Aztec senior Sirene Blair sets program record for lowest 54-hole total at regional event
Photo: Sirene Blair courtesy goaztecs.com
May 10, 2017 (Lubbock, Tex.) - The San Diego State women’s golf team saw its season come to a disappointing conclusion on Wednesday after finishing in 11th place at the 2017 NCAA Lubbock Regional. The Aztecs fired a collective 10-over-par 298 during the final round for a 54-hole total of 892 (+28) on the par-72, 6,593-yard Rawls Course.
SDSU entered the day in eighth place, just two shots out of the coveted sixth position, as the top six teams and three low individuals not on those squads advance out of regional competition into the NCAA championship series.
Despite a combined six birdies on their first four holes, however, the Aztecs were plagued by inconsistency for most of the round, slipping three an additional spots in the standings to finish 17 shots behind sixth-place Kent State (+11) for the regional’s final berth in the NCAA Championships.
Individually, SDSU was led by senior Sirene Blair (South Jordan, Utah), who set a program record for lowest 54-hole score at a regional event with a 2-over 218 on the strength of a final-round 71, the Aztecs’ lone red figure of the tournament. The four-time all-Mountain West performer sank three birdies on the day and added a team-high 13 pars to tie for 17th on the individual leaderboard.
With her effort, Blair also became San Diego State’s third-highest finisher in a regional tournament behind Heather MacRae (10th, 2004) and Malin Enarsson (12th, 2010).
In addition, junior Georgia Lacey (Del Mar, Calif.) and freshman Fernanda Escauriza (Asunción, Paraguay) finished seven strokes behind Blair in a tie for 45th at 9-over 225 after each fired a 76 on Wednesday.
Lacey notched a team-high four birdies, including a successful drain on the par-4 412-yard No. 14, which ranked as the third-toughest hole of the tournament. However, a triple-bogey on the No. 1 green foreshadowed an erratic day for the Torrey Pines High product, who suffered three additional bogeys, as well as a double on the par-3 16th, to tumble 17 places in the standings.
Meanwhile, Escauriza experienced an identical drop after recording just one birdie on the par-3 No. 3 as five bogeys hastened her fall.
Despite trimming four strokes off her total from the previous day, Natalie Vivaldi also lost ground on the leaderboard, plunging 14 places into a tie for 63rd at 12-over 228 after posting a final-round 75. The SDSU senior finished strong with eight pars against one bogey after the turn, but an uneven front nine featuring two bogeys and a double at the par-4 No. 5 proved too much to overcome.
The Aztec contingent also included Mila Chaves (Asunción, Paraguay), who finished 69th at 14-over 230 after posting a 78 on Wednesday. Aztec junior was beset by seven bogeys, including two straight to begin her round, while draining just one birdie on the par-4, 383-yard No. 13.
Boasting the three top individual performers, Arizona State (-22) easily captured the team title at the Lubbock Regional, while Furman (-1) was a distant second, followed by Oregon (+3), Texas (+5), Texas Tech (+9) and Kent State (+11).
The Sun Devils’ Monica Vaughn (-8) took home medalist honors after edging teammates Olivia Mehaffey (-7) and Linnea Strom (-6). Mehaffey completed the low round of the tournament with a 66 on Wednesday.
The 95-golfer field posted an average score of 73.46 in the final round, marking a decrease of nearly two strokes from Tuesday’s 75.40 clip.
2017 NCAA Lubbock Regional
The Rawls Course
Par 72, 6,593 yards
Team Scores (Top 10 of 18 schools + SDSU)
[Top six teams advance to NCAA Championships]
1. Arizona State 293-277-272—842 (-22)
2. Furman 300-283-280—863 (-1)
3. Oregon 294-289-284—867 (+3)
4. Texas 300-289-280—869 (+5)
5. Texas Tech 296-286-291—873 (+9)
6. Kent State 305-287-283—875 (+11)
7. Oregon State 306-293-278—877 (+13)
8. UCLA 296-296-289—881 (+17)
9. Oklahoma 299-301-285—885 (+21)
10. Iowa State 304-299-287—890 (+26)
11. San Diego State 298-296-298—892 (+28)
Individual Leaders (Top 6 of 95 players + SDSU)
1. Monica Vaughn, Arizona State 71-68-69—208 (-8)
2. Olivia Mehaffey, Arizona State 74-69-66—209 (-7)
3. Linnea Strom, Arizona State 74-69-67—210 (-6)
4. Pimnipa Panthong, Kent State 70-72-69—211 (-5)
T5. Natalie Srinivasan, Furman 74-70-68—212 (-4)
T5. Haylee Horford, Furman 72-69-71—212 (-4)
T17. Sirene Blair, SDSU 72-75-71—218 (+2)
T45. Fernanda Escauriza, SDSU 77-72-76—225 (+9)
T45. Georgia Lacey, SDSU 76-73-76—225 (+9)
T63. Natalie Vivaldi, SDSU 74-79-75—228 (+12)
69. Mila Chaves, SDSU 76-76-78—230 (+14)