SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Sophomore Chiara Horder used a bogey-free final round 68 to force a playoff for the ninth and final advancing individual spot, before falling to Savannah Grewal of Clemson on the second hole of a playoff Sunday at the NCAA Championships hosted by Grayhawk Golf Club and Arizona State University.
As a team, Texas Tech also failed to make the cut, finishing the week in 21st place.
Entering the day at +13 overall, the Red Raiders made the turn for the back nine in qualifying position at +165 but a tough back-nine proved to be the difference as the Red Raiders missed the cut.
Horder was spectacular on Sunday, using three birdies on the front nine to fire the bogey-free round of 68. Her round was tied with LSUs Ingrid Lindblad for the second-lowest round of the day.
The surge vaulted her up the leaderboard and into a three-way tie for the ninth and final individual qualifying hole. As a result, the sophomore moved into a playoff with Grewal and Jieni Li of No. 15 Northwestern.
On the first playoff hole (No. 18), Horder and Grewal both placed their second shots over the green. Horder knocked her third shot to within about 10 feet, and made the birdie putt.
Grenwal matched the four, as the duo returned back the tee box on 18 for yet another playoff hole. On the ensuing try, both Horder and Greenwal ended up in the front left bunker.
Greenwal was able to blast her shot out and make birdie, eliminating Horder from advancing.
As a team, Tech got off to a strong start, making the turn with a two-shot lead for the 15th and final qualifying spot, but the Red Raiders shot a combined 11-over par on the final nine holes.
As a whole, the conditions proved to be difficult to manage as none of the 30 teams in the field recorded a round under par. No. 10 Florida State and No. 23 Arizona each recorded the low team round of the firing a score of +1.
In the end, No. 1 Stanford (-13), No. 2 Wake Forest (-6), No. 11 Texas (-6), No. 9 USC (-2), No. 10 FSU (-1), No. 4 South Carolina (Even), Arizona (+5), No. 6 Texas A&M (+5), No. 16 Pepperdine (+6), Georgia (+6), No. 24 Oklahoma State (+7), New Mexico (+12), No. 3 LSU (+13), No. 5 Mississippi State (+16) and No. 20 SMU (+17) all advanced to Monday’s fourth and final round of stroke play.
Following the conclusion of tomorrow’s 18 holes the field will once again be cut in half, as the eight remaining teams will advance to Tuesday’s match play.
Despite not advancing at this year’s championships, the future remains bright for the Red Raiders as five of the six players that played in this week’s event and all five players last week in Pullman will return in 2023-24.
HEAD COACH JOJO ROBERTSON:
“Today was a tough day, because we felt we had a chance to advance. Looking at the scores this morning we could tell that the course was playing tough. We just didn’t play well enough on the finishing holes. But I’m really proud of the team. We definitely had a chance and it was within our reach which is disappointing. Chiara was outstanding today turning in one of the lowest rounds of the day. What she did was awesome. She was nice and steady. Getting herself into the playoff and making that first birdie was incredible. I’m proud of her for the way she finished but also sad for her that she won’t get a chance to play tomorrow. She had a good finish.”
On returning the young core:
“There’s definitely excitement within our program. We’re sad to lose both Anna [Dong] and Cecilie [Nielsen] but they got us to a point where we haven’t been in a while. We appreciate everything they’ve done for us. The five that are coming back from this group has us excited. It was awesome to come here this week and see what this event is all about. This week showed that we belong here. We’ve got some new players that are coming in next year as well. But it’ll be fun to watch everyone play this summer as they all have packed schedules. And we look forward to them continuing to play well.”
Release provided by Andrew Stern Texas Tech Athletics