Oregon’s Women’s Golf team fulfilled its season-long promise by storming from behind and winning the Pac-12 Championship played at Eugene Country Club Monday through Wednesday this week. It is the Oregon Women’s first Pac-12 Golf title and the 20th Pac-12 title for Oregon’s women in all sports. Oregon’s Hsin-Yu Lu was the Pac-12 individual champion, carding a 6 under par 210 total and winning by 4 strokes over Stanford’s Rose Zhang. The Ducks have frequently placed several individual golfers high in the final results in tournaments this year, and the Pac-12 tournament was no exception. Tze-Han Lin finished in a tie for 7th and Briana Chacon tied for 13th.
As a team, Oregon finished the 3-rounds at 6 over par, beating co-runners-up Oregon State and Stanford by 7 strokes. Stanford was ranked the #1 team in the nation coming into the Pac-12 tournament and Oregon was ranked #2 nationally.
Oregon got off to a slow start during Monday’s play, as the weather - windy, wet and cool, seemingly perfect for Ducks - played havoc with the field but some teams handled it better than others. Oregon shot its worst team score of the tournament - a 7 over par 295 which was good just for 5th place. Stanford lived up to its ranking early, leading after the first day at 2-over par 290 with USC 2 strokes behind and Washington and Arizona State at +6. Lu led Oregon and was tied for 5th with an even par 72. Ching-Tzu Chen shot 2-over 74 and was tied for 15th after Monday’s round.
Tuesday was Moving Day for the Ducks at ECC, as Oregon shook off the Blue Monday weather, and improved by 10 shots over its previous round. Oregon’s 285 team total for the day was 3 under par, and vaulted Oregon into a tie with Arizona State for the lead at +4 overall, with Washington - which shot 287 on the day - sitting in third just one stroke behind. Lu shot a sterling 6-under par 66 - just one stroke off the tournament record - and opened up a 4-shot lead over Washington’s Stefanie Deng. The late part of Tuesday’s round had to be suspended due to darkness, with about half the teams needing to finish a few holes on Wednesday morning.
Oregon kept up the pressure on Wednesday, and their closest competitors folded. The Ducks shot the 3rd-lowest round of the day - a 2 over par 290. Oregon State was the only team under par (-3) on Wednesday, and Arizona played even-par golf but neither school was close enough going into the round to really challenge the Ducks. Stanford fell to +6 on the round and Arizona State shot 21-over par to fall from a tie for first after 2 rounds to 7th place. Washington shot +24 to drop to 8th place.
Lu ended up doing all her damage to par with her 2nd-round 66, coming in with another even-par round of 72 on Wednesday. Zhang shot 71, and Carolina Melgrati of Arizona came in third, shooting 72 on Wednesday for a one over par total.
Oregon now moves to the NCAA Regionals, which will be held May 9 - 11 at a course to be determined. There will be 72 teams that qualify for regionals. The NCAA is expanding the number of regional hosts this year to six locations and is also increasing the number of individual invitees not on qualifying teams from 24 to 36. Regional host sites include Stanford Golf Course, Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tennessee, The Championship Course at UNM in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the University of Michigan Golf Course in Ann Arbor, Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Oklahoma and Seminole Legacy Golf Course in Tallahassee, Florida.
Wherever Oregon plays, there will be 12 total teams along with six individuals from non-qualifying teams. At each regional, the top 4 teams along with the top 2 individual players from non-qualifying teams will advance to the NCAA Championships, which will be held May 20-25 on the Raptor Course at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.