ALBUQUERQUE, NM — The No. 13 Texas Women’s Golf team advance to the NCAA Championship tournament for the sixth-consecutive time behind a runner-up performance in the NCAA Albuquerque Regional at the University of New Mexico Championship Course. The Longhorns were the only team to shoot under-par on the day with a two-under 286. Texas registered a 54-hole team score of one-under-par 863 (287-290-286) overall. No team had ever recorded a below par at the Albuquerque Regional, but both Oregon (-4,860) and Texas (-1,863) did so. The previous best was a two-over-par 866 by Stanford in 2017. Georgia’s two-over-par 866 in this tournament tied that mark. All five Longhorns in the field placed in the top-25 individuals, led by sophomore Bentley Cotton who finished tied for sixth.
With the second-place finish, Texas will make its 30th NCAA Championship appearance in program history. The 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship begins Friday, May 20, at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.
“I’m so proud of this team,” said head coach Ryan Murphy. “Winning the Big 12, finishing second at regionals, that’s some heady stuff. We’ve had a windy road this season, but this team believes, and they are beginning to peak at the right time. I like where we are at the moment and look forward to getting to Scottsdale.”
As the low Longhorn for the regional, Cotton shot even-par 216 (68-75-73) to earn her third top-10 finish of the season. In her final round, Cotton posted a one-over-par 73 that included two birdies and 14 pars.
Freshmen Bohyun Park and graduate Brigitte Thibault tied for the lowest round on the day for the Longhorns as each fired a two-under-par 70. Park started off her final round by playing one-under-par, bogey-free golf through the first 10 holes before recording her only bogey on the day on the 11th hole. Back-to-back birdies on holes 13 and 14 helped push her to two-under-par where she would stay for the remainder of the round. The round of 70 from Park gives her the team lead in rounds at par or better with 13. The freshman placed in the top-15 for the sixth time this season, finishing in tie for 11th at two-over-par 218 (76- 72-70).
Thibault bounced back after a tough second round by posting her sixth round at par or better on the season. Thibault’s two-under-par final round included a team-best five birdies on the day that helped her improve 16 spots in the individual standings and finish tied for 17th at four-over-par 220 (72-78-70).
Playing in her final NCAA Regional event, senior Sara Kuskova also finished tied for 11th at two-over-par 218 (73-72-73), her best placement at an NCAA Regional and seventh top-15 finish this season. Kouskova shot a one-over-par 73 in the final round, which included four birdies.
Junior Sophie Guo was the Longhorns’ final scorer, as she finished tied for 25th at six-over-par 222 (74-71-77). Her final round of her also included four birdies. As a team, the Longhorns tallied 18 birdies on Wednesday.
“It was a complete team effort this week with all five players contributing some big rounds,” Murphy added. “Brigitte Thibault, Sara Kuskova, Bentley Cotton, Sophie Guo and Bohyun Park…they are a strong five and they play hard for each other. That’s their greatest ingredient, their cohesion.”
In addition to the Longhorns (No. 13 in the latest WGCA Coaches Poll, released on May 6, 2022), the 12-team NCAA Albuquerque Regional Championship field includes: No. 2 Oregon, No. 12 Florida, No. 23 Arizona, Georgia, Louisville, New Mexico State, Northern Arizona, North Texas, Oklahoma, Sam Houston State and TCU.
Oregon finished as the 2022 NCAA Albuquerque Regional Champion at four-under-par 860 (284-284-292), while Georgia placed third at two-over-par 866 (292-284-290), and TCU was the final team to advance with a fourth-place finish at 10-over-par 874 (292-291-291).
Oregon’s Briana Chacon earned individual medalist honors with a nine-under-par 207 (65-69-73) performance at the event. Jenny Bae from Georgia finished runner-up at five-under-par 211 (68-69-74), while TCU’s Sabrina Iqbal and Georgia’s Candice Mahe placed in a tie for third at three-under-par 213.
- Sophomore Bentley Cotton carded a one-over-par 73 to place tied for sixth at even-par 216 (68-75-73) in the individual standings. Cotton recorded two birdies (No. 2, par-4; No. 15, par-4) during the final round.
- Freshmen Bohyun Park fired a two-under-par 70 to finish tied for 11th at two-over-par 218 (76-72-70). Park registered three birdies (No. 9, par-5; No. 13, par-4; No. 14, par-5) on the day.
- Senior Sara Kuskova scored a one-over-par 73 to finish tied for 11th at two-over-par 218 (73-72-73). Kouskova tallied four birdies (No. 1, par-5; No. 3, par-3; No. 5, par-4; No. 14, par-5) on Wednesday.
- Graduate Brigitte Thibault shot a two-under-par 70 to finish tied for 17th at four-over-par 220 (72-78-70). Thibault led the team with five birdies (No. 4, par-4; No. 8, par-3; No. 11, par-3; No. 16, par-3; No. 18, par-5) on the day.
- Junior Sophie Guo posted a five-over-par 77 to finish tied for 25th at six-over-par 222 (74-71-77). Guo scored four birdies (No. 2, par-4; No. 9, par-5; No. 14, par-5; No. 18, par-5) on Wednesday.