Oregon’s Men’s and Women’s Golf teams have been active this Fall, playing tournaments across the country the past couple of months. Both squads are playing their final 2022 tournaments this week and will pick up their sticks again – in “official” action anyway – after the first of the year.
Oregon’s Men opened Fall with the 3-day Maui Jim Intercollegiate in Scottsdale, Arizona September 9, 10 and 11. The Ducks started out hot on Day One, surging to 2nd Place. Oregon was led by Senior Owen Avrit who carded a blistering 63 on the 7118 yard, Par 70 track. The 7-under par, bogey-free round was Avrit’s career best. The Ducks, competing as a five-man team, shot 268 overall to stand in 2nd place among the 18 schools after the first day. On Day Two, Avrit was joined for Oregon’s low round by Greyson Leach as both men shot rounds of 65. The Ducks as a team shot 270 and ended up in 5th overall after Day Two. The final day of the tournament saw Oregon slip 2 more places to finish the tournament in 7th overall. Leach shot 67 on Sunday to lead Oregon with a total 3-day score of 198 with Avrit right behind him at 199. Greg Solhaug shot 69 on Sunday. The team’s total score for the tournament was 815 (25 under par), the second lowest in program history. Auburn was the tournament winner at 45-under par.
The Ducks traveled to Bremerton, Washington for the 2-day Husky Invitational held on the Olympic Course at Gold Mountain. On Day One, golfers played 36 holes and Avrit again led the Ducks with an even par 72-72 on the 5,847-yard course. Nate Stember had the low round for Oregon on the day, shooting a 69 in the afternoon as the Ducks shot a 7-over par 583 overall, earning a tie for 3rd. Oregon shot the 2nd-best team round of Day Two, carding a 3-over 291 and earning a 4th-place finish among the 15 schools. Avrit rallied to post the lowest overall score for Oregon, shooting a one-over 73 for a 217 total, one better than Stemper.
Oregon next traveled to Fort Worth, Texas to face a strong field in the Ben Hogan Invitational, held at storied Colonial Country Club. Golfers again faced 36 holes on Day One and Greg Solhaug led Oregon with a 1-over par total score of 141 on the 7,204 yard, par 70 layout. Oregon was tied for 12th in the 16-team field after these first rounds. The Ducks had a great Day Two, shooting an even-par 280 and climbing 3 spots to 9th overall. Seven of the top 10 teams were competing in this tournament, and Oregon’s finish was notable. Greg Solhaug led the Ducks with a total 3-round score of 209, good for 1 under par and the team shot 851, 11 over par.
The Oregon Men’s Golf team finished up its Fall schedule yesterday at the Cal Poly Invitational in Carmel, California. On Day One, Owen Avrit again led the Ducks, tying for the tournament lead by shooting 70-66 – 136 over 36 holes. Avrit was 9 under par for the day as the Ducks tied for 4th place after Day One at the par 72, 7,138 yard The Prestige Golf Club. On Tuesday, Oregon slipped to 6th overall, despite shooting 1-under par as a team. Avrit again led the Ducks with a 2 under par 70.
The Oregon Women opened their Fall tournament schedule with a September 12-14 visit to Lake Elmo, Minnesota to compete in the Annika Intercollegiate. The 2022 NCAA runners-up and defending Pac-12 Champions started strong, finishing Day One in 4th place. Hsin-Yu (Cynthia) Lu led the Ducks with a 1 under par 71 on the Par 72 Royal Golf Club. Oregon shot 292, 4 over par for the day. On Day Two, the Ducks improved by 3 strokes, relying on some great golf from two of their new players. Texas transfer Ashleigh Park and Freshman Anika Varma had much better 2nd rounds, shooting 71 and 72 respectively, a combined 11 strokes of improvement from Day One. Ching-Tzu Chen also shot 71, but Oregon’s improvement was not enough as the Ducks fell to 8th overall. Oregon bounced back in the overall standings on Day Three, however, as Park shot a 1-under 70, and Lu and Varma added even-par 71’s. The Duck effort was good enough to jump up to 6th place in the 12-team tournament. Chen, Lu and Park tied for best overall individual score for the Ducks, each at 1-over par 217.
