The NCAA Championship is set for May 21-24 at the University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Ga.
AUBURN – The Auburn women’s golf team will make its first appearance in the NCAA Women’s Golf National Championship since 2010 after finishing in eighth at the NCAA East Regional at the Auburn University Golf Club. The Tigers shot a 6-over 294 Saturday to finish at 13-over.
Hosted by Auburn, the NCAA East Regional was a 54-hole stroke play championship that took place at the Auburn University Club in Auburn, Ala. The par-72 course will played at 6,259 yards for the tournament. The tournament field of 24 teams included nine teams ranked in the top-25 of one of the major polls as well as 11 teams that won their conference tournament.
“They started out slow, but they made adjustments,” Auburn student assistant coach Danielle Downey said. “They hung in there, and they finished well. There are some tough finishing holes, with tough pin positions. I am so proud of how they backed up yesterday’s round.
“They knew the pressure. They could see the leaderboards on a couple of holes, and they knew they were on the bubble. They knew and they still got it done.”
Auburn was led by junior Marta Sanz, who finished tied for 11th at 2-under 214 after shooting a 3-under 69 in the final round. Following a bogey on No. 3, Sanz birdied No. 7 to make the turn at even-par. On the back-9, Sanz led the charge to keep Auburn in the top-8 spots with birdies on Nos. 11, 13 and 17.
“Today’s round was completely different than yesterday,” Sanz said. “Today I couldn’t hit my irons at all. I got about to about nine greens, and my putter started working. When your putter starts working, you shoot low. I made a lot of important par putts to get me going. On the back-9, I got three greens and made three birdies. I was really happy about it.”
Junior Diana Fernandez finished tied for 26th at 2-over 218 after carding a final-round 76. Fernandez started the round with a bogey on No. 1, but carded a birdie on No. 4 before suffering back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 5 and 6. On the back-9, Fernandez bogeyed Nos. 11 and 14 to finish at 4-over.
Senior Carlie Yadloczky finished tied for 33rd after shooting a 2-over 74 to finish at 4-over 220 for the tournament. Freshman Jamie Yun carded a 78 tied for 73rd at 12-over 228 while sophomore Victoria Trapani tied for 96th, posting a final-round 75 to finish with a 234.
By virtue of finishing eighth, Auburn earns one of the eight spots into the NCAA Championship, set for May 21-24 at the University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Ga. Others advancing were Alabama, Tulane, Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Texas, Northwestern and UCLA. Princeton’s Kelly Shon and Tennessee’s Erica Popson advanced as individuals.
Mississippi State Advances to Championships for First TIme
NORMAN, Okla. – History was made, records were broken and the Mississippi State women’s golf team is headed to the NCAA Championships at the UGA Golf Course in Athens, Ga.
Unranked and seeded 19th out of 24 teams, MSU was a heavy underdog in the NCAA Central Regional hosted at the par-72, 6,298-yard Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club.
After posting a 4-over-par 292 and 299 during the first two rounds, the Lady Bulldogs entered Saturday’s final round tied for sixth, with only one shot separating them and the end of their season. Facing the most important round of the year, they fired a 7-under-par 281 and climbed into third place with a three-round 8-over-par 872.
The 281 is the second-lowest round in program history, while the 872 is the second-lowest tournament card in history.
“It’s kind of surreal still,” third-year MSU coach Ginger Brown-Lemm said. “We met in the parking lot before today’s round and we talked about that this was just another final round of a golf tournament. It was about today’s round and one shot at a time. The only thing that mattered is the next shot.”
This marks the first time MSU has advanced to the NCAA Championships as a team. Before this season, MSU’s best postseason finish came with a 12th-place card in the 2002 NCAA East Regional.
“You know I expected (to make the NCAA Championships) but maybe not this soon,” Brown-Lemm said. “I’m elated that all of the girls were firing on all cylinders on the same round. It is something we haven’t been able to enjoy yet.”
The NCAA Championships will be hosted at the UGA Golf Course in Athens, Ga., on May 21-24. The event will be a four-round stroke-play tournament, as opposed to the normal three-round events.
No. 29 Ally McDonald also claimed the NCAA Central Regional title, firing a school record 10-under-par 206. She claimed a dominating five-stroke victory over a trio of second-place finishers.
