The Loop

No playing favorites at conference championships


California (17-over 881) won its second Pac-12 title in school history, beating USC by one stroke at Palouse Ridge GC in Pullman, Wash. The Trojans made five birdies in the final two holes to nearly steal away the title but Cal senior Joanne Lee birdied the 18th and Daniela Holmqvist made a par to secure the win. USC's Doris Chen was medalist with a one-over 217, the fifth Trojan to win the individual title. Top-ranked UCLA finished four strokes back in fourth place, their worst showing of the 2011-12 season.

Michigan State (25-over 889) repeated as Big Ten champs, defeating Purdue by six strokes at the Donald Ross course at French Lick (Ind.) Resort. Purdue's Laura Gonzalez-Escallon was the individual champion for the second time in her career, shooting an even-par 216 to win by one stroke over Michigan's Yugene Lee.

Oklahoma (64-over 904) pulled out a seven-stroke victory at the Big 12 Championship, outpacing Texas during a rainy final round at Lawrence (Kan.) GC. Texas A&M's Mary Michael Maggio won the individual title with a nine-over 219.


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For the second straight year, the Pac-12 title was decided in a playoff, with California outlasting Oregon in two holes to claim its first-ever conference crown. The Golden Bears needed a 30-plus foot birdie putt on the 18th hole from senior Brandon Hagy to catch the Ducks in regulation at Trysting Tree GC in Corvallis, Ore., after being five strokes down with three holes to play. "I hit it exactly how I wanted it to," Hagy said of his putt on the 18th hole. "It looked good from 10 feet out and it went in. It was a really good feeling." Hagy then made a 20-foot birdie on the second-playoff hole that gave Cal the title. Stanford's Andrew Yun was medalist with a 13-under 275.

Texas A&M won its first Big 12 title, defeating top-ranked Texas by three strokes at Whispering Pines GC in Trinity, Texas. The Aggies had a nine-stroke lead starting the day, but saw the Longhorns charge back and actually take the lead on the back nine. With the final group playing the 18th hole, Texas senior Dylan Frittelli needed a birdie to force a playoff, but made a triple bogey when he hit his ball into the water near the green. Frittelli's stumble also cost him a shot at the individual title, as he finished three strokes back of Baylor's Joakim Mikkelsen.

Illinois won a fourth straight Big Ten title, shooting a 23-over 1,175 to beat Indiana by three strokes at the Dye Course at French Lick (Ind.) Resort. A chip-in eagle from Mason Jacobs and birdie by Thomas Pieters on the final hole secured the team win. Senior Luke Guthrie took the individual title for the second straight year, shooting a five-under 283 to become the school's third repeat winner and the first since Steve Stricker in 1988-89.

Rain forced the final round of the Atlantic 10 Championship to be washed out, allowing second-round leader George Washington to claim the team title and end Charlotte's run of six straight conference championships. It was the Colonials first-ever A-10 title and first conference title of any kind since 1959.