It was a great run for UW Women's Golf. It took a lot of hard work and few amazing shots to get them all the way to match play in the NCAA Championships in Bradenten, FL. Ultimately, it went down to the wire with a familar foe as UW was eliminated by USC on Tuesday morning.
UW fell 3-2 to the Trojans after a close fought match. Jennifer Yang was UW's last golfer on the course with the match tied 2-2. She left it all out there after scoring birdies on 15 and 16 before giving a stroke back on 17.
It was a record-setting season for UW Women's Golf. Their six victories on the year is an all-time mark for the program. The Huskies and head coach Mary Lou Mulflur have many pieces to work with next season, including the return of budding star in junior Charlotte Thomas.
While a loss is always bittersweet, it was a great season for the Dawgs. We salute our golfers with a big #WOOF!
Here is the full UW press release courtesy Ricky Brackett:
Dawgs Fall To USC In Quarterfinals Of Match PlayRelease: 05/26/2015
BRADENTON, Fla. - Just like they have all season, Washington battled down to the final shot in the quarterfinals of match play at the NCAA Championships. Unfortunately for the Huskies, they would come up shot, falling 3-2 to USC.
"We played well today," said head coach Mary Lou Mulflur. "They were just a little better. It came down to the last match and things just didn't go our way late. This team refused to die all season long and I am very proud of them."
The defeat ends a memorable season for the Huskies who set a school record with six victories during the season and finished eighth in the stroke play portion of the NCAA Finals.
Okino lost the first hole, but evened things up on the second and took the lead for good on the fourth. The senior made the turn with a 3-up lead and blitzed to a 5 & 4 win over Amy Lee.
Thomas was just as dominant in her win over Kyung Kim of USC. She never trailed, making the turn at 4-up and winning 6 & 5. It completed a great week for the junior who finished tied for 12th in stroke play and had the clinching hole to get the Dawgs into match play.
That left three matches on the course with Huskies trailing in each, needing to win one more. Eimi Koga was the furthest along, but fell 3 & 1 when Karen Chung of USC made a birdie on the 17th hole. Koga chipped in on the sixth hole to square the match, but fell back behind on the eighth and was never again able to even it up.
Ying Luo was the Huskies next best chance, but could not win the 18th hole, meaning a 1-up win for Annie Park of the Trojans. Luo lost the first four holes of the match, but came all the way back to even things up on the 11th hole. She won the sixth, seventh, eighth and birdied eleven to complete the comeback. Park retook the lead on the 13th and extended it to two on the 14th, but Luo again came back to win the 15th, but then halved the final three holes.
Tied at 2-2, Jennifer Yang was the last Husky on the course. The senior had made back-to-back long birdies on the 14th and 15th holes to even her match, but lost the 16th hole to fall 1-down. Playing the 17th, both Yang and opponent Annie Park played their second into the hazard, going for the green in two on the par-five. Each was able to play out of the hazard, though Yang's lie was much worse, giving the Trojans the advantage. Park was able to make par to close out Yang 2 & 1.
"We knew it came down to Yang's match and that was the one we had to have, but really you have to have them all," said Mulflur. "That match ends up being the one that made a difference, but they all make a difference."
It was an abrupt ending to a great tournament for the Dawgs. The Huskies played sensational golf over the final two days of stroke play just to advance to match play and then battled the Trojans down to the final holes.
"I told them they have nothing to hang their heads about. They finished in the top-eight teams of 250-something in the country. They should be proud of the season they had."