The Norman Transcript


May 9, 2013

Sooners go from regional stunners to likely frontrunners in span of one year



They have.

Heading into NCAA play today, the Sooners have put together an historic regular season.

Over the school year, OU has placed among the top three in seven of nine tournaments. Three of those have been runner-up finishes and three have been outright victories.

The Sooners began the season No. 13 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings and have climbed as high as No. 2. When they tee off this morning, they will be carrying a No. 4 ranking.

Also, OU’s on course to set program scoring records on just about every conceivable front, stats that have been fueled in part by the three lowest 54-hole scores in program history: 848 (16-under par at the Alamo Invitational), 859 (5-under at the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic) and 862 (2-under at the Clover Cup), all of which were victories.

Javenil, with her best-in-program-history 72.26 scoring average, is No. 8 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings. Meanwhile, Anne-Catherine Tanguay, momentarily, at least, has supplanted Jao-Javenil as the squad’s No. 1 player. And still it’s the Nos. 3, 4 and 5 positions, occupied by Kaitlyn Rohrback, Collins and Taylor Schmidt, that may be most responsible for the Sooners’ success.

Those three players carry scoring averages ranging from Collins’ 74.15 to Schmidt’s 76.19. Anytime the bottom of your lineup’s producing like that, your program’s bound to make historic strides.

“Any tournament we go to,” Collins said, “we all know that (individually) we have a chance of playing the best out of everyone, which is exciting because it makes a good team.”

How good?

Well, certainly good enough to secure a top eight regional finish and to head back to the NCAA tournament. After that, who knows?

OU women’s golf is navigating uncharted waters.

“The girls have really done a good job,” said the architect of the program’s turnaround, fourth-year coach Veronique Drouin-Luttrell. “Last year we were close, but we didn’t know how close we were.”

As it turned out, very close.

“Everybody’s really playing well,” Drouin-Luttrell said.

Today, that’s a good place to start.

Clay Horning

Follow me @clayhorning

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