Oregon takes second in East/West Match Challenge
Oregon took Wisconsin to the last shot on the last hole in the championship match of the East/West Match Play Challenge in Ann Arbor, Michigan, but couldn’t come away with the victory, falling 3-2.
Oregon took home championship honors last season when they defeated Colorado 3-2. This season, the Ducks have two top-three finishes in their two tournaments.
The East/West Match Challenge began with a field of eight teams all competing in stroke play. The results after 36 holes of stroke play set the pairing for the match-play rounds.
Oregon shot a one-over 289 over the first 18, putting itself in first place heading into the second 18. But it couldn’t replicate its early success. The Ducks shot a six-over 294 and dropped to fourth place behind Wisconsin, Kentucky, and then-field-leader Ohio State. Oregon was led by freshmen Amy Matsuoka and sophomore Petra Salko, who both finished two-over 74 and were tied for eighth overall when stroke play concluded.
Oregon’s fourth place finish got it matched up with Ohio State in the next round. With the match even at 2-2, Matsuoka and her counterpart Rio Watanabe headed to a sudden death round, but the drama didn’t last long. Matsuoka vanquished Watanabe with a birdie on the first playoff hole to send Oregon to the championship round.
Much like the previous round, the final round went down to the wire. With four of the five matches done, Oregon and Wisconsin found themselves tied with just three holes to go. Sophomore Kathleen Scavo was the last hope for the Ducks. Through 15 holes, she was down two strokes to Nat Zeng, but birdied her next two holes to pull the match square heading to the final hole. Scavo’s opening drive, a long shot down the fairway, was good, but she dropped her second shot into the left bunker. Zeng seized the opportunity and sealed the victory for Wisconsin.
The Ducks return to Eugene for a few weeks before heading back on the road. They travel next to Chicago, Illinois for the Windy City Challenge running Oct. 3-4.
Follow Gus Morris on Twitter @JustGusMorris
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