TULSA, Okla. – No. 6 Washington finished off the NCAA Championships with their low round of the tournament, but it was not enough to move up the leaderboard. The Dawgs finished 17th after a round of 6-over 286 for a four-day total of 47-over 1167.
The 17th-place finish came as a disappointment to a team that had national title aspirations.
“It was frustrating, we are going to need to do some soul searching and figure it out,” said head coach Mary Lou Mulflur. “This is a good team that accomplished a lot this year. I know it wasn’t from lack of effort. They had some firsts for this program. They won some tournaments, had some individual victories, had the highest-ever finish at regionals and beat the No. 1 ranked team. Really, there were so many things that we did well this year, I don’t think anyone saw this coming. I don’t know where we failed them or what we didn’t do and should have. We just need to take some time and let it sink in and then try to figure it out and get ready for next year.”
No. 3 Duke held off No. 1 USC for the national title as the Blue Devils and Trojans entered the day vying for the title and had the two lowest scores of the day. No. 2 UCLA finished third, followed No. 7 Oklahoma and No. 5 Arizona State. Doris Chen of USC earned the individual title with a final round of 3-under 67 to finish at 6-under 274.
SooBin Kim continued a good week with her second round on the 60’s, a 2-under 68 to finish tied for 16th. Kim finished the week at 5-over 285 in her first NCAA Championships. She was of three Huskies making their NCAA debut and only Kelli Bowers had played in the team portion of the event.
“We might have underestimated their lack of experience a little bit, but they are all such seasoned players,” said Mulflur. “Three of them were coming for the first time, the other two had only been once and Ying just as an individual. Now, we setting the tone that this is what we do. The goal isn’t just to get here, but to do well. To have them get here and see what this week is like, how tiring and long, but also how much fun it can be. It’s good for them to experience for the team to have.”
The other two players making their NCAA debut were Charlotte Thomas and Jennifer Yang. Thomas shot a round of 2-over 72 to finish a solid week. The Husky sophomore that will compete in the Curtis Cup next week finished tied for 43rd at 11-over 291.
Yang had a rough start on Friday, but bounced back by playing the back nine at 1-under to finish her tournament with a 3-over 73. Yang finished tied for 59th at 14-over 294 for the championship.
Washington final scorer for the final round was Ying Luo, also with a 3-over 73. Luo opened with two birdies, but had a costly triple-bogey on the par-five third for what otherwise was an even-par round. Luo finished tied for 84th at 19-over 299 after finishing 50th last season playing as an individual.
rounded out the Husky squad with a 10-over 80. She placed 124th in her final event as a Husky.
Bowers is the lone graduating senior for the Huskies, a program with an extremely bright future. The Dawgs will learn from the 2014 NCAA Championships with the intention of returning in 2015 and contending for the title.
“After the first day, we weren’t resilient enough,” said Mulflur. “This is been such a resilient group, but that first day just took a little wind out of our sails. It was such a tough day and I am not sure we ever recovered from it. You can’t let one bad day or one bad round get to you. The tournament is four rounds and you are going to have more opportunities.”