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Sophomore star shines in final round

By Seth Fast Glass

May 29, 2006 9:00 pm

At the end of the first round of the NCAA Championships at the
Scarlet Course in Columbus, Ohio, sophomore Amie Cochran stepped
into the scorer’s tent and reluctantly took out a pen.

She signed for a 6-over par 78, leaving her as the Bruin with
the largest gap between her name and the top of the individual
leaderboard ““ 85 places to be exact.

After Friday’s final round, Cochran again took out her
pen, this time not as hesitantly, and signed for UCLA’s only
real highlight of the week.

The sophomore inked her second consecutive top-10 finish at the
NCAA Championships, rebounding from a difficult first round to post
scores of 71, 71 and 72 to finish in a tie for sixth place at
4-over par.

“Especially having played so poorly in the first round,
Amie did what I hoped everyone would do, which was recover from
that first bad round and step up,” UCLA women’s golf
coach Carrie Forsyth said. “That’s a huge step for her.
In past performances, you would have seen a continuation of her not
playing well. She had the ability to come back and keep it

She not only kept it together, but also flirted with the course
record and the lowest round of the NCAA Championships.

Par, birdie, par, birdie, birdie, par, par, birdie, birdie
““ on the scorecard, it confirmed a 5-under par 31 on the
Scarlet Course’s front nine.

From Forsyth’s perspective, it confirmed something else
““ relief.

“It was finally good to see someone playing well, to know
that this golf course is not impossible,” Forsyth said.
“The other girls on the golf course can’t tell how
anyone else is doing, but for me, it was really nice to see that.
It was awesome.”

Cochran appeared poised to card a sub-70 round when a lightning
delay forced her, as well as everyone else, off the golf course.
When she returned, she quickly yielded four shots back to the
Scarlet Course and finished with an even-par 72.

GOING, GOING, NOWHERE: Freshmen Tiffany Joh and
Jane Park, who both contemplated turning professional before coming
to UCLA, will be returning to Westwood for their sophomore years,
according to Joh. “I think I’m going to be on the
seven-year plan,” Joh said. Cochran was not as committal when
addressing the issue of her returning for her junior season and
said she has contemplated turning professional, but will probably
return to UCLA next season as well.

birdied three of her final five holes on Friday to shoot a final
round 3-under par 69 and claim medalist honors, finishing the NCAA
Championships at 2-under par and two strokes ahead of Duke’s
Jennie Lee. Pepperdine’s Eileen Vargas had led the tournament
after each of the first three rounds, but bogeyed five of six holes
during the middle of her final round to take herself out of
contention. Vargas shot a final round 5-over par 77 and finished in
a tie for fourth place at 3-over par.

UP NEXT: The next team with the chance to claim
UCLA’s 100th NCAA Title is the men’s golf team, who
tees off on Wednesday at the NCAA Championships at Crosswater Golf
Club in Sunriver, Ore. Last season, UCLA finished dead last in the
30-team field at the NCAA Championships and vowed to improve upon
that position at this year’s final tournament.

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Seth Fast Glass
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