The sophomore notched back-to-back 3-under-par 69’s during the first two rounds before firing a career-best 68 for the final round.
McDonald traded a birdie-bogey start Saturday and finished the front nine with birdies on three of her last five holes. After holing out with an 8 iron from 139 yards for an eagle on the 394-yard, par-4 16th, she moved to 6-under. The Fulton native stumbled coming in with a double bogey on the par-5 18th as her third shot landed in a bunker short of the green.
“Surprisingly, I just felt very relaxed,” McDonald said. “Most of my shots were fairly consistent. I didn’t have very many big misses, obviously, besides the last hole. I kind of stumbled coming in but the eagle on 16 kind of canceled that double out. Things happen for a reason. It was all around a good round.”
Sophomore Rica Tse and junior Mary Langdon Gallagher each notched 221’s for the regional, which were season-best cards for each
Tse turned in back-to-back 76’s in the first two rounds but fired a 69 on Saturday, which tied her career-best. The New Zealand native birdied five of six holes from No. 8 to No. 13 and finished with seven birdies on the day.
After an opening-round 76, Gallagher fired a second-round 72 followed by a final-round 1-over-par 73. The Greenwood native birdied No. 9 and moved to 1-under at the turn. She managed a 2-over on the back to finish tied for 30th.
Elena Warren fired her second 71 of the regional during the third round. The 1-under matches her career-best, while the sophomore’s three-round 225 was only two strokes off her career-low.
Freshman Gabi Oubre’ rounded out the Lady Bulldog leaderboard with three-round 233 behind a final-round 75, which is the second-lowest postseason round in freshman history.
Third-ranked Duke finished atop the leaderboard, firing a tournament-best 12-under-par 276 Saturday. The Blue Devils’ three-round 851 claimed a six-stroke victory over No. 4 Oklahoma, the tournament host.
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Burger Qualifies for NCAAs but Bulldogs Fall Short
STANFORD, Calif. --- Emilie Burger carded a 2-under 69 to lead Georgia en route to a 12-over 296 in Saturday's final round of the NCAA West Regional at the Stanford University Golf Course. That team tally left the No. 18-ranked Bulldogs two painful strokes shy of advancing to the NCAA Championships; however, Burger's seventh-place individual showing earned her one of two individual spots in the NCAA field.
The result was bittersweet for Burger. The NCAA Championships will be contested on May 21-24 at the University of Georgia Golf Course. While she was excited to qualify individually, she was extremely disappointed her teammates won't be competing with her.
"I was really upset after the round," Burger said. "I've said all week that I didn't want to go as an individual. I wanted the team to be there. It will be nice because I'll finally get a chance to do what I've wanted to do since I got here, which is compete for a national championship. I really wanted my teammates with me though because they've been such a big part of this season for me and why this has been my best year at Georgia. I'll just go out and try to represent for them."
Georgia finished 10th on the team leaderboard at 891, two strokes behind a seventh-place tie between Oregon and San Jose State. No. 19 Baylor finished ninth at 890.
When the Bulldogs finished their round at approximately 12:50, they knew they were in ninth place on the leaderboard but held out hope that a team still on the course could falter. That almost happened 90 minutes later when Baylor dropped five strokes late in the day and needed a late par to remain ahead of Georgia and leave the Bulldogs at ninth among teams playing in the morning wave.
That point became moot three hours later when San Jose State, playing in the afternoon wave, carded an even-par 284. That was Spartans' first sub-300 round of the tournament.
"We had a stretch of about 4-6 bad holes today," head coach Josh Brewer said. "That was sort of how it went each day out here and those stretches were on different portions of the golf course each day. I'm proud of them though. They fought and played hard all the way to the end. I have to do a better job of helping them find a shot here or a shot there."
In addition to Burger's 69, Georgia also counted a pair of 75s from freshmen Manuela Carbajo Ré and Kailey Walsh and a 77 by Rocio Sanchez Lobato. Amira Alexander posted a 78.
Burger birdied No. 2 and No. 5 to move to 2-under but dropped both of those strokes with consecutive bogeys at No. 9 and No. 10. She birdied No. 12 and No. 14 before posting four consecutive pars to end the day.
