Stillwater News Press

May 10, 2014

Cowgirls golf comes up short in playoff

By Jason Elmquist
Stillwater News Press

STILLWATER, Okla. — Oklahoma State had to sit and wait — and hope.

When the Cowgirls had completed their final round of the NCAA Division I Women’s Central Regional at Karsten Creek, they were well out of the hunt for a top eight finish but still had several teams ahead of them yet to take to the course.

“We still have a chance, so I’m staying positive. That’s all you can do right now,” Cowgirl freshman Isabella Deilert said after OSU’s round. “Just have to hope the best for your team and that we will make it.”

The positivity paid off in a way. Teams began falling in the leaderboard, while Oklahoma State crept back up.

And as the final scores came in, OSU found itself in a tie with Florida for the last spot. A playoff would decide who would go to the Tulsa Country Club in two weeks for the NCAA National Championships.

With all five golfers from each team taking on No. 10, the Cowgirls couldn’t get the home-course advantage and lost in the first round. And like that, the afternoon wait was for naught.

“It’s really hard to describe it, I guess,” OSU senior Jayde Panos said. “It just really hurts. You want to go to nationals in your final year as a Cowgirl, you want to be able to take your team there and experience it with them. It really hurts to lose on your home course.”

Panos, who hails from Australia and had her family in attendance, was one of three seniors — along with Amy Ruengmateekhun and Lauren Falley — to play their last round of golf on the home course, which led to a bittersweet farewell around the green on No. 10.

“They can take comfort in how hard they’ve worked in their time here and what they have accomplished and how proud we are of them,” Cowgirl coach Courtney Jones said. “Their Cowgirls now and always will be. They’re going to continue to represent is in the future and they’re going to do great things.”

Deilert proved to be the most consistent golfer for the Cowgirls during the three-day tournament. The freshman from Stockholm, Sweden, tied for seventh - with a 2-over for the tournament after shooting a 1-over 73 on Saturday - to become the second straight freshman for OSU to get a top 10 finish at regionals.

“She’s doing work and I think she realized she’s needed to lift her game and I think she has and executed this golf course so well this week,” Panos said. “To shoot 2-over for three days around Karsten Creek — some people can’t even do that over a couple holes.”

OSU’s top golfer Julie Yang, who was the freshman to finish top 10 last year, had her best round of the tournament with a 78, while Falley finished with a 77 and Ruengmateekhun capped her career with a round of 85.

“Play good enough so you don’t have to get to that point, that’s all I would say to the young girls,” said Panos, who closed with a 78 to finish tied for 15th. “We left it to where we had to be in a playoff. If I could give a word of advice to the girls next year, it’s to play where you don’t have to be in that position ever again because you don’t want to be the team that walks off and didn’t make it.”