Online exclusive: Portland State finishes NCAA West Regional

The Portland State women’s golf team finished the NCAA West Regional Championship in 20th place at Washington National Golf Club in Auburn, Wash., last week.

The Portland State women’s golf team finished the NCAA West Regional Championship in 20th place at Washington National Golf Club in Auburn, Wash., last week. The Vikings finished with rounds of 305, 311 and 326 for a tournament total score of 942. Heading into the event, the team was ranked 59th in the nation and was the 20th seed among the 24 teams participating in the West Regional. The Vikings hoped to finish in the top eight teams in order to advance to the NCAA Championship tournament, but unfortunately, the team fell short of their goal.

On Thursday, the first day of tournament action, Portland State was on the right course, shooting their way to a first round score of 305, the best single-day score ever by a Viking team in a West Regional. Lead by senior Kalyn Dodge’s one-over-par 73, the Vikings were in 12th place in the overall standings after day one, only two shots behind seventh place. The previous best single-round mark in a regional was 306, and PSU’s top overall finish ever at a NCAA Regional is 16th place.

Dodge made three birdies and four bogeys, and tied for ninth among the 126 players competing. Dodge was one-over par after nine holes and shot an even-par 36 on the back nine.Senior Alexia Brown and junior Tiffany Schoning each shot 78 on Thursday and both tied for 66th place. Freshman Lauren Taylor shot five-over 77. Taylor had two birdies on the front nine. Sophomore Britney Yada, the 2011 Big Sky Champion, shot a 77 for the day, which tied her for 54th.

On the second day of competition Taylor shot an 80 and tied for 74th at 157, and Yada and Brown both followed closely behind with an 82. However, it was Schoning who shined on Friday, shooting a 73 which had her at 151 after 36 holes. She made three birdies, and four bogeys during her second day. She went from a tie for 66th, to a tie for 37th on Friday. Dodge kept up her strong play, shooting a four-over par 76 and was the top Viking through 36 holes, as she was tied for 25th with 149 total.

Due to the typical Pacific Northwest weather, the play on Saturday was stopped for 45 minutes, but the heavy rain didn’t stop the Vikings from powering through. Taylor shot the best round of the day for Portland State. The Viking freshman fired a five-over par 77, including two birdies on the front nine, which placed her in a tie for 63rd among the 126-player field. Overall, Taylor put up a score of 234 over 54 holes total.

Dodge faltered on the final day, shooting an 83, her lowest round of the three-day regional tournament. Dodge tied for 56th overall, shooting rounds of 73, 76, and 83 for a total of 232, which made her the top finisher over the weekend for the Vikings.

Also, Schoning finished in 77th with the rounds of 78, 73, and 86 for a total of 237. Brown shot 91 on the last day, which put her at a total of 251 for a 122nd placing overall. Yada scored an 80 on day three, putting her at 239 and 89th place for the event.

A private school from the Golden State was able to overcome the gloomy weather the best, as the University of Southern California won the tournament by ten shots over second-place Tennessee. USC scored an impressive overall team score withan even-par 288. The top eight qualifiers that will go onto the National Championship are Arizona, South Carolina, Washington, Texas A&M, Virginia, UC Davis, Tennessee and USC.Overall, the Vikings finished 34 strokes behind eighth-place Texas A&M.

Unfortunately, the Vikings failed to advance on in the tournament; however, the team had a good overall showing. Portland State has come a long ways throughout the season and has shown a lot of growth, especially since their roster is full of many younger players. Look for the Vikings to return as an even stronger squad next season and compete for another Big Sky title.