Saturday, May 23, 2009

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — Purdue's Maria Hernandez shot a 1-under 71 on Friday for a one-stroke victory in the NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship, and Arizona State beat UCLA by eight shots for its seventh team title.

Hernandez, a senior from Spain, had a 1-over 289 total on the Caves Valley course. Southern California freshman Jennifier Song (74) finished second, closing with a double bogey on give Hernandez the victory.

``I don't think I believe it right now,'' Hernandez said. ``It was just kind of surprising really. I knew today that I had to go all out. I had a really rough start, but I've been playing good golf the entire week. I've not been scoring as well as I should. I finished pretty well today, but that putt for birdie on 18 I thought was right there, but it didn't go in. I'm lucky.''

Oklahoma State's Pernilla Lindberg (69) followed at 3 over, and Duke's Amanda Blumenherst (71) and Arizona State's Azahara Munoz (72) tied for fourth at 5 over. Munoz won last year.

Arizona State won the national title for the first time since 1998, shooting a 3-over 291 to finish at 30 over. UCLA was second at 38 over, followed by Southern California (39 over), Oklahoma State (47 over), Denver (54 over) and Duke (55 over).

``It's almost relief. We started tough after the first two days and the resolve and the determination and the talent of these players just came through,'' Arizona State coach Melissa Luellen said. ``I really feel like the best team won.

Arizona's State's Carlota Ciganda (72) and Jaclyn Sweeney (75) tied for 11th at 9 over, Jennifer Osborn (75) tied for 21st at 11 under, and Juliana Murcia (72) tied for 32nd at 14 under. Only the top four scores each day count in the team total.

In addition to its seven NCAA titles, Arizona State won seven national championships before the NCAA added women's sports.

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