May 12, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio (seminoles.com) - Florida State's Maria Salinas finished in a tie for first in the individual standings and advanced to the NCAA Championships as an individual participant but the Seminoles saw their season end as they finished in a tie for 10th place in the team standings - six strokes behind Arkansas for the eighth and final spot to advance to the National Championships. Salinas will travel as one of nine individual participants to the NCAA Championships at the Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn., May 22-25.
In becoming the first individual regional champion in school history, Salinas finished in a tie for first place with Lisa McCloskey of Southern California. Salinas birdied four of her last six holes while McCloksey bogeyed three of her last five holes to allow the two players to finish in a tie for first place. Because Salinas was the top finishing individual not on one of the top eight teams and McCloskey advanced to the championships as a member of the winning team, the tie was not broken by a playoff.
Southern California won the regional team championship and will be joined by Vanderbilt, Purdue, Tennessee, Virginia, Ohio State, NC State and Arkansas as the eight representatives from the NCAA Central Regional Championships at the NCAA Championships.
"I am heartbroken for my girls," said head coach Amy Bond. "This will always be a special team to me; they did everything that was asked of them. We just came up short - six strokes short - in our goal to advance to the National Championships. I am extremely happy for Maria who has a great shot to win a national championship. That is our next goal as a coaching staff- the help her become a national champion."
Salinas (Lima, Peru) played one of her best tournaments of her career as she advanced to the NCAA Championships for the third time in her career. Her three round tournament score is tied for the second best score of her career. She won the spring 2012 Lady Gator Invitational with a four under par score of 206. Salinas also carded a 3 under par score of 213 in finishing in second place at the spring 2011 Lady Puerto Rico Invitational.
Salinas finished with a 2 under par score of 70 in the final round of the regional championship. It marked her third score of par or better in this event and her fifth consecutive score of par or better dating back to the second round of the ACC Championship in April. Salinas has a cumulative total of even par (plus 3 at the ACC Championship and minus 3 at the NCAA Regional Championship) in her last two events. Salinas has played well since winning the Lady Gator Invitational in February; she is a total of 11 strokes over par in her last five tournaments.
Similar to her play in the second round, Salinas had to recover from a rocky start to work herself back into contention for the individual championship. She suffered a double bogey six on the par four hole No. 11 (her second hole of the day) and carded a bogey four on the par four hole No. 13 (her fourth hole of the day). She then completely reversed gears and got herself back into the race for the championship. Salinas carded six birdies over the next 14 holes (with only one bogey) to move into first place for a short time.
With a chance to win the title outright and having already finished her round, Salinas watched as McCloskey finished with a par on her final hole and the two players finished in a tie for first place.
"This is the most bittersweet moment I think I have every felt in my golfing career," said Salinas. "I am happy to be able to continue my career but to go to nationals without my team is makes me very sad. I hope this will be a lesson to my teammates for the future - every shot counts in every tournament. The goal always has to be to go to nationals as a team."
Junior Malin Jansson (Nykvarn, Sweden) played her best round of the tournament in the third round and finished with a 5 over par score of 77. She finished her first career NCAA Regional Championship with a three round total of 238. Jansson and freshman Laure Castelain (Bordeaux, France) finished tied for 75th. Senior Hannah Thomson (Perth, Australia) finished her career in a tie for 68th place in the individual standings - tied with teammate Jessica Negron (Ocala, Fla.).
2012 NCAA Central Regional Championship/May 10-12, 2012/Final Florida State Results Scarlet Course at The Ohio State University/Columbus, Ohio/Par 72 T10/24. Florida State 314 301 304 919 T1. Maria Salinas 71 72 70 213 T68. Jessica Negron 80 76 81 237 T68. Hannah Thomson 83 75 79 237 T75. Laure Castelain 82 78 78 238 T75. Malin Jansson 81 80 77 238
2012 NCAA Central Regional Championship/May 10-12, 2012/Final Team Results Scarlet Course at The Ohio State University/Columbus, Ohio/Par 72 1. Southern California 874 13. Ole Miss 930 2. Vanderbilt 899 14. Texas State 935 3. Purdue 902 15. Notre Dame 936 4. Tennessee 904 16. Michigan 937 5. Virginia 905 17. Kentucky 938 6. Ohio State 908 18. Harvard 943 7. NC State 911 19. South Florida 954 8. Arkansas 913 20. Texas San Antonio 963 9. Oregon 914 21. East Carolina 966 T10. Florida State 919 22. UNC Wilmington 969 T10. Georgia 919 23. Butler 970 12. Auburn 922 24. Siena 981