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West: ‘Do you believe?’ Tulsa does

• East: South Carolina’s Toumpsin passing Regional exam
• Central: Uribe’s positive vibes lead UCLA

By LANCE RINGLER
Assistant Editor

LINCOLN, Calif. – The power of believing can be a dangerous weapon. That may be the extra club in Tulsa’s bag this postseason.

The Golden Hurricane opened the NCAA West Regional at Lincoln (Calif.) Hills Golf Club Thursday with a 1-under 287. Tulsa, the No. 10 seed, sits in second place, just four shots behind Southern California, the top-ranked team in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings. The top eight teams after 54 holes will advance to the NCAA Championship.

For Tulsa, today’s efforts might be the culmination of a season’s worth of training.

First-year coach Randy Keck, who took over after Trelle McCombs scooted to Texas A&M after one year in Tulsa, was quick to acknowledge his new squad was perhaps better than advertised.

“There were a lot of surprises,” said Keck. “Honestly I feel like the talent level on our team was better than I thought it was going to be when I got here. I went in at first with some preconceived ideas on how things were going to be and realized there was a lot of talent there.”

“I knew they were a lot better than everyone was giving them credit for.”

The Golden Hurricane finished the fall season ranked No. 33 after finishing the previous season No. 84. It was a marked improvment, especially for Keck’s three returning starters, seniors Michaela Cavener, Tara Goedeken and Leisl Hasbrouck.

“He is really positive and motivational and that is something we lacked last year,” said senior Cavener, who has played for three different coaches in her career. “Every year has been a different dynamic. Every coach has their own way and I have had to learn something new.”

Changing the attitude of this squad, making his players believe they could win was priority No. 1 one for Keck and assistant coach Sara Mobley.

“I told the girls when coach Mobley and I got here that we were going to win and the three seniors looked at us like we were nuts. I told them that they could either get on the bus or get off the bus,” said Keck. “I knew they were good enough to win. The seniors were good enough to play at this level. I basically made them believe they were good enough to play. All of the kids had a lot of success in junior golf and tried to carry that over to what you did growing up and start winning again.”

Tulsa didn’t find the winner’s circle in the fall, but this spring the Golden Hurricane picked up four victories, including a Conference USA Championship to close the regular season. Tulsa finished 18 shots better than 29th-ranked East Carolina to win the program’s first Conference USA title.

“We all think we are going to go and win and that is what has changed the most,” Goedeken said. “I have never felt this way about five girls before. We can go out and swing freely and know that someone else can pick up the slack if you are not playing well.”

Keck spent three seasons at Redlands Community College, where his team placed among the top three at the NJCAA National Championship in each of those seasons. His team won the NJCAA national title in 2006. Prior to Redlands, Keck was the head coach at Tabor College.

Now he is on the brink of taking his first Division I team to the national championship.

Shortly after his team finished the opening round Thursday, Keck huddled up his players. “I said to them, ‘Do you believe?’

“They believe. They think they can beat USC. They think they can win and I am not going to tell them any different. It’s fun and It’s contagious.”

Keck’s approach appears to be working.

“Coach Keck will not let us not believe in what we are doing,” said Cavener. “He almost forces us to believe that we can win and won’t take no for an answer or second place for an answer. Everyone has gotten on the boat.”

While winning is the goal for most and only a top eight finish is needed to get to the NCAA Cahmpionship, Keck would probably settle for second this week. Just don’t tell the players carrying the Tulsa bag that.

Scores with relation to par from the first round of the NCAA Women’s West Regional, played May 8 at the par-72, 6,338-yard Lincoln (Calif.) Hills Golf Club (Note: y-Playing as individual):

TEAMS

1. Southern California 283

-5 2. Tulsa 287

-1 3. UNLV 288

E 4. Arkansas 291
+ 3 5. Oklahoma St. 293
+ 5 6. Brigham Young Univ. 295
+ 7 6. Michigan St. 295
+ 7 6. Stanford 295
+ 7 6. California 295
+ 7 10. Arizona St. 296
+ 8 11. North Carolina 297
+ 9 12. Arizona 299
+ 11 12. Ohio St. 299
+ 11 12. Oklahoma 299
+ 11 15. UC Davis 300
+ 12 15. San Jose St. 300
+ 12 17. UC Irvine 302
+ 14 18. Oregon 303
+ 15 19. Fresno St. 306
+ 18 20. Portland St. 308
+ 20 21. Oral Roberts 310
+ 22 • • •

