May 22, 2009
NORMAN, Okla. - University of Oklahoma women's golfer Kendall Dye fired a final-round 75 (+3) Friday at the NCAA Championships, closing her stellar career with a four-round 306 (+18) at the 6,443-yard, par-72 Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md. Dye jumped 56 spots over the course of the final three rounds and finished in 52nd place.
Dye struggled in the first round of the tournament, carding a season-high 82 (+10) to stand in 108th place. The senior seemed more like herself during round two when she turned in a solid one-over 73, which vaulted her to 72nd place. In the third round, Dye fired a 76 (+3) to bump her to 54th place.
"I had an extremely rough start to the tournament," Dye said. "I was disappointed in my score but I just forgot about it and went into the second round. It was a great test for the national championship. It was a long, but fun week."
Friday's fourth round for Dye, a 2009 All-Big 12 selection, was fairly consistent as she notched two birdies and recorded five bogeys. She shot one over par on the front side and two over on the back.
For Dye and head coach Carol Ludvigson, it marked a bittersweet end to their playing and coaching careers.
"It was an honor to have her here this week," Dye said of Ludvugson. "She's left such a positive mark on college golf. It's been an honor to have her 24 years of coaching experience here and it's just been a really fun week."
Arizona State stole the team title from defending national champion Southern California, which held the lead heading into Friday's final round. Arizona State fired a fourth-round 291 (+3) and posted a team total of 1,182 (+30), while UCLA finished eight shots back for second and USC nine shots back for third.
Individually, Purdue's Maria Hernandez claimed the national title with a four-round score of 289 (+1). USC's Jennifer Song finished one stroke behind Hernandez while Oklahoma State's Pernilla Lindberg finished two strokes back.
Dye's first-ever trip to the Division I Championship capped an outstanding senior season and career as a Sooner. The Edmond, Okla., native totaled 11 top-25 finishes in 2008-09, including two tournament wins (three total career first place finishes). Her wins at the Susie Maxwell and Big 12 Championship, both played in April, gave her Big 12 Golfer of the Month honors.
Dye matched her course excellence in the classroom, as she was named to the 2009 Academic All-Big 12 Team (also named Academic All-Big 12 as a sophomore and junior). On Thursday, Dye, a communications major, was selected to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VI second team for her 3.40 cumulative GPA.
Dye leaves her mark as one of the top golfers in OU history by holding a 76.33 career stroke average. It is the second best stroke average in school history behind Lisa Meldrum.
"I haven't looked too much into the stats," Dye said. "It'll probably take a few weeks to set in. It's been a dream come true and a treasure to play for Oklahoma, but this is the cherry on top."
1. Arizona State: 302-298-291-291=1182 (+30)
2. UCLA: 296-293-304-297=1190 (+38)
3. Southern California: 301-295-294-301=1191 (+39)
4. Oklahoma State: 303-297-309-290=1199 (+47)
5. Denver: 294-304-309-299=1206 (+54)
6. Duke: 308-301-301-296=1207 (+55)
7. North Carolina: 299-301-306-304=1210 (+58)
8. Virginia: 305-302-301-304=1212 (+60)
9. Pepperdine: 312-298-302-301=1213 (+61)
10. Purdue: 306-301-311-298=1216 (+64)
11. Alabama: 305-302-311-299=1217 (+65)
12. LSU: 302-304-309-304=1219 (+67)
T13. Michigan State: 307-303-315-300=1225 (+73)
T13. Wake Forest: 303-300-318-304=1125 (+73)
15. Georgia: 315-307-301-310=1234 (+82)
16. Arizona: 310-305-314-306=1235 (+83)
17. Tennessee: 307-313-306-311=1237 (+85)
18. TCU: 314-316-301-307=1238 (+86)
19. New Mexico: 311-314-307-310=1242 (+90)
20. Tulane: 312-305-317-312=1246 (+94)
21. UT Chattanooga: 316-307-304-320=1248 (+96)
22. UC Irvine: 320-316-312-301=1249 (+97)
23. Texas: 314-311-313-314=1252 (+100)
24. Ohio State: 323-311-314-310=1258 (+106)
1. Maria Hernandez, Purdue: 74-72-72-71=289 (+1)
2. Jennifer Song, Southern California: 72-73-71-74=290 (+2)
3. Pernilla Lindberg, Oklahoma State: 74-72-76-69=291 (+3)
T4. Amanda Blumenherst, Duke: 75-73-74-71=293 9+5)
T4. Azahara Munoz, Arizona State: 78-71-72-72=293 (+5)