FRANKLIN, Tenn. - The No. 10 Texas A&M women's golf team fired its lowest round of the week on Friday to finish tied for 16th place at the 2012 NCAA Championship at Vanderbilt Legends Club North Course.
The Aggies scorched the front nine turning at 2-under with seven birdies, and closed with a 6-over-par 294 to match their second-lowest single round in an NCAA Championship. A&M's 72-hole total of 1,193 (301-298-300-294) was just two strokes shy of its second-lowest all-time score at nationals. It was also two shots shy of the Aggies' score a year ago when they finished seventh.
"I'd probably be lying if I didn't say we're disappointed," A&M head coach Trelle McCombs said. "We started great today, but we didn't finish as well as I'd hoped. We had a lot of momentum and we were climbing, so that was a huge positive, but having bogeys on the last hole didn't leave a very good taste in our mouths for the summer. We'll be back. We'll fight hard and hopefully learn some things from this."
Alabama (+19, 1,171) won its first national championship, finishing a stroke ahead of runner-up Southern California (+20, 1,172). LSU was third at +21 (1,173). Oklahoma's Chirapat Jao-Javanil captured individual honors with a 6-under 282. Alabama's Brooke Pancake was four shots back in second with a 2-under 286.
Individually for Texas A&M, sophomore Katerina Ruzickova finished 13th with a 4-over 292 (73-72-74-73). From Ostrava, Czech Republic, she became the only Aggie with back-to-back top 15 finishes (T-6th in 2011). She now holds A&M's two lowest 72-hole scores at the NCAA Championship (288 in 2011 and 292 in 2012).
"I had a lot of fun this week," she said. "It's been a very interesting experience and I learned a lot. The course wasn't easy. I felt that if you got your momentum going it was pretty sweet, but it was hard to get started well and keep it going for the entire round."
Sophomore Natalie Reeves fired a 1-over 73 on Friday and tied for 51st with 299 (75-75-76-73).
Junior Mary Michael Maggio had A&M's lowest round of the day with an even-par 72.
"This has been her (Maggio's) favorite golf course for a long time," McCombs said. "It's not as if she'd been hitting the ball bad this week. She hit it great, but just didn't get anything to fall. Finally today, she got a few to fall and her speed was good, which helped. I'm proud of her for an even par in the last round."
Virginia finished fourth in the team standings (1,175), followed by South Carolina (1,176), Arizona State (1,179), Oklahoma (1,179), UCLA (1,181), Purdue (1,182), North Carolina (1184), Vanderbilt (1,186) Florida (1,190), Texas (1,191), North Carolina State (1,191), Duke (1,192) and Baylor (1,193) tied for 16th with A&M. Trailing the Aggies was Colorado (1,196), Tennessee (1,200), Michigan State (1,201), Pepperdine (1,204) Ohio State (1,211), Arkansas (1,214) and Stanford (1,216).
Texas A&M competed in the NCAA Championship for the third straight season and for the fourth time in McComb's five seasons in Aggieland. It was A&M's 11th all-time appearance.