On the PGA Tour, Saturdays have become known as “moving day.” Players try to use that day to move into contention for a title which will be decided on Sunday. One of the hallmarks of Oregon’s golf program during the 2022 season is their successful use of “moving days” and this weekend’s opening rounds of the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships were no exception.
The Oregon Women’s Golf team is one of 24 schools competing at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. Five players for each school compete each day, with the top 4 scores counting toward the team total. Players also compete as individuals for overall low-score Medalist honors. Conditions knocked teams around a bit on Friday’s Day One, as a windy day inflated scores. The Ducks shot 9-over-par in the opening round, good for 7th place and 8 shots behind Stanford. Tze-Han Lin led Oregon with an even-par 72, which was good for 6th place amongst individual players.
Saturday, however, turned out to be Oregon’s moving day, as the Ducks shot the best round of the tournament to that point by any team, an even-par round of 288. This vaulted the team up the leaderboard from 7th to 2nd, matching their national ranking coming into the tournament. Lin and Sofie Kibsgaard Nielsen shot one-under-par 71s and Briana Chacon and Ching-Tzu Chen each carded one-over 73s on the day. Stanford still led the team competition, but Oregon had closed to just a 4-shot deficit with UCLA now just one shot back of the Ducks. Lin moved up to 4th overall, and Nielsen jumped all the way to 6th.
Round three on Sunday found Oregon picking up strokes on most of the field and increasing their hold on 2nd while losing a bit of ground to Stanford. Lin again was a top scorer for Oregon, recording another 1-under-par 71, along with Hsin-Yu Lu also shot 71 while Chen came in at even par 72. The Ducks finished the day with a 9-over-par total and now trailed Stanford by 9 shots. Texas A&M moved into 3rd trailing Oregon by 4 shots and UCLA was 5th one more shot back of the Ducks. Lin moved into a tie for 2nd overall.
The NCAA golf championships work a bit differently than the normal regular season tournaments. The first four days of play end up “seeding” the top 8 team finishers for match play with the other 16 teams eliminated. There will be two rounds of match play today and the Championship match-up will take place Wednesday. After three rounds, Oregon was in a great position for a high seeding
Monday’s round four was for match-play positioning, and Oregon did what it needed to. The Ducks carded a team score of 291, giving them an overall total for the 4 days of stroke play of 12-over-par 1164 and finishing with the #2 seed. Oregon also closed the gap with Stanford for the #1 seed to just 3 strokes. Chen and Nielsen were top scorers for Oregon on Monday, shooting even par 72. Lin shot 74 and finished in 5th place overall for individuals.
In match play, all 5 players compete against the 5 players from the other school in individual matches with 3 matches won required to advance. In today’s quarterfinal team match-play round, Oregon faced #7 seeded San Jose State. At press time two matches were still on the course but Chen, Chacon and Lu had won their matches. Lin was leading with one hole to play and Nielsen was trailing. Oregon will face the winner of the #3/#6 match, either Texas A&M or Florida State this afternoon.
You can follow the results here or check back in the comments for updates. Go Ducks!