ERIE, Colo. - Texas Tech's bid for its second NCAA Championships appearance fell just short Saturday as the Lady Raiders finished tied for ninth and three strokes back of Oklahoma for the final spot to advance from the NCAA West Regional.
The Lady Raiders, who came into the final round at the Colorado National Golf Club in sixth place, fired an 11-over 299 card that was damaged late by four bogeys on the final hole, the par-3 ninth. The round moved Tech to 29-over for the tournament and into a tie with California.
"Today was a tough day," Tech head coach JoJo Robertson said. "I think the thing that makes it the hardest was that it was in our hands with about two holes to go. But the team played well - played well all year. Being that close should motivate us and get us ready for next year."
After coming off the No. 9 green around when Oklahoma was making the turn, Tech waited in the clubhouse as the Sooners went on to record a 1-over card that was their lowest of the tournament.
The Sooners took the final spot in the top eight that consisted of co-tournament champions UCLA and LSU along with Pepperdine, Colorado, Baylor, Stanford, and North Carolina. Tech's ninth-place finish matches its best in school history from its 1996 and 2010 regional appearances.
"I guess it's second-best. We have next year to make it as a team, and everyone is coming back so it's a little bitter-sweet. But with Gabby making it, we're both going to be there so I'm looking forward to it and excited about that.
Kaufman finished tied for eighth after a 1-over 73 round that featured two birdies on back nine before a par putt lipped out on the ninth. She wrapped the tournament 1-over for her seventh top-10 finish of the year.
Dominguez, meanwhile, had to endure a sudden-death playoff in order to advance as her 2-over final round left her tied for 14th overall at 3-over with Amy Simanton of UC Davis.
After both players chipped to roughly 15 feet from the hole on the par-4 first, Dominguez followed Simanton's missed birdie attempt by draining the putt from the left side of the green. Dominguez had previously bogeyed that hole earlier in the day.
The two juniors will be the first Lady Raiders to compete at the NCAA Championships since Rosalyn Kim did so in 2010 after the then-senior finished the NCAA East Regional in third place. The NCAA Championships will be held May 22-25 at the Vanderbilt Legends Golf Course in Franklin, Tenn.
"It means a lot," Kaufman said of advancing as an individual. "I guess it's second-best. We have next year to make it as a team, and everyone is coming back so it's a little bitter-sweet. But with Gabby making it, we're both going to be there so I'm looking forward to it and excited about that.
Hannah Arnold and Elin Arvidsson completed Tech's final card with 75 and 77 scores. Arnold was 1-under over the front nine before ending the day with bogeys on four of the final five holes to finish 12-over for the tournament and tied for 61st overall.
Arvidsson completed her first collegiate postseason experience at 13-over and tied for 72nd. Deborah DeVilla was a shot back of the freshman with a 6-over final round that left the junior 18-over for the tournament.
Robertson will return her entire roster next season as Tech played the entire year with three juniors along with a pair of sophomores and freshmen. The third-year head coach will also add one incoming freshman in Kimmy Hill, who signed with the program last November.