The Ducks hung around in the Midwest for the October 3-4 Windy City Classic in Highland Park, Illinois. Facing a field of 15 teams at the Exmoor Country Club, the Ducks were scheduled to play 36 holes on Day One. On this day darkness fell early and Oregon still had between 3 and 6 holes to complete when play was suspended. At that point, Oregon was sitting in 3rd place in the field. The Ducks completed their second round early on Day Two, and went on to have its best round of the week in the afternoon. Oregon shot a 2-under par 286 as a team. Ashleigh Park and Ching-Tzu Chen each shot 3-under par 69 to lead the Ducks. Park and Brittany Shin tied for 7th overall in the tournament and Oregon finished in third place as a team at 17 over par for the 3 rounds.
Oregon next got a taste of a combined Stroke/Match Play tournament, similar to what is used in the NCAA tournament. In a tournament, players initially compete as individuals and teams are seeded based on their overall finish. During the Match Play portion, each team fields their 5 golfers, and they play 5 one-on-one matches against another school, with the winning school advancing in the tournament. The exclusive East Lake Cup, to which only 4 schools are invited, is held at the East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia October 24-26. Day One was stroke play. Oregon played well, shooting a 1-over par 289, good for 2nd place and earning a 2nd round date with #24 Auburn. Briana Chacon, Hsin-Yu (Cynthia) Lu and Ashleigh Park each shot even-par 72s to lead the Ducks on Day One. Oregon couldn’t keep the momentum going, however, as they fell in a heartbreaker to Auburn on Day Two by a score of 3 – 2. The match was tied at 2 apiece as Briana Chacon and Ashleigh Park won their matches. In the final tilt, Lu lost a 2-hole lead with 4 to play and lost the match on the 19th hole. Nevertheless, Oregon had a “consolation” match against UCLA on Day 3. Oregon did not have its best day, losing the match 2 – 1 with two matches tied. Normally, the tied matches would continue onto a 19th hole, as Lu’s match did, and longer if necessary to determine a true winner.
The Ducks missed having Halloween at home, traveling for their final Fall tournament to the Pac-12 Preview Tournament on the Big Island of Hawaii October 31 - November 2. On Day One at the Nanea Golf Club, Ashleigh Park continued her sterling play, opening with a 3-under par 70. Oregon was in 6th overall at 4 under par 288 after Day One. On Day Two, Oregon vaulted to 2nd place in the 12-team field, shooting a 1 under 291. It was a rough day for every school but Oregon and tournament-leading Stanford which also shot 1 under. Next best was USC at 5 over par and Arizona at 8 over. Park bettered her outstanding Monday round by shooting 4-under 69 and Brianna Chacon shot 70.
On Wednesday, Day 3, Oregon shot a round of 3-under par 289 and remained in 2nd place overall. For the tournament, Oregon shot 868, 10 strokes behind Stanford. Ashleigh Park was 8 under par and also placed 2nd overall in the individual results, trailing Stanford’s Rose Zhang by 3 shots. Briana Chacon was tied for 7th overall. The results of the Pac-12 Preview Tournament appear to set up another outstanding Oregon vs Stanford battle for the 2023 Pac-12 Conference Championship. Ashleigh Park is clearly going to make some noise for Oregon in the coming season and the Ducks return most of the strength from last year’s Pac-12 Champion team.
Pac-12 Preview - Final Team Results (score to par)
1. Stanford -18
2. Oregon -8
3. Arizona -7
4. Arizona State -5
5. UCLA +2
6. USC +8
7. Cal +9
8. Oregon State +23
9. Washington State +29
10. Washington +34
11. Colorado +39