ATHENS, Ga. — The Oklahoma women can still put together a top five finish, yet the dream of winning a national championship ended Thursday.
Southern Cal, three rounds into the NCAA championships at the University of Georgia Golf Course, is just too good.
On a windy day to play golf, OU fell to ninth place overall after firing a third-round 300 for a 54-hole total of 882, 37 strokes back of the Trojans.
That doesn’t mean OU can’t move up. In a three-way tie for ninth place with Auburn and San Jose State, the Sooner trail eighth-place Tulane by a single stroke, seventh-place Stanford by three strokes and sixth place Arizona by six strokes. OU is within nine strokes of Purdue, Alabama and UCLA, all tied in third place at 873.
Thursday, OU got a 73 from Chirapat Jao-Javanil, a 74 from Taylor Schmidt and a 75 from Anne-Catherine Tanguay. Kaitlyn Rohrback and Emily Collins both struggled, carding a 78 and 79.
Annie Park shot a 2-under 70 in windy conditions to take the individual lead and help Southern California increase its lead to 17 strokes.
Park, a freshman from Levittown, N.Y., who won the Pac-12 Championship and tied for first in the NCAA West Regional, had a 9-under 207 total at the University of Georgia Golf Course for a two-stroke lead. Park birdied four of the last six holes after bogeys on Nos. 11 and 12. On the par-3 13th, after Duke’s Celine Boutier hit to 6 feet, Park hit inside her. Both made their birdie putts.
“I wanted that birdie really, really bad,” Park said.