Gophers Set for Seventh NCAA Berth
May 5, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS (GopherSports.com) -- For the seventh time in program history and the second time in 10 years, the University of Minnesota women's golf program heads into NCAA competition this weekend with the NCAA Central Regional.
Oklahoma State hosts this weekend's tournament at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.
The three-day meet starts on Thursday, May 8 and runs through Saturday, May 10.
Opened in 1994, Karsten Creek Golf Club is a Par 72, 6,200-yard course. The venue has previously hosted the 2003 and 2011 NCAA Men's Championships as well as the 2008 Big 12 Women's Golf Championships.
Minnesota at the NCAA Championships
The Golden Gophers make their seventh NCAA appearance as a team this season while current Minnesota senior Banchalee Theinthong is the only member of this year's squad with NCAA playing experience. As a freshman in 2010-11, Theinthong finished tied for 41st (79-76-75--230, 14 over par) at the NCAA Central Regional and factored into the Gophers score in all three rounds of play.
2010-11: NCAA Central Regional (3rd of 24 / 301-297-299--897)
2000-01: NCAA Central Regional (18th of 21 / 318-325-325--968)
1997-98: NCAA East Regional (17th of 19 / 317-315-311--943)
1994-95: NCAA East Regional (19th of 19 / 311-323-316--950)
1993-94: NCAA Regional (18th of 19 / 342-317-330--989)
1988-89: NCAA Championships (12th of 17 / 308-311-317-313--1249)
*Minnesota also sent individual competitors to the NCAAs in 1992-93 and 1982-83
Against the Field
Minnesota is one of 24 teams competing at the 2014 NCAA Central Regional with the top eight teams advancing to the 2014 NCAA Championships at the Tulsa Country Club (Tulsa, Okla.) on May 20-23.
All but three of the regional field ranks in GolfStat's top 100 women's college programs including nine teams in the top 25. Minnesota has seen nine of the regional opponents already this year (SMU, UNLV, Kent State, Cal, Miami, Ohio State, Florida, Oklahoma State and Arizona).
2014 NCAA Central Regional Teams
1. UCLA (3)
*GolfStat ranking follows each team.
2014 NCAA Central Regional Individual Competitors
1. Aurora Kan, Purdue
Success in the 2013-14 Season
The Golden Gophers have put together one of the best statistical seasons in school history during the 2013-14 season including the program's first win in six years at the BYU at Entrada Classic this spring. In addition to the team title, Eden Prairie, Minn., native Anna Laorr took home the individual title for her first collegiate win.
Additionally, the 2013-14 Gopher squad has contributed the following:
*Four of the top-10 team rounds in program history.
*Five of the top-12 team tournament scores in team history including tying the school record with an 869 at the UCF Challenge.
*Six of the top-20 indivudal rounds in school history.
*Eleven of the top-30 individual tournament scores in program history including Carmen Laguna's 212 at the Hoosier Fall Invitational (second all-time at Minnesota) and Sarinee Thitiratanakorn's 214 at the Central District Invitational (third all-time at Minnesota).
About Coach Michele Redman
Now in her third year as head coach of the Golden Gophers, Michele Redman has seen continued improvement with the team since joining the program in 2011.
Most notable among the statistics is Minnesota's 23 stroke improvement in average team tournament score from 921 in Redman's first season (2011-12) to 898 this year.
This year's NCAA Central Regional berth marks the first appearance for the Gophers under Redman, who also coached the team to its first tournament win in six years at the BYU at Entrada Classic in March.
An LPGA veteran with over 20 years of professional golf experience, Redman was the 1987 Big Ten champion, a two-time All-American and a four-time All-Big Ten honoree for Indiana while also helping the Hoosiers to two Big Ten titles.
Minnesota Invitational Represented at NCAA Regionals
Five of the 13 women's golf programs that competed at the inaugural Minnesota Invitational at the Minikahda Club last fall earned NCAA regional berths including both Minnesota and Kent State in the NCAA Central Regional.
Kent State won the inaugural team title at the Minnesota Invitational while the Gophers finished third at their first home event since 2005. Illinois, which finished second at the tournament, has two individuals competing in the NCAA Central Regional. San Diego State and GRU-Augusta will also compete at the NCAA West Regional (Tumble Creek Club at Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum, Wash.) while Texas State is golfing at the NCAA East Regional (SouthWood Golf Club in Tallahassee, Fla.).
Redman Competes at Walgreen's Charity Classic
There was no such thing as an off-week for Coach Michele Redman last week -- the head coach spent the weekend defending her Legend's Tour Walgreen's Charity Classic title at Grandview Golf Course in Sun City West, Ariz.
Redman finished tied for third at the tournament after shooting a six-under par 138 (69-69) -- one shot off the lead.