Women’s golf off to NCAA Regionals

Sam Schlenner

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During the Monday dinner rush at Red Ox Tavern, Oakland’s head women’s golf coach Alyssa Gaudio and David Roosen, a ticket office assistant for the Oakland golf courses, stood. It was probably for lack of seats. The women’s team and some of the men’s team occupied two long rows to the left of them. Only one seat remained. Gaudio had her food there and grazed off it, but she didn’t sit down. Maybe she didn’t want to leave Roosen standing alone with crossed arms, facing east and watching the television. Another explanation was the television itself, which broadcasted the course placement for the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Regionals, to which Oakland’s team was attending for the first time ever. The opposing teams ran across the screen. Standing up was a good scouting stance.

Uncharted territory

It was quick gratification from the precarious day before.

“[Holes] seven through 12, we kind of let a few shots slip, and that’s when it got even closer for us,” Gaudio said about the final round of the Horizon League Championship. “So I just kept telling them they needed to fight.”

Oakland, in first place after the second day, played its worst day of the tournament, shooting a 322 in place of the two previous 311’s. But Northern Kentucky, the closest team, played its worst day as well.

“They made it interesting coming down the stretch,” Gaudio said, referring to her players. “When we got off the course, we were pretty sure we had the lead.”

Golfstat was acting slowly, sometimes not at all, she said, so when the last Oakland golfer walked off the course, they still didn’t know who had won. The team had to wait five or ten minutes to find out. Gaudio said that was also interesting.

“We had a pretty good idea once we were trying to calculate it that we had won by at least one shot,” Gaudio said. “We just wanted those final results to tell us 100% one way or another.”

They did. Oakland beat the Norse by three strokes.

Possibly? 

A little more than a half hour after the broadcast started, an older woman sitting with three girlfriends adjacent to the glass wall that made up one side of the waiting hall turned to the right to examine the reason for the gathering. 

Said reason later appeared on the television. Above, behind and kind of to the side of the team’s table, a women’s college golfer cried for what appeared to be victory.

A few questions stood; no one noticed, or everyone already had: Could one of the women sitting in the restaurant be that girl? Could they produce some well-won tears?

Oakland women’s golf won its first-ever conference championship and ventures now to the Shoal Creek Golf and Country Club for the NCAA Regional, hosted by Alabama. Among the other opponents are Northwestern, Notre Dame and Michigan. It’s the first time women’s golf has been to a Division I regional.

The tournament runs May 5-7. Keep up with scores on Golfstat.com.