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NORMAN, Okla. -- After sitting in fifth place late in Wednesday's final round of the 15-team, season-opening Dale McNamara NCAA Fall Preview, the fifth-ranked Oklahoma women's golf team registered four birdies over the last three holes to finish in second place with a three-round 855 (+12) in Tulsa, Okla. The tournament, played at the 6,136-yard, par-70 Tulsa Country Club, featured 11 of the country's top 12 teams according to Golfweek's preseason rankings.
Oklahoma shot a final-round 2-over-par 282 and finished four shots behind No. 1-ranked USC. The Sooners finished three shots in front of third-place Oklahoma State and four strokes ahead of Alabama and Duke, who are ranked second and fourth in the nation.
“We had a solid week,” said OU head coach Veronique Drouin-Luttrell, who has led the Sooners to back-to-back top-10 national finishes. “This was one the of the best fields we'll see this fall. I'm happy with the way we finished today and made some birdies on the last couple holes. Our goal for this round was to finish strong and we did exactly that. We are close to where we want to be and I know we will work hard to get better in some areas of our games.”
Senior Chirapat Jao-Javanil was OU's top finisher, tying for 12th place out of 75 competitors at 2 over par (212) after shooting a final-round 70 (E). The two-time All-American and 2012 NCAA champion was key to the Sooners' late surge with two birdies over her final three holes.
Freshman Alexandra Kaui and senior Kaitlyn Rohrback tied for 15th place at +4 (214). Rohrback's three-round total was just two shots off her career best, a 212 at the 2012 Alamo Invitational. In her first collegiate tournament, Kaui overcame a triple bogey on hole 15 Wednesday by shooting 3 under par on the other 17 holes en route to an even-par 70.
Senior Anne Catherine Tanguay enjoyed her best round of the tournament, registering three birdies on the day for a team-best 69 (-1). Tanguay was in 56th place after shooting a 76 (+6) in Monday's first round but rebounded nicely to finish the event tied for 24th.
After recording a 72 (+2) in each of the first two rounds, senior Emily Collins carded a third-round 76 (+6) and finished the tournament tied for 39th place.
The Tulsa Country Club will host the 2014 NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championships May 20-23.
The Sooners will be back to the course Oct. 5-7 when they compete in The Schooner Fall Classic at Belmar Golf Club in Norman.