PALO ALTO, Calif. — The No. 35 University of Arkansas women’s golf team closed the 2010 season with a 13th-place finish at the NCAA West Regional in Palo Alto, Calif., Saturday.
Arkansas, vying for one of the top eight spots in the field in an attempt to advance to the NCAA Championship, came up eight strokes short after a final round 304 for a three-day 911 (308-299-304) on the par 71, 6,116 yard Stanford University Golf Course.
“I’m disappointed that we weren’t able to advance,” said Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor. “I’m so disappointed for our three seniors. They have worked so hard to be here and it hurts that they couldn’t get to the NCAA Championship.
“It was tough out there today but we put ourselves in a really tough position after day one,” she added.
Freshman Victoria Vela was the team’s top finisher. Vela, a Mansfield, Texas, native, carded a team-low 73 in the final round pairing with back-to-back 77s for a 227. Vela finished tied for 39th overall.
“I can’t say enough about Vicky,” Estes-Taylor said. “She was playing in her first NCAA event and handled all the pressures that come along with that very well. I think that speaks volumes for her future at Arkansas and for our program.”
As Arkansas’ season comes to an end, so too, do the careers of three seniors. Kristin Ingram, Alex Schulte and Tiffany Phelps closed the books on their senior season Saturday.
Ingram, a Pasadena, Calif., native, came off the course first shooting a final round 79. Ingram finished with 83-74-79 for a 236. Ingram dropped a stroke on the par four 10th moving to even on the day but a triple on the 11th followed by a bogey on the 12th saw her scores elevate.
Phelps rallied from a first round 80 with a 76 in the second round. She finished with a 77 for 233 overall. Phelps was plus-four at the turn and played well on the back nine, going one-over.
Schulte, the last off the course, carded a 78-72 in the opening rounds and counted a 77 in the final round for 227 tying Vela for 39th overall.
Junior Kelli Shean, Arkansas’ top finisher in 10 of 12 events this year, opened with a 73 followed by an 80 in the second round. Shean finished with 77 for a tie for 57th place.
Arkansas battled high scores in the first round that saw the Razorbacks shoot 308 and fall into the second half of the leader board. But the Razorbacks rallied with a second round 299 putting Arkansas within striking distance, eight strokes, of eighth place heading into the final round.
The Razorbacks endured the tougher afternoon conditions for the second consecutive day but were still within range through the turn.
The Razorbacks fluctuated up and down the leader board moving up as high as seventh in the field of 24 and made the turn in 10th place.
Ingram made the turn at plus-one. She opened play with a birdie on the first hole and bogeyed the next two. Phelps was four-over through nine while Shean was plus-five at the turn. Vela paced the team at plus-one and Schulte rounded out the first nine scoring at five-over.
Seventh-ranked Arizona won the Regional title shooting 876 for the three-day event. The other advancing teams included No. 1 UCLA, No. 32 Texas, No. 6 Alabama, No. 13 Virginia, No. 17 Stanford, No. 45 San Jose State and No. 25 Texas A&M.