West: UCLA, LSU co-medal, make program history
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Team winners: UCLA, LSU (873)
Individual winner: Catherine O’Donnell (North Carolina)
Also moving on: 3. Pepperdine (875), 4. Colorado (877), T-5. Baylor, Stanford (879), 7. North Carolina (880), 8. Oklahoma (890)
Individuals: T-8. Kimberly Kaufman (Texas Tech), T-14. Gabriella Dominguez (Texas Tech)
Victory No. 7: That UCLA can’t be counted out seems to be the theme of the season. But then again, neither can LSU.
The top-ranked and top-seeded Bruins overcame a six-shot deficit at the Colorado National Golf Club in Erie, Colo., to finish tied atop the team leaderboard with LSU. It’s the seventh victory for UCLA this season, which ties a school record.
“We had a very good team round today of (1 under),” head coach Carrie Forsyth said. “Great performances this week from Ani Gulugian and Brianna Do really kept us in the tournament and eventually to the No. 1 seeding for the NCAA Championship. It was a tough condition again today, with very cold weather, but we managed to score well.”
Gulugian and Do led the Bruins in scoring, with Gulugian finishing as the only UCLA player in the top 10. Before Saturday, the Bruins had not been higher than third on the team leaderboard.
For LSU’s part, the Tigers hung with UCLA until the end, also setting a program record. This is the first NCAA regional title for the Tigers, and a fourth season title -- the second most in program history. Sophomore Austin Ernst, the reigning NCAA individual champion, put together three solid rounds for a runner-up individual finish to North Carolina’s Catherine O’Donnell. Teammate Madelene Sagstrom was T-8.
“This team worked so hard for this event,” head coach Karen Bahnsen said. “They are just very confident in what they can do. It was just a case of letting them go play.”
Home-turf advantage: Chalk up a national-championship berth for Colorado, the first in program history. The Buffs flirted with the cutline in Round 2, but rose from ninth to fourth by the end of the final round to skate into nationals.
Sophomore Jenny Coleman finished with the low score for the Buffs, a 2-over 218 that left her T-10.
“They played smart shots,” head coach Anne Kelly said. “They’ll have a bad hole or make a mistake, but it’s usually not a mental mistake or a bad decision. The last couple of days we made a couple of bad decisions - and that’s not typical. So (Saturday) they played more like themselves, making smart decisions. Sure, you’re going to miss a shot, but they played smart.
Short shots: Fresh off winning the Pac-12 Championship title, Cal failed to advance to the national championship. The Golden Bears finished in a share of ninth, three shots out of the top 8. . . . Stanford led for the first two rounds but dropped from first to T-5 in Round 3. The Cardinal still safely made the NCAA Championship as Sally Watson and Sydney Burlison turned in top-10 individual performances.