The University of Minnesota women's golf team will participate in the 2011 NCAA Women's Golf Championships this week for the first time since 1989. The Gophers advanced to collegiate golf's ultimate stage after finishing third at the 24-team NCAA Central Regional in South Bend, Indiana and will compete for the national championship from Wed., May 18 to Sat., May 21 at the Traditions Club in Bryan, Texas.
Hosted by Texas A&M, the championships will feature a 24-team field comprised of the top eight finishers at each of the three regional tournaments (east, west, central) that were held May 5-7. Teams will play 18 holes each day from Wednesday through Sunday, beginning at 7:00 a.m. CT.
Live scoring can be followed throughout the event at www.ncaa.org and daily updates be available at www.bigten.org as well.
The course: The Traditions Club, which was co-designed by Jack Nicklaus and his son Jack Nicklaus II, is a par 72, 6,260 yard course located near the Texas A&M campus. THE FIELD:
The Gophers will be making just their second ever appearance at the event in program history. Joining the maroon and gold in the field will be fellow Big Ten schools Ohio State and Purdue. As reigning NCAA National champions, the Boilermakers will be trying to defend their title with their 12th-straight appearance in the event.
Qualifying from the West Regional, USC, Tennessee, Virginia, UC Davis, Arizona, South Carolina, Washington, and host Texas A&M make up a third of the teams. UCLA, LSU, Minnesota, Arkansas, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Stanford, and Wake Forest earned sports from the Central Regional, while Alabama, North Carolina, Arizona State, Coastal Carolina, California, Purdue, Florida, and Vanderbilt will represent the best of the East Regional. SWAN SONG:
The NCAA Championships will mean the end of brilliant collegiate careers for the Minnesota senior foursome of Michele Edlin, Mary Narzisi, Teresa Puga and Samantha Sommers. When the ladies first arrived on Minnesota’s campus, they were coming to a program ranked 123rd in the country. This week, the Gophers head into the NCAA Championships as the 39th ranked team in the country.
One of the most accomplished golfers in Minnesota history, Puga holds most of the program's records. Her career stroke average of 75.59 heading into the NCAA’s, is the lowest, by nearly two strokes, in the history of the program. Her current season (2010-11) average of 74.47 is also the lowest season average in program history. She qualified for the 2010 regionals as an individual.
Narzisi currently holds a career stroke average of 78.11, tied for the third lowest in the history of the program. Her current season average of 75.94 is the third-lowest season average in program history
Sommers also holds a career stroke average of 78.11, which is tied with Narzisi for the third-lowest in the history of the program. Her current season average of 77.25 is the 10th-lowest season in program history.
Edlin, who came to the program as a walk-on, holds a career stroke average of 78.79, the ninth lowest in the history of the program. Her current season average of 76.55 is the seventh-lowest season average in program history. NCAA REGIONAL RECAP:
Lead by a sixth place finish by Samantha Sommers, the Golden Gophers finished in third place at the 24-team central regional. It was just the fifth NCAA Regional that the program had qualified for. By virtue of its top-eight finish, Minnesota advanced to the NCAA Championships for just the second time in program history. The third place finish was the program’s finest at an NCAA Regional. The previous best was a 16th place finish at the 2001 central regional.
Watch below as Director of Instruction Ernie Rose previews the event and also recaps the Central Regional action.