Women's countdown: No. 5 Oklahoma
We are counting down the top 30 women's teams heading into the fall college season.
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2012-13 Golfweek rank: 4
Go-to girl: Senior Chirapat Jao-Javanil
Season outlook: If the Sooners’ scoring averages – and records – continue to fall like they did last year, it will be another successful year in Norman. Oklahoma’s top four returnees saw their averages dive last season as the team won three times and recorded program-best 18- and 54-hole totals.
Chirapat Jao-Javanil will lead the senior-laden Sooners for a fourth year. It’s the Thai player’s last chance for a second NCAA individual title (she won as a sophomore in 2012), but the beauty of it is that will be the last thing on her mind. Jao-Javanil, nicknamed “Ja,” is just as likely to talk about food post-round as she is birdies and bogeys. Accolades don’t mean much to her, and the rest of the team seems to follow suit.
Anne-Catherine Tanguay and Emily Collins finished second and third, respectively, in scoring for the Sooners last season, and fellow senior Kaitlyn Rohrback also has established a place in the lineup, giving a consistent performance in the No. 5 spot after transferring from Tennessee last year.
The biggest boost to the Sooners' roster comes in the form of Hawaii native Alexandra Kaui, who qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open in June and also represented the U.S. at the Junior Solheim Cup. Haley Hill of Edmond, Okla., and Maggie Neece of Colleyville, Texas, complete the list of newcomers.
The Sooners achieved their national highest ranking in program history last season (No. 3 at one point), and have the tools and experience to maintain and perhaps exceed that this year.
– Julie Williams