STILLWATER, Okla. -- Top-seeded UCLA claimed its eighth overall NCAA regional championship to qualify Saturday for its 13th consecutive NCAA Championship berth.
The Bruins have won all eight regional titles under Hall of Fame coach Carrie Forsyth, who also guided the Bruins to their 53rd overall tournament crown in her 14-plus years as head coach. Saturday’s victory was also UCLA’s fourth in the central region.
On Saturday the Bruins posted their best team score of the tournament, a one-under par 287, and compiled a 54-hole team score of 875 (+11). They beat second-place Alabama (892, +28) by 17 shots. Mississippi State finished third at 893 (+29), followed by California at 894 (+30). Tied for fifth place at 899 (+35) were Ohio State and Kansas. Arizona finished seventh at 901 (+37), and Florida beat host Oklahoma State on the first playoff hole for the final qualifying spot at 902 (+38).
Freshman Alison Lee, the nation’s top-ranked collegian, led the Bruins by tying for fifth place at 217 (+1) following a final round score of 71 (-1). In the final round, she made three birdies and two bogeys. Junior Erynne Lee tied for 10th at 219 (+3) after recording four birdies and four bogeys in an even par round of 72. Sophomore Louise Ridderstrom tied for 13th at four-over par 220 after posting a 72 (E), and senior Ani Gulugian also carded an even par 72. Freshman Bronte Law tied for 24th at eight-over 224 following a final round score of 77 (+5).
Wad Phaewchimplee of Kent State won the individual crown after finishing three rounds in seven-under par 209. She posted a final round 71 (-1).