SUGAR GROVE, Ill. — Oregon State’s Susie Cavanagh concluded the NCAA national championship tournament with a 34-over 79-87-84—250 at the par-72, 6,343-yard Rich Harvest Farms on Monday to wrap up the Beavers’ season.
“I’m very happy with the way Susie carried herself and represented Oregon State,” first-year coach Dawn Shockley said. “Never once did she give up or complain about the conditions. She showed great character and maturity all week.
“I know she is disappointed with how she played, but knowing Susie, she will learn from this and only get better. The golf course was very challenging and then you put wind and rain with it and it’s a handful.”
Shockley said she believes this year’s team, which just missed advancing as a group to the national tournament, “put Oregon State on the map for golf” and “this is just the beginning.”
Some of the season’s highlights include:
• Winning the title at the Rose City Collegiate, the 11th team title in program history.
• Recording four top-5 finishes.
• Defeating Oregon at the Elite 8 Match Play.
• Finishing ahead of Oregon at the Pac-12 Championship to earn a point in the Civil War Series.
• Finishing in eighth place at the Pac-12 Championship, equaling OSU’s best finish at the conference tournament since 1998.
• Advancing to the regionals for the second time since 2006 and the first time since 2012.
• Placing seventh at the regionals, the highest finish ever for the program, and ahead of seven ranked teams, including No. 2 UCLA.
• Shooting a 10-under 278 in the final round of the regional, five strokes better than the previous school record.
• Olivia Benzin set the Oregon State single-season scoring average record with a 73.62.
• Elyse Smidinger set the Oregon State single-round record with a 5-under 67.
• Cavanagh became the third Oregon State golfer to advance to the national tournament as an individual (Kathleen Takaishi, 1999 and Anica Yoo, 2015).
“I could not be more proud of this team,” Shockley said. “This winter was tough and not once did they complain. Instead they accepted the challenge and continued to get better. Each and every one of them should hold their heads high and be proud of how they competed.
“They all stepped up at different times and contributed to our end-of-the-season run. To be at the National Championship and have other coaches tell you they were cheering for us at Regionals feels pretty good.”
Smidinger is the lone senior on the team. Haley Nist, who set the Oregon State single-season record last year, missed the spring season with an injury. She will return in 2017-18 and be joined by Nicole Schroeder, Hannah Swanson, Benzin and Cavanagh.
Incoming freshmen Amanda Minni and Ellie Slama will add depth to the team. Minni, a native of British Columbia, Canada, was a member of the North Pacific Junior Girls Team Champions and Girls Junior America’s Cup in 2016.
Slama, a native of Salem, was the 6A state champion the past two years.