Duck Men Earn Top 5 Finish in Challenging Field
Nate Stember delivered a remarkable final-round performance with a score of 66, securing a tie for third place at the Ben Hogan Collegiate Invitational on Tuesday. Stember’s outstanding play also spearheaded the 22nd-ranked Oregon men’s golf team to a commendable fourth-place finish, competing in a field that featured 13 other top 25 programs.
Stember began the day tied for 15th place on the leaderboard with a score of 2-under. The experienced fifth-year senior showcased his prowess by sinking four birdies and maintaining a bogey-free round throughout the final 18 holes. His exceptional play propelled him to a final score of 6-under and a remarkable ascent of 12 spots in the standings.
Greg Solhaug also contributed significantly to the team’s performance, concluding a solid tournament with a 1-under score in the final round, ultimately finishing 4-under for the tournament. This achievement secured him a coveted spot within the top 10, marking his first such accomplishment of the season.
Owen Avrit showed remarkable consistency with a solid performance, shooting an even-par 70 in the third round. His overall score of 1-over landed him among the top 25 finishers.
Greyson Leach posted a score of 72 in the third round, finishing the tournament at 3-over. Impressively, he recorded 12 birdies during the event, showcasing his ability to compete at a high level.
After facing challenges in the initial 36 holes on Monday, sophomore Aiden Krafft responded with an impressive display, carding a remarkable 4-under 66 in his final round. This stellar performance provided a significant boost to the Ducks’ overall team score.
Oregon showcased consistent improvement throughout the tournament, culminating in an impressive 9-under 271 in the third round, marking the second-lowest team score of the day. The Ducks concluded the competition just four strokes behind the leaders and managed to finish ahead of two top-five programs, Florida State and Georgia Tech.
Ben Hogan Collegiate Invitational
Shady Oaks Country Club – Par 70 (6,885 yards)
4. Oregon 281-276-271—828 (-12)
T3. Nate Stember 70-68-66—204 (-6)
T7. Greg Solhaug 70-67-69—206 (-4)
T25. Owen Avrit 70-71-70—211 (+1)
T34. Greyson Leach 71-70-72—213 (+3)
T48. Aiden Krafft 74-77-66—217 (+7)
Super Seniors Power Lady Ducks in Chicago
In a thrilling late-round performance, fifth-year seniors Ching-Tzu Chen and Briana Chacon propelled the Oregon women’s golf team to secure a remarkable third-place finish at the Windy City Collegiate Classic on Tuesday, held at the Glen View Club.
The Ducks closed out the final round with an impressive 8-under 280, concluding their tournament at 22-under par. This outstanding effort put them just one stroke ahead of their competitors from Duke, Texas, and Wake Forest. The four key players for Oregon collectively shot 5-under par on the last two holes of the day, with Chen and Chacon contributing a remarkable 4-under to the team’s score. Chen, in particular, capped her best tournament of the fall with a birdie-birdie finish, while Chacon delivered an eagle from 86 yards on her final hole.
Still rolling.— Oregon Women's Golf (@OregonWGolf) October 2, 2023
Freshman Kiara Romero leads Oregon in R2 with a 3-under 69, her eighth straight round of par-or-better to open her collegiate career #GoDucks
This marks Oregon’s third top-three finish in as many fall tournaments, showcasing their dominance with a combined score of 73-under par and an impressive competitive record of 32-3. The Ducks narrowly missed second place by just one stroke behind host Northwestern, with UCLA emerging as the team title holder at an astonishing 32-under par.
Chen’s return to the lineup, following her participation as an individual at the Molly Collegiate Invitational where she tied for 13th overall, proved to be pivotal. After carding a 3-under 69 and 2-under 70 in the first two rounds on Monday, Chen added another 3-under 69 to finish as the top Duck on the leaderboard, tying for fourth overall at 8 under.
Chacon’s remarkable eagle contributed to her 2-under 70, placing her in a tie for 11th overall at 6 under, while freshman Kiara Romero continued her impressive start to her collegiate career, tying for 14th at 5 under.
Overcoming Early Struggles
The day began with the Ducks in fifth place, but they made an exceptional comeback on the back nine, shooting 4 under. Although they faced 10 total bogeys on the first five holes on the front nine, they managed just three over the final four holes, thanks to seven birdies and Chacon’s eagle, which allowed them to leapfrog Texas and Wake Forest while staying ahead of Duke.
Chen was steady through 13 holes before gaining momentum with a birdie at No. 5. Her back-to-back birdies to close her round gave her a team-high total of 14 for the week, tied for third-most in the field. Chen finished just one stroke behind the second-place finisher and three strokes behind individual medalist Lauryn Nguyen of Northwestern.
Chacon began her round with a hot start, recording a birdie on her third hole of the day, putting her at 1 under through 10 holes. Although she faced two bogeys and a birdie, she managed to finish even going into hole No. 9, where she delivered an eagle from the fairway, the Ducks’ only eagle of the week.
