By Ben Coldagelli
THE WOODLANDS, Texas – The 20th-ranked Oklahoma women’s golf team took second place in the Jim West Challenge on Tuesday to open the 2017-18 season. The Sooners shot their second-lowest 54-hole score in program history, carding an 11-under 841 at the par-71, 6,010-yard Fazio Course at The Club at Carlton Woods in The Woodlands, Texas.
The Sooners shot a combined score of 556 in 36 holes of continuous play on Monday – the best score through 36 holes in OU history. Oklahoma fired a team score of 285 (+1) on Tuesday to maintain its place in the standings and claim its best showing in a season opener since taking second at the 2013 Dale McNamara Fall Preview.
“We had a really good tournament as a team,” said OU head coach Veronique Drouin-Luttrell. “I’m really proud of everyone for putting in so much time and effort into their games and seeing it pay off. We will look to build off this momentum heading into our home event at the Schooner Fall Classic.”
In her first tournament since returning from a season-ending shoulder injury last fall, redshirt freshman Sydney Youngblood (Choctaw Nation) tied for ninth place at 209 (-4). Youngblood secured her best finish in four tournaments with the Sooners and cracked the top 10 for the first time in her collegiate career.
Senior Ana Ruiz secured her eighth career top-20 finish by shooting a 212 (-1) to tie for 18th place.
Senior Valerie Tanguay finished the tournament with a 216 (+3, tied for 26th) and fellow senior Rylee Pedigo scored a 220 (+7, tied for 37th place). Freshman Kaitlin Milligan, competing as an individual, shot a 223 (+10) to tie for 47th.
Oklahoma is back in action when it hosts its only home tournament of the season. The Sooners welcome 15 schools to Norman for the Schooner Fall Classic on Sept. 23-25 at Belmar Golf Club. Held in partnership with The Toby Keith Foundation, the Schooner Fall Classic continues to grow as one of the top fall tournaments in college golf. Of the 16 participating schools, nine are ranked in Golfweek’s Preseason Top 30 rankings and six qualified for the 2017 NCAA Championships.