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Women's Golf Earns Second Straight Win, Third Of The Season

Mar 15, 2022

PALOS VERDES, Calif. – The Oregon women's golf team pulled away from a loaded field in the final round of the Northrop Grumman Challenge on Tuesday to claim its second win in a row, third of the 2021-22 season and fourth in the last calendar year.
 
The No. 2 Ducks fired a 2-under 282 on Tuesday to win the team title with a 4-under 848, one shot shy of the Northrop Grumman Challenge tournament record. After opening round three one stroke up on No. 6 Virginia and six strokes ahead of No. 5 Wake Forest, the Ducks' strong final round gave them the victory by an impressive seven shots.
 
Oregon's three wins in 2021-22 are the most for the program in a season since 1999-00, and just one shy of the UO record of four set by the 1996-97 team. Tuesday's victory was perhaps the most impressive of the three wins this season, considering it came against a field that featured three other top-10 teams and 10 total programs currently ranked in the national top 25.
 
"This is a great win for our program," head coach Derek Radley said. "The Northrop Grumman Challenge is one of the most prestigious regular-season tournaments in all of college golf, and that's a really, really good field we just went up against. It had an NCAA Tournament feel out there. I'm so proud of the focus and toughness our team showed all week, and especially today when we needed a strong finish. They are playing with a lot of confidence right now and truly believe they are one of the elite teams in the country. We're excited to get back to work and keep this thing rolling."
 
For the second tournament in a row, Oregon's entire lineup finished in the top 15 on the individual leaderboard. Hsin-Yu (Cynthia) Lu and Sofie Kibsgaard Nielsen each tied for fourth place overall at 1-under par to lead the way, while Briana Chacon (+1) tied for sixth, Ching-Tzu Chen (+2) tied for eighth, and Tze-Han (Heather) Lin (+4) tied for 12th.

How it Happened: Similar to Monday, the Ducks got off to a little bit of a slow start, combining for seven bogeys and a double through the first seven holes. But also like the second round, Oregon found its groove on the back nine to pull away from the field.
 
The Ducks combined for nine birdies and an eagle against just five bogeys on the back nine, after making five birdies as a team on the front nine. Oregon finished the tournament as the top team in the field with 187 total pars, and also had the highest score on both par-4 (E) and par-5 (-12) holes.
 
Chacon and Lin led the Ducks in the final round, each carding a 1-under 70. Both Ducks enjoyed a run of three birdies in five holes to offset a pair of bogeys, and each made 13 total pars.
 
Chen, Lu and Nielsen all came in one stroke behind Chacon and Lin with an even-par 71, putting all five Ducks at or below par on the day. Lu and Nielsen made three birdies apiece, and Chen made two while adding her first eagle of the season and second of her career on the par-5 16th hole.
 
Team Leaderboard:
1. #2 Oregon – 287-279-282 – 848 (-4)
2. #5 Wake Forest – 292-280-283 – 855 (+3)
3. #6 Virginia – 287-280-297 – 864 (+12)
4. #12 Arizona State – 291-284-290 – 865 (+13)
5. #10 Texas – 297-290-286 – 873 (+21)
 
Ducks on the Leaderboard:
T4. Hsin-Yu (Cynthia) Lu – 71-70-71 – 212 (-1)
T4. Sofie Kibsgaard Nielsen – 71-70-71 – 212 (-1)
T6. Briana Chacon – 70-74-70 – 214 (+1)
T8. Ching-Tzu Chen – 75-69-71 – 215 (+2)
T12. Tze-Han (Heather) Lin – 77-70-70 – 217 (+4)
 
What it Means: Oregon has proven its No. 2 national ranking is no fluke. In addition to its three wins this season, the Ducks have finished in the top five in all seven of their tournaments and boast a stellar competitive record of 81-13-0. The Ducks are getting contributions from every spot in the lineup – all five Ducks competing this week have posted at least two top-10 finishes this season. Oregon has now posted 19 top-five finishes in its last 21 tournaments with four wins dating back to the 2019-20 season, and the Ducks have 25 total top-five finishes in 32 tournaments since Radley and assistant coach Monica Vaughn took over ahead of the 2018-19 season.
 
Notable: Oregon has now shot par-or-better in nine of its 21 rounds this season … Nielsen posted her third straight top-10 finish, Lu and Chacon each earned their third of the season, and Chen recorded her second in a row … Nielsen has shot par-or-better in five consecutive rounds, and Lu has done so in four straight rounds … Lu made 40 total pars this week, tied for the most in the field, while Chacon and Chen each made 39 … Nielsen led the Ducks with nine total birdies … Wake Forest's Rachel Kuehn won the individual title at 1-under par.
 
Up Next: Oregon will return to action on March 25-27 at the PING/ASU Invitational in Tempe, Ariz. The Ducks won that event last March, the program's first win since the spring of 2016 and the first of UO's four victories in the last calendar year.