Romero concluded her week with a 1-under 71, maintaining her perfect record of par-or-better rounds in her collegiate career. She made three birdies in four holes just before the turn and added another birdie at No. 3 to reach 2 under. Despite a bogey on No. 5, she finished strong with four straight pars to remain under par, securing her third straight top-15 finish.
Senior Minori Nagano rebounded from a challenging second round on Monday, contributing to Oregon’s counting scores with a 2-under 70 on Tuesday. She produced two birdies in her final four holes, helping the Ducks’ strong finish.
Team Standings (top five):
1. UCLA – 272-280-280 – 832 (-32)
2. Northwestern – 279-282-280 – 841 (-23)
3. Oregon – 280-282-280 – 842 (-22)
T4. Duke – 283-281-279 – 843 (-21)
T4. Texas – 282-279-282 – 843 (-21)
T4. Wake Forest – 273-279-281 – 843 (-21)
Ducks on the Leaderboard:
T4. Ching-Tzu Chen – 69-70-69 – 208 (-8)
T11. Briana Chacon – 68-72-70 – 210 (-6)
T14. Kiara Romero – 71-69-71 – 211 (-5)
T46. Ashleigh Park – 72-71-74 – 217 (+1)
T53. Minori Nagano – 72-77-70 – 219 (+3)
T59. Anika Varma* - 72-74-74 – 220 (+4)
* Competing as an individual
Ladies Nab First Team Win of the Season
Senior Ashleigh Park clinched her first-ever career victory, igniting the Oregon women’s golf team to claim their inaugural team win of the 2023-24 season, marking their eighth under the stewardship of head coach Derek Radley. The win came September 26 at the Molly Collegiate Invitational in Seaside, CA.
Entering the final day of competition at Bayonet Golf Course in third place, three strokes behind the leader, the Ducks orchestrated a spectacular comeback with a scintillating 11-under 277 in the final round. This surge propelled them to tie for first place with California at 28-under par, and Oregon secured the team title by winning the fifth-score tiebreaker against the Golden Bears. The dynamic trio of Park, Minori Nagano, and Kiara Romero combined their talents to shoot 11-under par in the final round, catalyzing Oregon’s impressive comeback victory.
Park maintained her grip on the leaderboard, holding a two-stroke lead through 36 holes after posting a 4-under 68 and a 5-under 67 on Monday. She continued her dominance with another impressive 4-under 68 on Tuesday. Although she faced an early bogey on No. 1, Park rebounded with three birdies on the front nine, making the turn at 2 under. She offset a bogey on No. 12 with birdies on No. 11 and No. 13 and added her sixth birdie of the day at No. 16 to secure a commanding four-stroke victory at 13-under par.
This marked the first individual medalist performance of Park’s collegiate career and the second consecutive win for the Ducks after Romero’s victory at the Annika Intercollegiate.
Nagano, finishing at 8 under, and Romero, at 6 under, joined Park in the individual top 10, tying for fifth and 10th place, respectively. Ching-Tzu Chen also delivered a strong performance as an individual, tying for 13th overall at 4 under, while Briana Chacon secured a tie for 20th at 1 under, contributing to Oregon’s dominance with five players in the top 20.
The march to victory came on the back nine of the course, with the Ducks’ lineup combining for 12 birdies against just five bogeys. The front nine saw the team make 13 birdies but also encounter nine bogeys.
The final four holes proved to be Oregon’s stronghold, where they shot a remarkable bogey-free 6 under from hole No. 15 to No. 18. This trend continued from the Annika Intercollegiate, where they collectively shot 13-under par across the final five holes to secure their second-place finish.
Park, Nagano, and Romero collectively amassed 16 birdies during the day, facing only five bogeys in contrast. Nagano remained flawless at 3 under without a bogey through her initial 13 holes, while Romero remained bogey-free with four birdies in her final 12 holes.
Chacon’s strong finish helped seal the team victory. Despite being 2 over through 10 holes, she rallied with back-to-back birdies on holes 15-16 and remained bogey-free for the remainder of her round, concluding with an even-par 72.
Team Standings (Top five):
T1. Oregon – 280-279-277 – 836 (-28)
T1. California – 271-286-279 – 836 (-28)
3. San Jose State – 280-276-285 – 841 (-23)
4. Oregon State – 281-289-283 – 853 (-11)
5. Maryland – 285-283-290 – 858 (-6)
Ducks on the Leaderboard:
1. Ashleigh Park – 68-67-68 – 203 (-13)
T5. Minori Nagano – 70-69-69 – 208 (-8)
10. Kiara Romero – 71-71-68 – 210 (-6)
T13. Ching-Tzu Chen* - 71-68-73 – 212 (-4)
T20. Briana Chacon – 71-72-72 – 215 (-1)
35. Anika Varma – 75-73-72 – 220 (+4)
* Competed as an individual
The Oregon Ladies will journey to the Bay Area and close out the fall tournament schedules the Stanford Intercollegiate on October 20-22. The Men’s team wraps their fall schedule at the Cal Poly Invitational October 30-31.