"What a round of golf by Emilie," Brewer said. "With what was at stake out here, I think she played about as well as anyone could hope for. She played like you would expect your senior leader to play. She tried to put the team on her back and carry us back to Athens, but unfortunately we all came up just a little short. Emilie has big dreams and aspirations in golf and being able to perform here bodes well for her future."
No. 1 Southern Cal won the team title after shooting 4-under 280 on Saturday to finish at 859, one shot better than No. 12 Purdue. USC's Annie Park and Purdue's Paula Reto shared medalist honors at 7-under 206. Burger finished seventh at 1-under 212, while Carbajo Ré tied for 60th at 226, Sanchez Lobato tied for 72nd at 228, Alexander tied for 75th at 229 and Walsh tied for 81st at 231.
The 2013 NCAAs will represent the fifth time the UGA Golf Course has hosted women's golf's intercollegiate championships, following 1971, 1981, 1983 and 1993. A four-day pass with tickets for each round of the Championships is $40 for adults and $25 for youth and senior citizens. Those are available at www.georgiadogs.com or by calling the UGA ticket office at 877-542-1231. Daily tickets will go on sale on Monday, May 20.
Gators Advance to NCAAs for Third Straight Year
NORMAN, Okla. - With another solid day on the course including another career-low round (69) from senior Mia Piccio (Bacolod City, Philippines), the ninth-ranked University of Florida women's golf team advanced to the NCAA Championship for the third-straight year after finishing in fourth-place in the 2013 NCAA Central Regional in Norman, Okla. The streak marks the first back-to-back-to-back appearance in the championship since the 2006 through 2008 seasons and is the 23rd total appearance in the finals in school history. The fourth-place finish also matches the team's best finish in an NCAA Regional since 2008.
Along with Piccio's performance, sophomore Anna Young (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada) carded her best round of the year with a one-over (73) and helped the Gators finish with a total of 877 (+13), also its lowest total in a regional since the current format began in 1993. Four out of the five Gator starters scored one-over or better in today's final round as Piccio was able to complete a round of 69 for the fifth time in her career and second of the week. The eighth-place finish is her second-highest finish of the year and is the first time she is the highest UF finisher in any tournament this season.
"I am happy for Mia and her play this week," Florida head coach Emily Bastel said. "She had one bad nine-hole stretch, but besides that, played great golf all weekend. It's a real positive for this team to have our senior step up at crunch time. The team, alone, did a great job of rebounding after yesterday's round. They hung tough all day today and never gave up. I'm proud of their toughness."
Starting her day at one-over for the tournament, Piccio got right to work with two-straight birdies on the second and third holes to get back to red numbers for the weekend. Upon reaching the turn, the senior birdied the par five, 8th, but suffered her first bogey of the day on the ninth hole. Not letting the one drawback get her down, Piccio came right back to birdie the tenth hole and then the 13th hole to move to four-under the day and three-under for the tournament. Unfortunately, she had to write down one more bogey at the 17th, but still finished with a stellar 69 and keep herself in the top-ten. Piccio's final scores of 69-76-69 for a 214 (-2) left her in eighth place for her second under par tournament this year.
Providing some great depth from the No. 5 spot, Young was primed for her best round of the year as she improved each day of the regional. The sophomore had an up-and-down start to her day with two birdies and a double-bogey through the first three holes, but the Canadian settled down to par out the remaining six holes on the front nine. Young was actually on pace to set a new career-low after birdies on the 10th and 15th holes, but suffered a bogey and a double-bogey on 17 and 18 to close out the day. Nonetheless, Young's 73 set a new low for her season and gave Florida a much needed lift to stay in the top eight. Young finished the regional in a tie for 63rd with final scores of 78-75-73 for a 226 (+10).
After getting a one of a kind round to start the regional on Thursday, junior Elcin Ulu (Istanbul, Turkey) was forced to battle back on Saturday after suffering a 78 yesterday. Ulu did exactly that in today's final round to finish with the Gator's second-lowest total for the regional and be one of three Gators to card a 73 on Saturday. Ulu actually didn't have the most ideal starts to her day with three-straight bogeys on the fourth through sixth holes. Dropping to five-over for the tournament, Ulu made the turn and proceeded to hole out four birdies in a row. Holes 10 through 13 proved to be a big turning point not only for Ulu, but for the Gators as the string of birdies lifted UF into the comfortable fourth place needed to advance to the championship. Ulu ended up one-over for the day and finished the weekend tied for 20th with scores of 68-78-73 for a 219 total. The finish is her third-highest this year and second-lowest 54-hole total also.
