Courtesy of Oregon Athletics
Oregon had a lot going in its favor this week at the Pac-12 Championships.
Not only was second-ranked Oregon playing on its home course, but Derek Radley's team also offered up a heavy dose of Duck weather for three days, where cold temperatures, rain and soggy conditions made for trying conditions at Eugene Country Club.
And while others dropped by the wayside, Oregon, behind medalist Hsin-Yu Lu, played steady golf on Wednesday to claim its first-ever conference championship with a seven-stroke victory over top-ranked Stanford and Oregon State.
Six teams were separated by just five strokes when play began in rainy conditions on Wednesday, with Oregon and Arizona State deadlocked at 4-over 580 while Washington was just one back at 5-over 581.
One-by-one, Oregon's closest pursuers fell precipitately off the pace, leaving the Ducks to manage their own business in the familiar surroundings of Eugene Country Club. A final round of 2-over 290 was all it took to deliver Oregon's first-ever conference title
"We've been talking about it all year," Radley said. "We've proven we can play in any conditions: East Coast, West Coast, rain or shine. So this team is really seasoned and confident.
"We're not done yet. We've got some work to do, and so this is just the beginning of the postseason. But, so proud to do this here on home turf and so thankful."
Oregon's Hsin-Yu (Cynthia) Lu
, who began the day with a four-stroke lead over Alessandra Fanali
of Arizona State and Washington's Stefanie Deng
, shot a final-round 72 to earn the Pac-12 Conference's individual title with a 6-under score of 260, four strokes clear of Stanford's Rose Zhang
"I can't lie, I was pretty nervous this morning," said Lu, who was the only player in the field under par. "Like, I know I'm leading and our team is leading. But honestly, I'm worried about our team's score more than mine. So that kind of distracted me from my game.
"I was pretty nervous the first few holes but I kept telling myself, I need to reset my mind — today's a brand new day, the third round, the last round. And it's time to make some history."
Lu joined former Duck Caroline Inglis in 2015 to win conference individuals titles.
Oregon State, ranked 32nd by Golfweek/Sagarin, turned in a 3-under round of 285 to jump five spots into a tie for second place, marking the Beavers highest finish in the conference tournament. All five of Oregon State's players finished in the top-25 and none of them had anything worse than a bogey during a soggy final round. Kelsey Webster
, Ellie Slama
and Issy Taylor
carded 1-under rounds of 71 while Chayse Gomez
finished at even-par 72 to make up the team's scoring.
"I'm extremely proud of this entire team," Oregon State head coach Dawn Shockley said. "They continue to trust the process and believe in themselves. Battling against weather is always a challenge and today they were patient and got it done. Each and every player contributed to this finish and we proved we belong at the top of this conference.
"I'm honestly a bit lost for words as it is still sinking in. This is the best finish we have ever had at conference, but Kelly (Kerkvliet) and I have so much belief in this team and we knew what they were capable of. We are looking forward to getting back to Corvallis and prepping for regionals."
Pac-12 teams will now turn their attention to postseason competition which will begin with NCAA Regional play May 9-11 followed by the NCAA Championships hosted by Arizona State at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., May 20-25. The NCAA Selection Show will air on GOLF Channel on April 27 at 1:00 p.m. PT.
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2022 Pac-12 Women's Golf All-Conference Team
Amari Avery, Fr., USC
Alexandra Forsterling, Sr., Arizona State
Rachel Heck, So., Stanford
Sofie Kibsgaard Nielsen, Jr., Oregon
Aline Krauter, Sr., Stanford
Tze-Han (Heather) Lin, Sr., Oregon
Hsin-Yu (Cynthia) Lu, So., Oregon
Carolina Melgrati, Fr., Arizona
Calynne Rosholt, Fr., Arizona State
Brooke Seay, Jr., Stanford
Emma Spitz, Jr., UCLA
Rose Zhang, Fr., Stanford
Camille Boyd, So., Washington
Briana Chacon, Jr., Oregon
Ching-Tzu Chen, Jr., Oregon
Alessandra Fanali, Sr., Arizona State
Xin (Cindy) Kou, Fr., USC
Ashley Menne, So., Arizona State
Katherine Muzi, Sr., USC
Ellie Slama, Sr., Oregon State
Oregon and Oregon State Athletics Communications contributed to this report.