NORMAN – Oklahoma women's golf sophomore Julienne Soo advanced to the 2017 NCAA Championships after qualifying as an individual at the NCAA Lubbock Regional. The tournament was held at the par-72, 6,593-yard Rawls Course in Lubbock, Texas.
The Sooners saved their best round for last, firing a 285 (-3) on the day, but did not place in the coveted top six to qualify for the national tournament as a team. The squad tallied a three-round 885 (+21) and finished the tournament in ninth place. No. 2-seed Arizona State topped the leaderboard with an 842 (-22) and No. 3 Furman finished second at 863 (-1). No. 12 Oregon rounded out the top three with an 866 (+2). No. 5 Texas, No. 9 Texas Tech and No. 4 Kent State make up the final three teams advancing to NCAAs.
Soo, who was the top individual not on an advancing team, fired a three-round 213 (-3) to finish the tournament in seventh place. The sophomore registered a bogey-free 69 (-3) in the final round to secure her ticket to the national tournament. Her appearance marks the first for the Sooners since the 2013-14 season and the first individual qualifier for Oklahoma since Ellen Mueller qualified for the championships as an individual in 2010.
The South Yarra, Australia, native was a 2017 All-Big 12 Team selection and is on pace to tally the lowest season-scoring average in program history. Soo currently has a 71.70 (-0.21) ¬¬and the record is 72.26 (+0.44)
“Jules played solid again this week,” OU head coach Veronique Drouin-Luttrell said. “I'm really proud of everything she has been able to accomplish so far this season, and I'm excited that she will have a chance to represent us at the national tournament.”
Junior Hannah Wood registered a 75 (+3) in Wednesday's final round to finish the tournament in a share of 32nd place at 222 (+6). Classmate Valerie Tanguay double bogeyed her first hole but pocketed five birdies in the round, including one on her final hole, to finish the third round at 71 (+1). Tanguay shared 41st place at 225 (+9).
Rylee Pedigo made big strides in the final round, registering four birdies on the day en route to a 71 (-1). The junior, who finished tied for 53rd place (226; +10), sat at +1 through 12 holes but tallied birdies on her 14th and 16th holes to finish under par.
Junior Ana Ruiz recorded a 79 (+7) on Wednesday to finish in a share of 80th place at 236 (+20).
“I'm really proud of this team,” Drouin-Luttrell said. “We had a great year and came up short at regionals. I know that we will be back stronger next year with even more depth than we've ever had.”
The NCAA Lubbock Regional marks the final tournament for the Sooners as a team this season. Soo will continue the 2016-17 season on May 19-21 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill., for the 2017 NCAA Championships.