AUSTIN, Texas -- Seniors Perry Swenson (Charlotte, N.C.) and Lisa Ferrero (Lodi, Calif.) shared second place at six-over-par and led the 22nd-ranked Texas women's golf team to a runner-up finish at the 2005 Big 12 Championship (The University of Texas Golf Club: Par 72, 6,323 yards) on Sunday, April 24. Fifth-ranked Oklahoma State took the title with a 36-over-par 900, which was the lowest winning score (54 holes) in the history of the Big 12. Texas, which won the 2004 championship, finished second at 901. Oklahoma State's Annie Thurman-Young earned medalist honors after tying for the lowest individual score in conference history with a four-under-par 212.
"This is the first time all spring that we've had our top five lineup," said Texas head coach Susan Watkins. "Everybody contributed and we got a lot of great things accomplished. The tournament really started on number 12 today and it was a fight to the finish."
Oklahoma State came into the final round with a one-shot lead over the Longhorns. The lead flip-flopped throughout Sunday's action and the Cowgirls took a two-stroke lead with only two groups remaining on the course. Ferrero made a bogey on 17, but came back to drain a 17-foot birdie putt on 18 to keep the deficit at two. Oklahoma State's Karin Sjodin, who was playing in the same group, parred 17, but took a triple-bogey on 18 giving the Longhorns a one-shot lead.
Almost simultaneously, Thurman-Young made a birdie on 17 bringing the team scores even heading into the 54th hole of the tournament. Thurman-Young knocked her tee shot in the middle of the fairway, while Texas' Swenson ended up in a fairway bunker. Thurman-Young's second shot landed safely on the green forcing Swenson to go for the green. Her second shot out of the bunker just missed bouncing onto the green and instead bounced backwards into the water hazard. She ending up bogeying the hole, but forced Thurman-Young to two putt for the win. She was able to do so, giving the Cowgirls their fifth Big 12 Championship.
"It was a special week being able to play at home," said Swenson. "It was really close all day. I just fought as hard as I could."
Swenson finished the final round with a two-over-par 74 on her way to a tie for second with Ferrero. She made the turn at three-over-par, but birdied 11 and 12 to help the Longhorns make a charge. Ferrero made the turn at one-under-par after birdies on four and five. She made three bogeys on the back nine, but birdies on 16 and 18 brought her final round total to even par.
The third senior, Mariana Salazar (Torreon, Mexico), recorded her best finish at the conference tournament tying for eighth place at 12-over-par. She carded a three-over-par 75 during the final round to go with a 75 and a 78 from the first two rounds.
Freshman Kelley Louth (Victoria, Texas) and sophomore Julia Best (Bulverde, Texas) finished their first conference tournaments tied for 19th and 27th place, respectively. Louth ended up at 17-over-par, while Best finished at 19-over-par.
Not only did the Longhorns finish second at the conference tournament, but they also clinched the first-ever State Farm Lone Star Showdown after earning a point for finishing higher than Texas A&M. Texas now has 10.5 points, while the Aggies have four points with only 4.5 points remaining.
The Longhorns will now prepare for the NCAA Regional, which will take place May 5-7 at one of three sites, the Jerry S. Rawls Course in Lubbock, Texas, the University Golf Course in Gainesville, Fla. or the New Mexico State Golf Course in Las Cruces, N.M. The NCAA will announce the fields on Monday, April 25.
1. Oklahoma State, 295-307-298=900 (+36)
2. TEXAS, 297-306-298=901 (+37)
3. Baylor, 305-314-295=914 (+50)
4. Missouri, 306-313-304=923 (+59)
5. Texas A&M, 310-316-304=930 (+66)
6. Texas Tech, 305-323-304=932 (+68)
7. Nebraska, 305-324-313=942 (+78)
8. Kansas State, 320-314-317=951 (+87)
9. Kansas, 311-331-310=952 (+88)
10. Oklahoma, 314-328-312=954 (+90)
11. Colorado, 307-323-325=955 (+91)
12. Iowa State, 317-314-326=957 (+93)
Individual Top Nine
1. Annie Thurman-Young (Oklahoma State), 70-71-71=212 (-4)
T2. Lisa Ferrero (TEXAS), 73-77-72=222 (+6)
T2. Perry Swenson (TEXAS), 75-73-74=222 (+6)
4. Maria Ohlsson (Missouri), 74-76-73=223 (+7)
5. Nicole Melton (Texas A&M), 76-77-72=225 (+9)
T6. Candie Herrera (Oklahoma State), 74-77-76=227 (+11)
T6. Josefin Svenningsson (Baylor), 77-77-73=227 (+11)
T8. Anna Rehnholm (Baylor), 76-78-74=228 (+12)
T8. Mariana Salazar (TEXAS), 75-78-75=228 (+12)
Other Texas Individuals
T19. Kelley Louth, 74-79-80=233 (+17)
T26. Julia Best, 80-78-77=235 (+19)