NANEA, Hawai’i – No. 4 Washington couldn’t quite close the deal, but still finished an impressive third at the Pac-12 Preview at the Nanea Golf Club on the Big Island of Hawai’i. The Dawgs shot a round of 9-over 301 on Tuesday to finish at 7-under 869, eight strokes behind tournament champion USC.
“It’s a little disappointing, but I told the team as long as we keep learning and keep getting better, the results will come,” said head coach Mary Lou Mulflur. “The way we played this week bodes well for the team. We want to play our best at the last tournament of the spring, not the last tournament of the fall.”
Washington led coming into the final round, but saw USC shoot a final round of 3-under, the only red figure on the course to jump into the lead. UCLA finished just one stroke back of the Trojans after an even-par round. The Dawgs were five strokes clear of fourth place Arizona State, the only other team under par for the week.
“It is really impressive what USC has done,” said Mulflur. “Winning eight-straight tournaments is unheard of in college golf.”
The Pac-12 came into the weekend with four of the top-five ranked teams in the country and five in the top-10.
“The strength of the conference is impressive,” said Mulflur. “We know if we can compete with teams in the Pac-12, we can compete with anyone in the country.”
The Dawgs were led in the final round by Cyd Okino and Kelli Bowers, each who shot a round of 1-over 74. Bowers ended up tied for 13th overall at 1-under for the tournament, while Okino was tied for 26th at 5-over.
The Dawgs top individual finisher was SooBin Kim at tied for eighth at 2-under. Kim had an uncharacteristic off day on Tuesday, firing a round of 5-over 78. Still, her performance throughout the tournament was still good enough for a top-10 finish.
Another high overall finish was Charlotte Thomas who was in the tie for 13th with Bowers. Thomas fired a round of 2-over 75 on Tuesday and finished at 1-under for the tournament. She will still walk away with a memorable tournament after her ace on the 17th hole during Monday’s second round.
Finally, Jennifer Yang, like Kim, struggled to a 78 on Tuesday. She had entered the round in sixth place, but fell to a tie for 18th at 1-over.
The tournament concludes the fall season for the Dawgs who didn’t finish worse than third in any tournament and only losses came to conference foes. Washington will begin the spring as one of the nation’s top-ranked teams and will not need to look any further than within the Pac-12 to see their main competition on the national level.