Rounding out Florida's lineup, freshman Ursa Orehek (Domzale, Slovenia) improved also from her day two total as she carded a one-over (73), her second-best round of the weekend for a final total of 222 (+6) to finish tied for 35th. The finish is Orehek's third-highest this season and second top-40 finish in the last three tournaments. The 222 total is one shot off her tournament-low of 221 set back at the Bryan National Collegiate in late March.
Finally, sophomore Camilla Hedberg (Sitges, Spain) couldn't quite get any momentum going on the regional's final day as finished the third round with a four-over (76) to complete the tournament with a 12-over (228) score in a tie for 75th.
Duke ended up claiming the team title with a 13-under (851) tournament total after going 12-under on the final day to beat second-place Oklahoma by six shots. Mississippi State, the only other SEC school in the field, finished in third-place at eight-over (872), while also bringing home the individual champion, Ally McDonald, who finished the three-day tournament at 10-under (206) for a five-stroke victory over Alejandra Cangrejo of Duke.
The Gators will now have to wait a couple of weeks before traveling to Athens, Ga., to take part in the 2013 NCAA Championship. The four round tournament is scheduled to run May 21-24 and be played at the UGA Golf Course. Last year, UF finished in 12th place, it's first top-15 finish since 2006.
For complete coverage of UF's women's golf program visit GatorZone.com, follow @GatorZoneGolf<http://www.twitter.com/gatorzonegolf> on Twitter and 'like' the University of Florida Women's Golf page<https://www.facebook.com/FloridaWGolf> on Facebook.
Gamecocks Claim Fourth in Regional
STANFORD, Calif. — The South Carolina women’s golf team is headed back to the NCAA Championship for the fourth-straight year after carding a final-round 293 (+9) to finish in fourth place at the NCAA West Regional on Saturday afternoon at the Stanford Golf Course.
The Gamecocks earned the NCAA berth by finishing in the top eight of the regional and wrapped up the week with a three-round total of 874 (+22), which is the seventh lowest 54-hole score in school history. South Carolina head coach Kalen Harris, who has now led the program to five NCAA Championship appearances in six years, couldn’t be more pleased with her team’s toughness throughout the week.
“They came out and played so steady, and I’m so proud of them,” Harris said. “Everybody stepped up. It was an entire team effort. This golf course was such a difficult course. We came in here and were just extremely mentally tough and got the job done. I couldn’t be prouder of them.”
Carolina had two golfers finish in the top 20. Junior Suzie Lee led the way with a tie for 14th showing with a total of 217 (+4) after shooting a final-round 73 (+2), and senior Meredith Swanson, who also carded a 73 (+2), turned in a tie for 18th finish with a total of 218 (+5). Lee recorded two birdies and four bogeys on the afternoon, and Swanson tallied three birdies and five bogeys.
Freshman Sarah Schmelzel was the next highest Gamecock on the leaderboard as she finished in a tie for 33rd with a total of 222 (+9). A native of Phoenix, Ariz., Schmelzel shot a final-round 74 (+3), recording three birdies and six bogeys.
Sophomore Justine Dreher carded a 2-over 73 to wrap up the week in a tie for 39th with a total of 223 (+10). She recorded four birdies, four bogeys and a double bogey for her round.
Rounding out the lineup, freshman Mary Fran Hillow turned in a final-round 78 (+7) to finish in a tie for 85th with a total of 232 (+19).
Top-ranked Southern California won the regional title with a 54-hole total of 859 (+7). Purdue finished second with a total of 860 (+8), while Vanderbilt (869), Stanford (875), Arizona (889), Oregon (889) and San Jose State (889) also finished in the top eight to advance to the NCAA Championship.
Southern California’s Annie Park and Purdue’s Paula Reto finished tied atop the individual leaderboard with a total of 206 (-7). Georgia’s Emilie Burger and Kent State’s Jennifer Ha finished seventh and eighth, respectively, to secure the two individual berths to the NCAA Championship.
The Gamecocks will have a week off before returning to the course in the NCAA Championship. This year’s 72-hole event will be held May 21-24 at the University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Ga. Carolina finished fifth at last year’s NCAA Championship, which is the highest finish at the event in school history.
