May 12, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio --- Freshman Rocio Sanchez Lobato tied for 10th individually at the NCAA Central Regional on Saturday to qualify for the NCAA Championships. The No. 9-ranked Bulldogs closed with a 14-over 302 at Ohio State University's Scarlet Course and failed to advance to the NCAAs after finishing tied for 10th with Florida State.
The top-eight teams and top two individual finishers who are not members of those squads advance to the NCAA Championships at Vanderbilt's Legend Club in Fraklin, Tenn., from May 22-25. Georgia fell six shots from eighth place, the team cut for the NCAAs. Sanchez Lobato was the second individual not on an advancing team.
"I was proud of the effort today," head coach Kelley Hester said. "We had so many birdie opportunities that didn't go in. Today was fine. We didn't give it away today. Yesterday was the real kicker. We were 30-over yesterday. You can't do that. The bookends were pretty good. I think it would be a lot easier to find six shots from yesterday than today."
Georgia was in second place after round one when the Bulldogs recorded one of only two sub-300 rounds but shot 318 on Friday and slipped to 11th.
Sanchez Lobato posted the Bulldogs' low score for the third consecutive day, signing 2-over 74 on Saturday. She finished at 6-over 222, nine shots behind co-medalists Lisa McCloskey of Southern Cal and Maria Salinas of Florida State.
Georgia also counted a pair of 75s from Emilie Burger and Marta Silva Zamora and a 78 from Amelia Hill, while dropping Milena Savich's 83. Overall, Burger tied for 34th at 229, Silva Zamora tied for 45th at 232, Savich tied for 93rd at 241 and Hill tied for 116th at 251.
Sanchez Lobato's advancement to the NCAA Championships was a bittersweet consolation prize on her 19th birthday. It was her second straight top-10 finish during the postseason. She tied for eighth at the SEC Championships.
"Ro has done everything we've asked of her," Hester said. "She's the bright spot of this week. She played well and earned a spot in the NCAA Championships. It's just unfortunate that she won't have her teammates there with her. I'm certain she'll go out and give it a good run and try to make the most of the opportunity."
No. 3 Southern Cal completed its wire-to-wire position atop the team leaderboard by notching a 2-under 286 and finishing at 874. The other seven teams advancing from the Central Regional are No. 10 Vanderbilt, Purdue, No. 14 Tennessee, Virginia, No. 16 Ohio State, No. 22 N.C. State and Arkansas.
The third-seeded Bulldogs and second-seeded and No. 4-ranked Auburn both failed to qualify. The Tigers finished 12th at 922.
The Regional ended the career of Marta Silva Zamora, one of the most decorated performers in Georgia Golf history. Silva Zamora was the 2011 National Player of the Year and last week became just the eighth four-time first-team All-SEC honoree in women's golf in league history.
NCAA Central Regional
OSU Scarlet Course
Par 72; 6264 Yards
Saturday's Final Standings
Southern Cal 298-290-286=874
Ohio State 310-302-296=908
N.C. State 307-304-300=911
Florida State 299-318-302=919
Ole Miss 315-311-304=930
Texas State 320-315-300=935
Notre Dame 304-320-312=936
South Florida 309-325-320=954
UT San Antonio 317-326-319=962
East Carolina 329-310-328=967
UNC Wilmington 323-322-324=969
Lisa McCloskey, Southern Cal 73-68-72=213
Maria Salinas, Florida State 71-72-70=213
Marina Alex, Vanderbilt 70-73-72=215
Brittany Altomare, Virginia 75-72-71=218
Sophia Popov, Southern Cal 78-68-72=218
Emily Tubert, Arkansas 75-75-68=218
Rachel Rohanna, Ohio State 74-74-72=220
Doris Chen, Southern Cal 72-77-72=221
Lauren Stratton, Vanderbilt 75-68-78=221
Laura Gonzalez, Purdue 78-73-71=222
Augusta James, N.C. State 78-73-71=222
Rocio Sanchez Lobato, Georgia 73-75-74=222
Additional Georgia Scores
T34. Emilie Burger, Georgia 75-79-75=229
T45. Marta Silva Zamora, Georgia 74-83-75=232
T93. Milena Savich, Georgia 77-81-83=241
T116. Amelia Hill, Georgia 90-83-78=251