BATON ROUGE, La. — Backed by a 3-under tournament performance from Lea Garner, No. 37 BYU women's golf placed in the top-6 at the 2016 Division I NCAA Women's Regional on Saturday, good to advance to the Division I NCAA Women's Golf Finals.
With the sixth-place finish, the Cougars qualify for a position in the Division I NCAA Women's Golf Finals held in Eugune, Oregon May 20-25.
"This finish means so much to these girls," BYU head coach Carrie Roberts said. "It makes every ounce of hard work worth it; it makes everything worth it. Our strong finish put us through. Although Lea (Garner) carried us, it was a definite team effort. We are a tough team and fought to the end."
Finishing the regional in sixth-place, the 2015-16 West Coast Conference champions took the last qualifying position out of 18 teams. The Cougars shot +20 for the tournament, squeaking by Houston (+21) for the last and final spot. BYU floated between sixth and seventh place throughout the third and final round, but the Cougars' 296 proved to be enough.
BYU shot a total team score of 884 through 54 holes. The Cougars birdied 11 holes in round three and finished with 27 birdies for the tournament.
Garner continued her solid play in Saturday's round. She shot 2 under through the first nine holes of the third round to help the Cougars keep placed within the top six teams. Garner's birdie on 18, along with Kendra Dalton's, sealed the sixth spot for BYU.
"Finishing with two birdies on the last hole put us through," WCC Coach of the Year Roberts said.
Garner tied for fourth place individually, shooting 3 under for the tournament. The senior placed fourth along with LSU's Elise Bradley and Duke's Sandy Choi. Her top-5 finish is her third of the 2015-16 season. Garner birdied six holes in the final round.
Rose Huang, Alexandra White and Brooklyn Hocker all tied for 44th place. Huang carded a 74 in Saturday's round of 18. She birdied the 13th hole to put Cougars at 15 over, within one stroke of Oregon. Huang shot 11 over in the NCAA Regional event. White shot 5 over on the day, while Hocker shot 7 over. Dalton tied for 64th place. She birdied two holes of the day, both of which were crucial to the Cougars' fate.
South Carolina and Florida tied for the top spot in the tournament at 7 under. South Carolina's Katelyn Dambaugh took home medalist honors, shooting 9 under through 54 holes.
BYU advances to the NCAA Finals for the first time since the 2006-07 season. The University of Oregon will play host to the incoming qualifying teams May 20-25.
NCAA Regionals - May 5-7, 2016
|Place||BYU Player||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Total||To-Par|
|Place||Team||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Total||To-Par|
|T1||No. 5 Florida||293||287||277||857||-7|
|T1||No. 24 South Carolina||290||277||290||857||-7|
|3||No. 13 Washington||286||289||288||863||-1|
|4||No. 4 Duke||298||287||285||870||+6|
|5||No. 20 Oregon||292||296||294||882||+18|
|6||No. 37 BYU||298||290||296||884||+20|
|7||No. 33 Houston||295||300||290||885||+21|
|8||No. 10 Arizona State||296||298||297||891||+27|
|T9||No. 28 East Carolina||301||301||302||904||+40|
|11||No. 48 LSU||299||310||296||905||+41|
|12||No. 30 NC State||307||307||293||907||+43|
|13||No. 44 Augusta||311||301||301||913||+49|