Wildcats Place 12th at East Regionals
AUBURN, Ala. – Led by senior Ashleigh Albrecht competing in her final event, the University of Kentucky women’s golf team concluded its season after the final round of the 2013 NCAA East Regional in Auburn, Ala., at the Auburn University Club. UK was 12-over-par on the day and finished the event in 12th place at 33-over. The top-8 teams from the 24-team regional field will advance to the NCAA Championships held at the University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Ga., May 21-24.
The Wildcats’ 12th place finish is the highest under third-year head coach Golda Johansson Borst, who has improved in each of her three regional appearances. UK wrapped up the season with a season stroke average of 301.1, shattering the previous school-record of 304.73 set last season under Borst.
Alabama won the tournament with a score of 20-under-par, while Tulane Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Texas, Northwestern, UCLA and Auburn rounded out the top-8, respectively, to move on to the NCAA Championships.
Albrecht finished out her career with a bang, firing the low round of the day for UK with an even par, 72. The Murrieta, Calif., native charted a team-high 14 pars, while sinking back-to-back birdies on holes 12 and 13 to finish the invitational at 12-over-par and was tied for 73rd.
Albrecht wrapped up her career as one of the most decorative women’s golfers in UK history. Her season stroke average of 75.07 is the lowest all-time at Kentucky, surpassing Mallory Blackwelder’s mark of 75.34 set during the 2007-08 campaign. Her even par round on Saturday gave her eight par or better rounds on the season, tying her own record, which she set in 2010-11. She also had 26 par or better round in her time at UK, which sits atop the Kentucky record books.
Freshmen Cylia Demerau and Sarah Harris recorded 2 birdies on the afternoon, shooting 4-over-par. Senior Betsie Johnson also sank two birdies on Saturday, shooting a 5-over-par, 77. All three Wildcats concluded the tournament at 9-over-par and tied for 60th.
Junior Liz Breed tallied a team-best three birdies on the day, firing a 4-over-par, 76. The Waynesboro, Pa., native placed tied for 79th at 13-over.
For more information on the University of Kentucky women’s golf team please visit UKathletics.com.
Razorback Women Qualify for NCAAs
AUBURN, Ala. – The fifth-ranked University of Arkansas women’s golf team tied for third place at the 2013 NCAA East Regional Championship qualifying for the NCAA Championship in Athens, Ga., May 21-24.
Arkansas finished with a final round 287 to tie for third place with an 864. The tie for third is the program’s best NCAA Regional finish bettering the fourth-place finish two seasons ago. This will be the sixth NCAA Championship team appearance in program history and the third consecutive for the Razorbacks.
"Obviously we are excited to advance,” Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor said. “It was a tough round of golf in what I consider one of the most tense rounds of golf all year. This group had a calm about them all week that I felt so at peace about. It is really just taking one step at a time on the journey to get to Athens. They just really performed at a high level. We did a fantastic job coming down the stretch. We started strong and finished strong.”
Also qualifying out of the NCAA East Regional is No. 2 Alabama with an 844, No. 20 Tulane with 852, Arkansas and No. 17 Oklahoma State with an 864, No. 23 Texas with 871, No. 29 Northwestern with 874, No. 8 UCLA with 875 and No. 42 Auburn with 877.
Emma Lavy paced Arkansas and finished tied for 11th overall. The Fayetteville, Ark., native shot 214 with rounds of 67-75-72. Junior Emily Tubert and senior Victoria Vela tied for 18th overall shooting 216.
Tubert shaved three strokes off her previous rounds shooting a two-under 70 in the second round to go with her 73-73 from the first two days.
Vela posted her best-ever NCAA Regional finish and shot 71-73-72 for her 216. Freshman Gabriela Lopez tied for 26th overall with a 218. Lopez carded 72-73-73 in her first-ever collegiate postseason appearance. Freshman Regina Plasencia tied for 60th overall shooting a 225 with 73-75-77 for the Razorbacks.
“Athens is a golf course a lot of us know and to get this group there and have a chance to win a National Championship has been a goal all year,” Estes-Taylor said. “We’re looking forward to the next step in the journey.”
For more information regarding Razorback women’s golf or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.