OU Women’s Golf Dominates Dale McNamara Invitational

NORMAN, Okla. — The Oklahoma women’s golf team’s final 2010 fall tournament was an extraordinary one as the 20th-ranked Sooners shot a third-round 294 (+6) Wednesday to claim the Dale McNamara Invitational title in convincing fashion at The Patriot Golf Club in Owasso, Okla.

OU’s three-round 877 (+13) was a whopping 23 strokes better than second-place Oklahoma State and Texas (+36). The 16-team field also included fellow Big 12 members Kansas State (10th place, +67), Missouri (11 place, +68) and Nebraska (14th place, +74).

The tournament title, the 40th in program history, was OU’s first since the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic in 2008 and its first under second-year head coach Veronique Drouin.

The Sooners were bolstered by Ellen Mueller’s first collegiate individual crown. Like her team, the senior from Evansville, Ind., led from wire to wire and won comfortably. Mueller’s 7-under-par 209 represented an OU 54-hole record and made her the 20th different Sooner to win a tournament (29 total titles). She won by a cozy seven shots over second-place Kristina Merkle of host Tulsa.

“I have been working hard on my mental game and putting,” said Mueller after the win. “This week I was able to not focus on the score and just play against the golf course.”

Mueller, who shot a career-low 67 (-5) in Monday’s first round and followed with a 73 (+1) Tuesday, fired a 3-under 69 Wednesday and was one of just three players to break par on the day. She recorded 16 birdies during the event, 12 of them on The Patriot’s back nine. It was her third straight top-10 finish and 13th of her career.

Joining Mueller in the top 10 were sophomore Taylor Schmidt and freshman Chirapat Jao-Javanil. Schmidt finished in a career-best third-place tie with a career-low 2-over 218. She carded 11 birdies during the three-day event and her 2-under second-round 70 marked an 18-hole career low.

Jao-Javanil finished in a career-best seventh-place tie with a 5-over 221 after shooting a 4-over 76 Thursday. It was the Thailand native’s second top-10 and fourth top-40 finish in four fall tournaments.

Freshmen Anne-Catherine Tanguay (231, +15) and Emily Collins (241, +25) finished tied for 34th and 59th, respectively. Another freshman, Mariah Montoya, competed as an individual and finished tied for 83rd (257, +41).

“I’m so proud of the girls,” said Drouin. “They played well all week. This team is very special. They believed in the vision I have for the program.

“It’s a great way to finish the fall. We’ve been working hard all season and to have this payoff is a great way to end our fall season.”

The team victory capped the most successful fall season in OU history. The Sooners registered top-three finishes in all four fall tournaments and finished in the top two in each of the last three events.

Ellen Mueller’s 209 broke the previous 54-hole school record of 211 held by Lisa Meldrum (2002) and Kendall Dye (2007) … This marked the first time OU claimed team and individual titles in a road tournament since the 1993 New Mexico State Invitational (Kim O’Connor) … Today’s title also marked the first time since 1986 the Sooners finished in the top two in three consecutive tournaments … OU will open its spring season Feb. 13-15 at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic.

Updated 10-14-2010

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