Aztecs fall one stroke shy of sixth-place cutoff mark for national championships
Photo: Mila Chaves finished a solo 12th at the San Francisco Regional on Wednesday. Courtesy goaztecs.com
May 9, 2018 (San Francisco) - Despite recording its highest placement ever in a regional tournament, the San Diego State women’s golf team fell just short in its bid for the first NCAA Championship appearance in program history after tying for seventh at the San Francisco Regional on Wednesday at TPC Harding Park Golf Course.
For the second time this week, the Aztecs established a school record for lowest 18-hole team score in a regional event, logging a collective 1-under-par 287 during the final round on the par-72, 6,369-yard layout. However, the Scarlet and Black ultimately finished one stroke shy of the coveted sixth-place cutoff mark, posting a three-day total of 6-over 870, as Colorado (+5) wrested the regional’s final berth in the NCAA Championships away from SDSU and Oklahoma State.
The Aztecs, who entered the day in 11th place, vaulted back into contention after draining a collective seven birdies against two bogeys over the first five holes. Weathering a mid-round stretch of seven counted bogeys and one double bogey, SDSU received spot-free performances from its top four players over the last six holes, but was unable to position itself for a possible playoff to determine the final spot.
Individually, the Aztecs boasted two top-15 golfers, including Mila Chaves (Ascunción, Paraguay), who finished alone in 12th place with a 2-under 214 after carding a 73 on Wednesday. The reigning Mountain West champion opened with a birdie on the 10th green, but suffered two hiccups with a bogey at the par-5 12th, followed by an untimely double bogey on the par-4, 317-yard No. 16, which knocked her out of the top five on the leaderboard. However, the SDSU senior regrouped with two additional birdies on the back nine, including a successful conversion at the par-3, 180-yard No. 8, which ranked as the fifth-toughest hole of the week.
With her total, Chaves set an Aztec individual record for lowest three-round score in a regional tournament, logging the team’s highest finish in postseason competition since Malin Enarsson tied for the 12th spot at the Central Regional in 2010.
In addition, Haleigh Krause (Eugene, Ore.) registered her highest placement of the year, tying for the 13th position with a 1-under 215 thanks to a final-round 70. The Aztec senior sank three birdies of her own, including an impressive make on the par-4, 380-yard No. 13, which ranked as the third-most difficult hole of the tournament. Krause also notched a team-high 14 pars, including eight straight down the stretch to jump eight places in the standings.
Similarly, fellow classmate Georgia Lacey (Del Mar, Calif.) registered her highest finish in four regional appearances, tying for 40th at 5-over 221 after shooting a 73. The Torrey Pines High product began her back-nine with an inopportune bogey at the par-4 No. 1, but played spot-free golf the rest of the way, collecting seven pars to go with a birdie on the par-4, 390-yard No. 6.
Meanwhile, Sara Kjellker (Hollviken, Sweden) rebounded from a shaky second round to tie her season-best with a 71 on Wednesday. The Aztec freshman paced the squad with four birdies, including a three on her first five holes, capped by an impressive drain on the par-4, 400-yard 14th, which ranked as the sixth-toughest green of the round. Despite back-to-back bogeys at No. 2 and No. 3, Kjellker still leaped 17 places into the 55th position at 7-over 223.
The SDSU lineup also included Gioia Carpinelli (Boppelsen, Switzerland), who tied for 79th at 14-over 230 in her initial regional appearance after shooting a final-round 78. The Aztec freshman opened with five straight pars and was just 2-over for the day at the turn, but could not regroup on the back nine where she suffered four additional bogeys.
Host Stanford (-8) captured the San Francisco Regional title with an eight-shot victory over UCLA (-4), while Ole Miss (-1), Louisville (E), Kent State (+1) and the aforementioned Colorado squad punched their tickets to the NCAA Championships as well.
UCLA’s Patty Tavatanakit (-8) shot a final-round 67 to jump three places on the leaderboard and claim medalist honors over Stanford’s Emily Wang (-7), while Bruin teammate Mariel Galdiano, California’s Marthe Wold and Ole Miss’ Julia Johnson each tied for third at 6-under.
Wold was one of three individuals not on an advancing team to qualify for nationals, joining Pepperdine’s Hira Naveed (-5) and Oklahoma State’s Emma Broze (-3), who defeated NC State’s Laura Kowohl in a sudden-death playoff.
2018 San Francisco Regional
TPC Harding Park G.C.
San Francisco, Calif.
Par 72, 6,369 yards
(Top six teams advance to NCAA Championships)
1. Stanford…287-287-282—856 (-8)
2. UCLA…280-295-285—860 (-4)
3. Ole Miss…290-287-286—863 (-1)
4. Louisville…287-294-283—864 (E)
5. Kent State…284-290-291—865 (+1)
6. Colorado…284-298-287—869 (+5)
T7. San Diego State…289-294-287—870 (+6)
T7. Oklahoma State…291-289-290—870 (+4)
9. North Carolina…289-292-290—871 (+5)
10. South Carolina…296-289-288—873 (+9)
11. Pepperdine…297-285-294—876 (+12)
12. California…297-292-290—879 (+15)
13. NC State…296-296-291—883 (+19)
14. Oregon…287-290-308—885 (+21)
15. Princeton…305-299-297—901 (+37)
16. Long Beach State…304-304-297—905 (+41)
17. Grand Canyon…306-306-300—912 (+48)
18. Farleigh Dickinson…315-312-309—937 (+73)
Individual Leaders (Top 5 of 96 players + SDSU)
1. Patty Tavatanakit, UCLA…68-73-67—208 (-8)
2. Emily Wang, Stanford…71-69-69—209 (-7)
T3. Julia Johnson, Ole Miss…71-72-67—210 (-6)
T3. Marthe Wold, California…71-70-69—210 (-6)
T3. Mariel Galdiano, UCLA…66-75-69—210 (-6)
12. Mila Chaves, SDSU…71-70-73—214 (-2)
T13. Haleigh Krause, SDSU…71-74-70—215 (-1)
T40. Georgia Lacey, SDSU…72-76-73—221 (+5)
55. Sara Kjellker, SDSU…75-77-71—223 (+7)
T79. Gioia Carpinelli, SDSU…78-74-78—230 (+14)