CLE ELUM — The first goal for teams at the NCAA West Regional at Tumble Creek Club at Suncadia Resort was to be among the top eight women’s squads, out of 24 competing, to earn a ticket to the NCAA championships.
But with Washington virtually assured that entering the final round Saturday, the Huskies took aim at the team title on a windy day with tough scoring conditions.
In the No. 11 Huskies’ way was top-ranked USC, and the final round became a two-team battle before the Trojans won by a shot at 12-over 876. Washington, which had a final-round best 9-over 297, had a chance on the final hole but finished at 877.
“We just ran out of holes,” said UW coach Mary Lou Mulflur. “They played well and fought hard. The wind was just brutal out there, but our team really hung tough.”
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Washington was 12 shots better than No. 6 Arizona State, which finished third.
Arizona State’s Noemi Jimenez won the individual title, finishing at 3-under 213. Washington’s SooBin Kim, who was tied for the lead entering the final round, tied for second with USC’s Annie Park, two shots behind the winner at 1-under 215.
“SooBin played great,” Mulflur said. “She had a little trouble judging the wind today, but I was proud how she battled back. It was awesome to see her respond and not throw in the towel.”
Washington’s Charlotte Thomas was sixth at 217, and teammate Jennifer Yang was seventh at 218.
“Charlotte and Jen Yang played beautiful golf today,” Mulflur said. “We had it in our sights, and there is nothing to be ashamed of. This was a very competitive regional.”
Washington now eyes the NCAA championships, May 20-23 in Tulsa, Okla.
“It’s great to be going back to nationals,” said Mulflur.
Gonzaga finished in 20th at 90-over 954 after a 318.