May 11, 2013
Ying<!> Luo closed with three birdies -- including one after a two hour weather delay -- to earn her spot as an individual competitor in the NCAA Championship.
NCAA Central Regional
NORMAN, Okla. -- Freshman walk-on Ying Luo earned a spot as an individual in the NCAA Women's Golf Championship, but the season came to an end for her teammates as the Huskies were unable to complete a furious final round comeback in the NCAA Central Region on Saturday.
|T8||Ying Luo (4)||73||74||68||215|
|T11||SooBin Kim (1)||71||75||71||217|
|T57||Charlotte Thomas (2)||76||78||71||225|
|T78||Jennifer Yang (3)||74||80||75||229|
|T93||Cyd Okino (5)||76||80||77||233|
Luo closed her round at Jimmie Austin UO Golf Course with three-consecutive birdies, highlighted by a 15-foot putt on the last hole to close with a 4-under 68. She finished tied for eighth with a final total of 1-under 215 to claim one of two spots reserved for individuals on non-advancing teams. Wake Forest's Olafia Kristindottir also finished 1-under to claim the other spot.
Unfortunately, Luo will be traveling to the NCAA Championship held May 21-24 at University of Georgia Golf Course without her teammates. The fourth-seeded Huskies, ranked 10th overall in the nation, combined to shoot 3-under 285 in the final round but ended up two strokes short of forcing a playoff.
"I couldn't be happier for Ying. She played unbelievably well," an emotional coach Mary Lou Mulflur said from Oklahoma.
"Come on, a walk-on freshman? That's just crazy. She was just fantastic; there is no two ways around it."
Washington had to settle for 10th as a team with a 54-hole total of 886 (+22). The top eight squads from each of three regions advance to the NCAA championship.
"They battled hard all day," Muflur said of her three sophomore and two freshmen lineup. "They knew exactly what they needed to do but just couldn't quite do it.
"As I told them, there is no one I'd rather go to battle with than them. They are a really good group and they never quit. I think we just got a dose of harsh reality this week and hopefully they will learn from it and be better because of it.
"It's just a shame," the 30th-year coach continued, "because they're just too good to not be there (at the NCAA Championship)."
Duke earned the regional win with a final total of 13-under 851. They will be joined by Oklahoma, Mississippi State, Florida, Arizona State, UC Davis, Wisconsin and Michigan State at the Championship.
Mississippi State's Ally McDonald ended up 10 under for a five-stroke individual victory.
The Huskies had to wait out a two hour weather delay with just Luo and SooBin Kim left on the course to see if they could pull off the comeback. Luo had just one hole remaining, while Kim had two holes left to play. Luo finished with her aforementioned birdie while Kim finished with a couple of pars.
Kim ended up 1 under on the day and had to settle for 11th overall with a 217 (+1).
It was a miracle that the Huskies were even within reach of the top-eight after they made the turn at 3-over. But the four counting golfers combined to knock in 10 birdies on the second nine to shoot 6 under over the final nine.
Luo had four of those birdies, but it was Charlotte Thomas that led the initial charge up the leaderboard. She followed up a first nine of +4 with a second nine of -5 to end the day with a 71. The freshman second-team All-Pac-12 golfer birdied four of the final five holes, including three straight on holes 5 through 7 and a finishing three on the par-4 ninth hole.
Thomas ended the tournament with a three-day total of 225 (+9) to tie for 57th.
Sophomore Jennifer Yang ended up shooting 75 to finish with a score of 229 (+13). She ended up tied for 78th.
Sophomore Cyd Okino shot a non-counting 5-over 77 to end up +17 overall (233). She tied for 93rd.
Despite the disappointment of the season ending for the team, Mulflur imparted to her young squad a message that their time will come in the future.
"I told them that they're good enough to win the whole thing and that they'll get two more cracks at it," she said.
"They know they're good. They know they should be moving on. I told them to remember what this feels like, because this sucks, and they know that too."
|Course:Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club: Championship Tees Par 72 - 6298 Yards
|The top 8 teams advance to the Championship
(Ties will be resolved.)