DANVILLE, Calif. - No. 38 Brigham Young led from day one and continued to hold on to its lead over the rest of the field en route to winning the 2016 West Coast Conference Women's Golf Championship, the first since the Cougars joined the conference prior to the 2012 season.
BYU broke Pepperdine's 14-year championship streak with the victory at the Blackhawk Country Club Lakeside Course. BYU ended up with a three-stroke victory after shooting a three-round total of 288-295-301=884 (+20). It is BYU's fifth tournament win of the season after also winning the Ptarmigan Classic, Aggie Invitational, Rainbow Wahine Invitational and the Entrada Classic.
The conference title is the first in BYU women's golf history since winning back-to-back WAC championships in 1991 and 1992. Since joining the WCC in 2012, BYU earned finishes of sixth, third, third and fifth before claiming the title this season.
"It means everything to us to win this event," BYU head coach Carrie Roberts said. "It was a record-breaking year for tournament wins and to win the conference tournament makes it that much better. It's hard to win a championship and the girls fought hard for it and earned it. I am so proud of them, especially Lea. She has carried us for four years. We played solid in this tournament. We didn't play our best today, but good enough to win. Yesterday's strong finish was huge for us."
Gonzaga (296-301-290=887, +23) jumped into second on the final day after a stellar third round from junior Ciera Min who shot 6-under Wednesday to jump eight spots and claim individual medalist honors. Min, who finished third last season as a sophomore at the tournament, earned her first career win with her 74-76-66=216 (E), and the final round 66 sets a new Gonzaga program record with a 6-under round. She is the second Zag to win medalist honors in the last three years after Alice Kim claimed medalist honors in 2014.
Third place was claimed by reigning champion Pepperdine at 892 (+28), followed by Santa Clara at 904 (+40) and San Francisco at 906 (+42).
The Cougars were led by Lea Garner and Rose Huang, two of the four participants that finished as individual runners-up with 3-over 219's. Gonzaga's Bianca Pagdanganan and Santa Clara's Annie Freman also shot 219's for the tournament.
Garner entered the final round as the leader but fell behind Min after carding 7's on the par-5 3rd and par-4 7th holes to finish the day. It is Garner's third career top-five finish at the conference championships. She previously claimed fifth in both 2013 and 2014.
Santa Clara's Freman had the biggest individual jump of the day by moving up 12 spots from her starting position with her final roudn 68. Pagdanganan also had a sub-70 score Wednesday after carding a 69.
NCAA Regionals will be held May 5-7. The field will be announced on Monday, April 25.
Team Standings: 1. Brigham Young 288-295-301=884 (+20); 2. Gonzaga 296-301-290=887 (+23); 3. Pepperdine 293-301-298=892 (+28); 4. Santa Clara 302-304-298=904 (+40); 5. San Francisco 294-312-300=906 (+42)
Top Individuals: 1. Ciera Min (Gonzaga) 74-76-66=216 (E); T2. Annie Freman (Santa Clara) 75-76-68=219 (+3); T2. Lea Garner (BYU) 70-72-77=219 (+3); T2. Rose Huang (BYU) 73-73-73=219 (+3); T2. Bianca Pagdanganan (Gonzaga) 74-76-69=219 (+3)