May 9, 2009
TEMPE, Ariz. - Santa Clara sophomore Miki Ueoka fought hard for an opportunity to advance to the 2009 NCAA Division Women's Golf Championships Saturday afternoon at the West Regional hosted by Arizona State; however, she was defeated on the second try of a playoff to bring her remarkable season to a close.
Ueoka battled back from being tied for 19th to finish tied for ninth in a field of 108 players. She carded a two-under par 70 in the final round to finish one-under 215 for the tournament.
With the top nine individuals advancing with their teams and Alice Kim of UC Davis earning one individual qualifying spot, it came down to Cathryn Bristow of Oregon and Ueoka. The Lihue, Hawaii native was tied with Bristow. The two went head-to-head in a playoff to determine which individual would advance to the championships. Bristow made a birdie on the second try of a playoff on Hole 18 to defeat Ueoka.
"Miki accomplished something great this year by qualifying for the NCAA Regional," said head coach Polly Schulze. "She beat 96 players in this field, which is a testament to her talent. We are all so proud of what she has accomplished this year."
A two-time All-WCC honoree, Ueoka had a tremendous comeback at the WCC Championships. She was tied for 21st place at the end of the first round and finished tied for 2nd overall by the end of the tournament to help the Broncos to a third place finish. It was the highest finish by a Bronco female in WCC Tournament history. The Lihue, Hawaii native was named the conference's Player of the Month for February and March after winning back-to-back individual titles. Her first was at the Boise State Invitational in October, her second came at the Fresno State Golf Classic in February and her third was at the Sacramento State Invitational. Her rounds of 68 and 69 at the Fresno State Golf Classic are the lowest two rounds ever recorded by a Bronco women's golfer.
The West Regional team champion was Arizona State. The Sun Devils finished 22-under-par 842. USC, Louisiana State, Texas Christian University, UC Irvine, Texas, Arizona and Pepperdine will also advance to the NCAA Championship. The individual medalist was Carlota Ciganda of Arizona State. She finished 10-under par 206 for Regional.