Amalia Shahzan leads Oakland to Horizon League championship


Noora Neiroukh

A member of Oakland University’s women’s golf team lines up for a putt on Monday, Sept. 27.

The Oakland women’s golf team secured the Horizon League championship back in April on the back of Amalia Shahzan’s outstanding performance. The championship round took place in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida. 

The Golden Grizzlies put together a remarkable team performance. The team led after all three days, and no other team came within 10 strokes of Oakland.

Shahzan was the only golfer in the whole event to shoot below par. The graduate student shot a 212 (72-70-70), to finish the event with a 212, which was good enough for seven strokes under par.

Shahzan won the individual event by 15 strokes. Green Bay’s Isabelle Maleki and Youngstown State’s Puthita Khuanrudee each shot +8, and they were the next closest competitors.

After the day’s first event, Oakland led by a narrow one-stroke lead over Detroit Mercy. Nateda Her and Ashley Chin each shot 77s to help the Grizzlies to the first-day lead.

During the second day, the Oakland golfers combined to post an event-best 296 total. Shahzan shot a 70, while Her and Chin shot 72 and 76, respectively. 

The Golden Grizzlies had a 16-stroke lead after the first two days. 

It wasn’t a great third day for Oakland, but it was all a moot point as the aforementioned 16-stroke lead was more than enough for the Golden Grizzlies to win the event. 

The team’s stellar performance was enough to send it through to the NCAA Regional round. The Grizzlies were invited to the Ann Arbor regional this year.

However, all momentum the team built in the Horizon League Championship was lost in Ann Arbor. 

Oakland competed against some of the nation’s best, and the Golden Grizzlies were clearly outmatched. 

After the first day of the regional round, Oakland shot a 316 as a team and was 14 strokes behind the next closest team, Virginia Tech.

The Golden Grizzlies continued to be overmatched on day two. The team’s 312 was once again a regional-worst, and Oakland’s hopes of advancing any further into the national spotlight were practically crushed.

Oakland made it through the third day with a 314, bringing the grand total to 942. The next closest team was UCF with a 909 three-day score. 

Despite the disappointing finish in the NCAA Regional, there is still a lot to look forward to with the Oakland golf team.

Chin and Her, two of the team’s best golfers are both just freshmen. Those two should be a bright spot for this team in the coming seasons.

Furthermore, head coach Alyssa Gaudio seems to have the team trending in the right direction and is clearly the right person for the job. Gaudio was hired as the team’s first-ever head coach back in 2014, and she has since brought the team to national relevance.

All in all, a great, memorable season for the women’s golf team. Although Shahzan is a graduate student, Chin and Her will play huge roles for this team in the future.