West: Arizona’s super spring continues
Team champion: Arizona (24-over 876)
Individual champions: Madeleine Ziegert of San Jose State and Calle Nielson of Virgina (1-over 214)
The top 8: 2. UCLA (885) 3. Texas and Alabama (890); 5. Virginia (894); 6. Stanford (895); 7. San Jose State (900); 8. Texas A&M (903)
Close, but no cigar: 9. LSU (904); 10. Iowa State (908); 11. California (909); 12. Ohio State (910)
Individuals: 1. Megan McChrystal, LSU (218); Ellen Mueller, Oklahoma (219).
Who’s in? Who’s out? Lance Ringler and Asher Wildman break down all of the action from final rounds of the NCAA Women’s Regionals.
Wildcats roll: Arizona took a three-shot lead into the final round of the NCAA West Regional and closed things out comfortably with a nine-shot victory over top-ranked UCLA at the Stanford Golf Course.
The Wildcats, without head coach Shelly Haywood for the third consecutive tournament, have been on quite a run this spring. (Haywood is attending to family matters, according to a school statement.)
After ending the fall ranked No. 20 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, Arizona recorded runner-up finishes at the Wildcat Invitational and Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational and then climbed to No. 3 after winning the Pac-10 Conference Championship a couple of weeks ago.
Arizona had three players finish inside the top 10 this week. Leading the way was Nikki Koller, who tied for third place with a 2-over 215 total. Alejandra Llaneza tied for seventh place at 219, and Margarita Ramos tied for 10th at 220.
Don’t be surprised: San Jose State will play the role of Cinderella this year at the national championship, but only because the Spartans are the lowest seed, at No. 14, to qualify.
It wasn’t a huge surprise to many that the Spartans, No. 40 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings and winners of the WAC Championship, qualified for their first finals since 2001.
“There are so many good teams here. To be in the top eight, you have to earn it. We haven’t earned much this year,” said Spartans coach John Dormann, whose team finished seventh after starting the day in 12th place.
“When it really mattered, everybody really came through,” he said.
San Jose State was led by Madeleine Ziegert’s 1-over 214 total. Ziegert, a sophomore, shared medalist honors with Virginia’s Calle Nielson, for the first win of her college career.
Longhorns, not longshots: For the second year in a row, Texas was sent to the West Regional – and for the second year in a row, the Longhorns advanced to the NCAA Championship, tying for third as the No. 10 seed.
However, this year marks the third consecutive year Martha Richards’ team has qualified for the national championship despite being a double-digit seed.
Two years ago in the Central Regional, Texas was a No. 10 seed and placed seventh. Last season, Texas was a No. 17 seed and tied for fourth.
Sorry, folks: Three teams seeded in the top eight failed to advance out of the West.
Ohio State, the highest seed at No. 4, joined No. 7 LSU and No. 8 California in missing a trip to the finals. Finding a way into the top eight were No. 9 Texas A&M, No. 10 Texas and No. 14 San Jose State.
Quote of the day: “The first day made everything easier. It was like ‘Play-Station Golf.’ The cup became so much bigger.” - San Jose State's Madeleine Ziegert, on her putting at the West Regional.