STILLWATER, Okla. – The fourth-ranked University of Arkansas women’s golf team had three eagle chances on the final hole for an opportunity to force a playoff but the Razorbacks came up just short of qualifying for the NCAA Championship at the 2014 NCAA Central Regional Championship in Stillwater, Okla.
The Razorbacks counted 904 strokes over three days of play but came up two short in Saturday’s final. Conditions were tough from the start on Thursday at Karsten Creek seeing Arkansas battle wind and heavy rain on day one. That first round saw Arkansas count 309 – unusually high for this team. They had a mountain to climb and put together a Herculean effort in the final two rounds but fell just short of their goal of advancing.
“We had Mt. Everest to climb today and unfortunately we came up a little short in the end,” SEC Coach of the Year Shauna Estes-Taylor said. “It’s a tough pill to swallow right now but I think you have to look at the whole body of work and we had a lot of firsts for our program. It’s very clear that the foundation we’ve laid for our program is unbelievable.
“I mean Regina (Plasencia) birdies her last three holes today and we have three eagle opportunities here on 18,” Estes-Taylor said. “The fight and the want in Gaby (Lopez), Regina and Summar (Roachell) excites me and fuels me to get back to work this fall.”
With Arkansas four shots out of the coveted eighth-place spot, senior Emily Tubert ripped her second shot on the green, pin high and 20 feet out. She rolled her first putt attempt by the hole but sank the come-backer for a birdie moving Arkansas one shot closer.
Plasencia was on a roll to finish scoring three consecutive birdies including a big one on 18. Again her second shot gave her a chance at eagle but she left the putt just short and counted the birdie. The Razorbacks were now just two back from a playoff.
Lopez followed her teammates blasting her second shot over the pin leaving herself a 30-foot eagle putt. The greens were slowing down as the hot, humid and windy conditions continued and her long putt was just short of the pin as the Razorbacks were unable to force extra holes.
Lopez wrapped up tournament play as Arkansas’ individual leader tying for 19th overall. The Mexico City, Mexico, native shoot a 222 with rounds of 77-71-74 including her spectacular play in round two birding five of her last six holes.
Plasencia rallied tying for 22nd overall shooting 223 with rounds of 81-69-73. She had an almost flawless second round with five birdies and finished strong playing the last nine holes three-under.
Freshman Roachell opened strong and was steady all week. The Conway, Ark., native tied for 38th overall shooting 75-78-75 for 228.
Seniors Emily Tubert and Emma Lavy closed out their Razorback careers this weekend. Tubert, a native of Burbank, Calif., shot 231 and tied for 51st overall while Lavy closed with a 247 and tied for 108th overall.
· Arkansas has made 13 total, 12 consecutive, NCAA Regional appearances
· Arkansas has advanced to six NCAA Championships including three in a row before this season
· Arkansas has had one individual advance when the team did not. Stacy Lewis moved on in 2007 and won the individual national title
· The tie for 11th-place ends the season for the Razorbacks
· Arkansas gradated two seniors, Emma Lavy and Emily Tubert, but returns three players from this year’s traveling team
For more information on Arkansas women’s golf, follow @RazorbackWGolf on Twitter.
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