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NORMAN, Okla. -- The University of Oklahoma women's golf team finished in second place at the inaugural Schooner Fall Classic on Monday at Belmar Golf Club in Norman after firing a final-round 1-over-par 281, its best round of the tournament. It was the second second-place showing for OU in as many events this season.
The fourth-ranked Sooners were aiming to finish off a miraculous comeback after ending Saturday's opening round in 12th place. OU jumped to fourth place following Sunday's second round but could not catch tournament champion Oklahoma State on the final day. The Cowgirls shot a third-round 279 (-1) and edged the Sooners by six strokes.
Mother Nature finally relented on Monday after chilly and windy conditions ruled the weekend. Temperatures topped out in the mid-70s Monday and winds were negligent.
"We played really solid today," said OU head coach Veronique Drouin-Luttrell. "We knew the conditions were going to be a little easier. We knew we had to take advantage and try to move up the leaderboard a little more. The girls knew what they had to do. We knew some of the tee boxes were going to be moved up, so we just adjusted with our plan and played well."
Leading the way for the Sooners on the par-70 course Monday were seniors Emily Collins and Kaitlyn Rohrback. Each carded a 1-under-par 69 in the final round. Collins played bogey-free golf on the front nine and added three birdies on the back nine and finished the tournament tied for 32nd place out of 78 competitors at +13. Rohrback, who shot a 77 Saturday and a 78 Sunday, played by far her best round of the tournament Monday. She bogeyed just one hole and registered a pair of birdies en route to a 36th-place tie (+14).
“I had some close approach shots and had a lot of two putts, which was good,” Rohrback said of her final 18 holes. “I hit a lot of greens today which made a big difference for me.”
Senior Anne-Catherine Tanguay carded a final-round 71 (+1) and tied for 16th place with a three-round 218 (+8). It marked her 21st top-20 finish in 35 career events.
Freshman Alexandra Kaui and senior Chirapat Jao-Javanil rounded out the Sooners’ scoring Monday, both registering a 72 (+2). Kaui was OU’s top finisher in the event, tying for 10th place with a 216 (+6). Kaui’s 69 on Sunday marked her first collegiate under-par round. Jao-Javanil tied for 39th place at +15.
Maggie Neece, another freshman, competed individually for the Sooners. Neece improved each day, starting with a 79 Saturday and following with a 76 on Sunday and a 73 in the final round. She tied for 48th place (+18).
Rohrback spoke for the team when she said the tournament was a rousing success. Proceeds from the event, which was put on by the Toby Keith Foundation, will benefit the OK Kids Korral at the OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City.
“It was a great tournament,” Rohrback said. “All of the teams had so much fun. Everybody I played with told me how great of an event it was. I’ve played a lot of college golf tournaments, but this is definitely the best I’ve been to so far.”
Coach Drouin-Luttrell echoed Rohrback’s sentiments and said she’s already looking forward to next year’s tournament.
“Belmar and the Toby Keith Foundation did a fantastic job,” Drouin-Luttrell said. “We’ve heard a lot of good things from other teams and everybody is excited for the second event next year. I think it’s going to be awesome.”
The Sooners are back in action at the Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invitational Oct. 11-13 (Friday through Sunday) in Chapel Hill, N.C.