SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – A terrific 2021 season for the Oregon women’s golf team came to an end at the NCAA Championships on Monday in the final round of stroke play at Grayhawk Golf Club.
Oregon recorded its second-best round of the tournament with a 4-over 292 to finish in 11th place at 23-over par, just two strokes back of the cut line to advance to match play.
The Ducks notched the third-best NCAA Championships finish in program history in 11th place, and second-best since 2000. Oregon’s 23-over 1,175 ranks No. 2 all-time in a 72-hole tournament.
“I’m so incredibly proud of this team,” said head coach Derek Radley. “They battled so hard over the last four days and proved to themselves and everyone else that they belong here with the best teams in the nation. This was such a valuable experience for our student-athletes and a tremendous learning experience. The sky is the limit for this young squad and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”
How it Happened: Oregon was led by a tremendous bounce-back performance from junior Tze-Han (Heather) Lin, who fired the best round of the tournament by a Duck with a 2-under 70. After not contributing a counting score in each of the last two rounds, Lin went bogey-free with 16 pars and two birdies for her second par-or-better round of the season.
Sophomore Ching-Tzu Chen was solid for the third straight day, making two birdies in her final four holes to close with an even-par 72. Chen’s opening-round score on Friday did not count for Oregon, but she came back with back-to-back 1-under 71s and then a 72 on Monday to shoot 2 under over the final three rounds in Scottsdale.
Sophomore Sofie Kibsgaard Nielsen matched her best round of the tournament with a 2-over 72, shooting even par across her final 11 holes. Freshman Hsin-Yu (Cynthia) Lu rounded out the counting scores with a 4-over 76.
Ducks on the Leaderboard:
11. Oregon – 290-300-293-292 – 1175 (+23)
T20. Ching-Tzu Chen – 77-71-71-72 – 291 (+3)
T44. Briana Chacon – 71-72-73-79 – 295 (+7)
T59. Hsin-Yu (Cynthia) Lu – 72-78-73-76 – 299 (+11)
T66. Tze-Han (Heather) Lin – 73-81-77-70 – 301 (+13)
T70. Sofie Kibsgaard Nielsen – 74-79-76-74 – 303 (+15)
What it Means: Playing a lineup that featured a freshman, three sophomores and a junior – none of whom had ever competed at the NCAA Championships – the Ducks were in contention from start to finish with the top teams in the country. Oregon is in just its third season under Radley and assistant coach Monica Vaughn, and the Ducks will use this experience as a springboard going into 2021-22. The 2022 and 2023 NCAA Championships will be held at Grayhawk Golf Club.
Notable: Chen’s 3-over 291 is the second-best individual 72-hole performance in program history, and Chacon’s 7-over 295 slots in at No. 7 … Chen earned her fourth top-20 finish of the season in a tie for 20th overall … Chen led Oregon with 13 total birdies after making four on Monday … Chacon and Lin tied for the team lead with 45 total pars apiece.