.
An all-Pac-12 selection, Chacon is Oregon's top individual entering Monday in a tie for 10th place at even par. Chacon is just two strokes back of the top five.
Freshman Hsin-Yu (Cynthia) Lu – UO's other all-Pac-12 honoree – matched Chacon with a 1-over 73 on Sunday. Lu was brilliant on the front nine, making the turn at 3 under with a trio of birdies and six pars before going 4 over on the back nine.
Sophomore Sofie Kibsgaard Nielsen rounded out Oregon's counting scores with a 4-over 76, and junior Tze-Han (Heather) Lin was right behind with a 5-over 77.
Ducks on the Leaderboard:
10. Oregon – 290-300-293 – 883 (+19)
T10. Briana Chacon – 71-72-73 – 216 (E)
T23. Ching-Tzu Chen – 77-71-71 – 219 (+3)
T53. Hsin-Yu (Cynthia) Lu – 72-78-73 – 223 (+7)
T94. Sofie Kibsgaard Nielsen – 74-79-76 – 229 (+13)
T105. Tze-Han (Heather) Lin – 73-81-77 – 231 (+15)
What it Means: The Ducks will need a strong finish to move up at least two spots and earn a place in the match play portion of the NCAA Championships. Oregon has put together its best score in the final round of each of its last three tournaments, including a stellar 9-under 279 to roar back and win the PING ASU Invitational on March 30. UO has advanced to match play at the NCAA Championships once since it was implemented in 2015, reaching the quarterfinals in 2016 at Eugene Country Club.
Notable: At even-par for the weeknd, Chacon enters Monday's final round of stroke play with a chance to make history; Oregon's best-ever individual 72-hole performance was an even-par 288 by Caroline Inglis at the 2016 NCAA Championships … Oregon's best-ever team 72-hole performance was a 14-over 1,166 in 2016 … UO is 14 over on par-4 holes this weekend, the third-best mark in the field … Chacon is tied for fourth-best on par-4 holes at 1 under … Chacon and Chen are tied for the team lead with nine total birdies, and Chacon has a team-best 36 pars.
Up Next: The final round of stroke play will begin at 10:21 a.m. PT on Monday. As the 10th-place team in the field, Oregon will tee off from No. 10 starting at 11:05 a.m.