ERIE, Colo.—The No. 10 University of Colorado women’s golf team turned in the best performance in school history, recording a 9-under par 279 to move from a tie for ninth to finish fourth here at the 2012 NCAA West Regional, qualifying for the NCAA Championships for the first time.
CU hosted the regional at Colorado National Golf Club and the Buffs performance was key given the fact that only eight teams advance to the NCAA Championships, which will be held May 22-25, at The Legends Course in Franklin, Tenn., meaning the Buffs began the day below the cut.
The Buffaloes 9-under par 279 performance is tied for the second best team round in school history and all five CU players were under par for the first time in school history. It’s a new postseason team record by five strokes, topping a 4-under par 284 this same team shot at the Pac-12 Championships on April 28, and it’s 19 strokes better than CU’s postseason record headed into this season.
Top-ranked and seeded UCLA and No. 2 seed and No. 7 ranked LSU were deemed co-champions with 9-over par totals of 873, but this is the only tournament each year where being eighth is just as good as being first, and that is the only place a tiebreaker to determine top seeding for the NCAA Championships. UCLA won the tiebreaker based on their top regional seed.
No. 7 seed and No. 19 ranked Pepperdine matched CU’s best team score of 9-under par 279 to finish at 11-over par 875 and in third place, two strokes ahead of the Buffs total of 13-over par 877. No. 6 seed and 17th-ranked Baylor and No. 14 seed and 40th-ranked Stanford tied for fifth, both tied at 15-over par 879. Stanford was the leader after both the first and second round. No. 3 seed and sixth-ranked North Carolina finished seventh at 16-over par 880 and No. 9 seed and 26th ranked Oklahoma took the final seed, finishing at 26-over par 890.
It became evident after the conclusion of the morning wave that the top seven teams were fairly safe to advance. Oklahoma was in the afternoon wave and prevailed from a group of four or five that began the day looking to stay below 29-over par, which is where both Texas Tech and California finished after the morning wave. The Sooners shot a 1-over par 289, the best score of the afternoon wave and fifth-best score of the round, to advance.
Senior Emily Talley led the way for the Buffaloes with a 4-under par 68, the best postseason round in CU history, bettering her 69 she shot in the second round of the Pac-12 Championships. Sophomore Jenny Coleman matched that 69 in the final round, marking just the third time in CU history two players recorded rounds in the 60s, with the other two such instances happening at the Clover Cup in March.
Talley finished her round with six birdies and two bogeys in her round to hit 4-under. She had a stretch making the turn where she had four birdies in six holes to go to 5-under. Kristin Coleman had three birdies and a pair of bogeys for her 1-under round.
Talley’s 68 is the fourth-best of her career and her third round in the 60s this season and seventh of her career. Her three rounds in the 60s this season matches a CU record she already shared. Talley finished at 4-over par 220 and was tied for 16th individually. She matched sophomore Kristin Coleman at 4-over 220, who became the 10th CU player to have two subpar rounds in a tournament. Kristin Coleman shot a 1-under par 71 in both the first and third rounds.
Jenny Coleman’s 69 matched her career best round and is her second round in the 60s this season. She finished at 3-over par 219 and tied for 10th place, giving her the fifth top 10 performance of the season. She finished her round with an eagle, five birdies and four bogeys. She eagled the 615-yard, Par 5 No. 15, turning in one of six eagles by the field in the tournament but the only one on No. 15.
Senior Jess Wallace shot 1-under par 71 and tied for 26th with a three round total of 5-over par 221. She recorded her 14th career subpar round, moving her into sole possession of second place in the CU record book. Book Alex Stewart rebounded from having to with drawl in the second round to post a 1-under par she had three birdies and two bogeys in her round.