Oklahoma golfer wins national title

May, 26, 2012
5/26/12
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Oklahoma's Chirapat Jao-Javani won the NCAA Division I individual women's golf title by four strokes on Friday in Franklin, Tenn., becoming the first Sooner golfer to win an individual national title.

Jao-Javanil, ranked 59th by GolfStat and 41st by Golfweek, got to sit around and watch the scoreboard to see if her score would hold up after not looking at a leaderboard throughout her round.

"I think it was more pressure than actually playing out there because you're looking at the phone and Brooke Pancake's like an awesome player," Jao-Javanil said. "You never know if she could birdie her way in."

The sophomore from Thailand had won this year at the Central District Invitational and the Golf Week Conference Challenge and finished second at the Big 12 Championship as she helped lead Oklahoma to its first league title since 2000. She finished fifth at the West Regional.

She started the final round tied with Giulia Molinaro of Arizona State and bogeyed No. 18, her ninth hole, after hitting into the water to fall into a three-way tie. But Jao-Javanil birdied No. 1 for a one-stroke lead over LSU's Tessa Teachman, while Molinaro bogeyed to fall to 2 under. Jao-Javanil wrapped up the title with a flourish on another tap-in birdie on the par-5 ninth and soon started getting tweets of congratulations from Oklahoma's football players.

"It's really special," Jao-Javanil said. "I mean because I feel like over here in the U.S. football is a really big sport. To get recognition from them ... we're like the women's golf team."

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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