STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -Chattanooga’s women’s golf team finished 19th at the NCAA East Regional at the Penn State Blue Course on Saturday, three shots behind Northwestern and four in front of San Diego State and Augusta State with a three-day total of 919.
UTC senior Maria Juliana Loza made a run at one of the two individual spots to advance to the NCAA Championship, but her 4-over-par 76 for a 221 54-hole total left her three shots short. Kelsey Vines (215) of Oklahoma State and Margarita Ramos (218) wound up with those two spots, Ramos beating Michelle Koh of Campbell) on the first playoff hole for hers.
No. 25 South Carolina was the wire-to-wire leader, finishing at 873. That gave the Gamecocks a five-stroke cushion over No. 12 Texas A&M and Texas in second at 878. No. 2 Alabama (879), No. 15 Florida (879), No. 5 Arizona State (887), No. 24 Michigan State (887) and No. 8 Duke (887) all advanced to the NCAA Championship.
Loza started the day at one-over par and fell back to plus three with a double bogey on six.
Over the next three holes, Loza missed two birdie efforts and a par putt all inside five feet, turning at four over. She birdied two of the next three holes continuing her brilliant ball striking to get back to two over. A bogey on 14 dropped her to three over, which she held through to 17.
Missing the green to the right, her chip got caught in the fringe. Her par putt just skirted the edge, making an eagle necessary on 18. After a perfect drive to open the par five, Loza found herself around 200 yards from the hole. Her second shot went right of the green and under a tree. She was unable to convert.
Loza’s 221 is the second-best total by a Mocs golfer in regional play (220, Emma de Groot, 2010). She carded rounds of 73, 72 and 76 to tie for 19th.
Jordan Britt had five birdies while shooting 2-under-par 70 on Saturday. Five birdies is the second-best total in school history behind de Groot’s six in round one of the 2010 East Regional. Britt shot 225 for the weekend tying for 46th.
Marion Duvernay and Mette Kryger rounded out the counting scores, shooting 76 and 80, respectively. Sophie Weilguni’s 83 was the drop score.
Alabama senior Brooke Pancake, from Chattanooga, posted a 76 that left her at 7-over 223.
Alabama has now qualified for seven straight NCAA Championships.
The Southeastern Conference had seven teams advance to the NCAA Championships. Joining Alabama, Florida and South Carolina out of the East Region are Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Arkansas from the Central Regional and LSU from the West Regional. Auburn, Georgia and Mississippi were unable to advance.