INDIVIDUALS

1. Paola Moreno, USC 68

-4 1. Alison Walshe, Arizona 68

-4 3. Therese Koelbaek, UNLV 69

-3 3. Stacy Lewis, Arkansas 69

-3 3. Azahara Munoz, Arizona St. 69

-3 3. Jaclyn Sweeney, Oklahoma St. 69

-3 7. Michaela Cavener, Tulsa 70

-2 7. Kate Thomas, North Carolina 70

-2 9. Stefanie Endstrasser, USC 71

-1 9. Kelly Fuchik, Tulsa 71

-1 9. Tara Goedeken, Tulsa 71

-1 9. Allison Goodman, California 71

-1 9. Selanee' Henderson, UC Irvine 71

-1 9. Natasha Krishna, UNLV 71

-1 9. Laura Kueny, Michigan St. 71

-1 9. Kendra Little, Oregon 71

-1 9. Dewi Claire Schreefel, USC 71

-1 18. Ashley Childers, Brigham Young 72

E 18. Rebecca Durham, Stanford 72

E 18. Juli Erekson, Brigham Young 72

E 18. Ellen Mueller, Oklahoma 72

E 18. Jennifer Osborn, Arizona St. 72

E 18. Chelsea Stelzmiller, UC Davis 72

E 18. Daphne Vines, Brigham Young 72

E 25. Haley Brown, Ohio St. 73
+ 1 25. Sara Brown, Michigan St. 73
+ 1 25. y-Danielle Cvitanov, San Francisco 73
+ 1 25. Pia Halbig, California 73
+ 1 25. Kristin Ingram, Arkansas 73
+ 1 25. Angela King, Stanford 73
+ 1 25. Erica Moston, San Jose St. 73
+ 1 25. Belen Mozo, USC 73
+ 1 25. Holly Niederkohr, Michigan St. 73
+ 1 25. Pamela Ontiveros, Oral Roberts 73
+ 1 25. Sydney Roughton, UC Davis 73
+ 1 25. Lizette Salas, USC 73
+ 1 25. Taylor Siebert, Fresno St. 73
+ 1 25. Shannon Yocum, California 73
+ 1 39. Tonya Choate, UNLV 74
+ 2 39. Tammy Clelland, Oklahoma St. 74
+ 2 39. Sydney Crane, North Carolina 74
+ 2 39. Kelly Jacques, Oklahoma 74
+ 2 39. Kasi Lee, UNLV 74
+ 2 39. In-Hong Lim, Ohio St. 74
+ 2 39. Lucy Nunn, Arkansas 74
+ 2 39. Kim Punyasavatsut, San Jose St. 74
+ 2 47. y-Mallory Blackwelder, Kentucky 75
+ 3 47. Christy Carter, Oral Roberts 75
+ 3 47. Mari Chun, Stanford 75
+ 3 47. Katrina Delen Briones, San Jose St. 75
+ 3 47. Amanda Johnson, Oklahoma St. 75
+ 3 47. Pernilla Lindberg, Oklahoma St. 75
+ 3 47. Kelli Shean, Arkansas 75
+ 3 47. Woori Shin, Tulsa 75
+ 3 47. Catherina Wang, Stanford 75
+ 3 47. Heather Wright, Oklahoma 75
+ 3 57. Hannah Bews, Portland St. 76
+ 4 57. Carling Coffing, Ohio St. 76
+ 4 57. Felicia Eastick, Oregon 76
+ 4 57. Lauren Hunt, North Carolina 76
+ 4 57. Mary Jacobs, Arizona 76
+ 4 57. Emma Jandel, Ohio St. 76
+ 4 57. Mariko Makabe, UC Irvine 76
+ 4 57. Danielle Ranallo, Portland St. 76
+ 4 65. Cathryn Bristow, Oregon 77
+ 5 65. Patty Chawalitmetha, UC Irvine 77
+ 5 65. Maria Pia Escandon, Fresno St. 77
+ 5 65. Leisl Hasbrouck, Tulsa 77
+ 5 65. Alice Kim, UC Davis 77
+ 5 65. Ann Laney, North Carolina 77
+ 5 65. Laura Luethke, Fresno St. 77
+ 5 65. Anna Nordqvist, Arizona St. 77
+ 5 65. Amanda Wilson, Arizona 77
+ 5 74. Alexia Brown, Portland St. 78
+ 6 74. Cristina Corpus, San Jose St. 78
+ 6 74. Kendall Dye, Oklahoma 78
+ 6 74. Liisa Kelo, Arizona St. 78
+ 6 74. Alejandra Llaneza, Arizona 78
+ 6 74. Kim Lorenzana, UC Irvine 78
+ 6 74. Juliana Murcia, Arizona St. 78
+ 6 74. Katie Sisler, UC Davis 78
+ 6 74. Aubrey Vaughn, Portland St. 78
+ 6 74. Andrea Waters, California 78
+ 6 74. Jordyn Wells, Michigan St. 78
+ 6 85. Jade Bollinger, Brigham Young 79
+ 7 85. Hali Coppin, Fresno St. 79
+ 7 85. Bryana Gregory, UC Davis 79
+ 7 85. Alejandra Guacaneme, UNLV 79
+ 7 85. Kate Hildahl, Oregon 79
+ 7 85. Natalia Jimenez, Brigham Young 79
+ 7 85. Colette Lowe, North Carolina 79
+ 7 85. Erica Omlid, Oregon 79
+ 7 85. Hillary Packard, UC Irvine 79
+ 7 94. Chelsea Czinski, Fresno St. 80
+ 8 94. Jessica Gibson, Oral Roberts 80
+ 8 94. Aimee Neff, Michigan St. 80
+ 8 94. y-Emily Powers, Kansas 80
+ 8 94. Alex Schulte, Arkansas 80
+ 8 99. Piper Miller, Stanford 81
+ 9 100. Roseanne Niven, California 82
+ 10 100. Megan O'Connell, Oral Roberts 82
+ 10 102. Jessica Hauser, Ohio St. 83
+ 11 102. Karin Kinnerud, Oklahoma St. 83
+ 11 102. Emily Mason, Arizona 83
+ 11 102. Kayla Morinaga, Portland St. 83
+ 11 106. Ryanne Elmer, Oklahoma 86
+ 14 106. Sharon McAlpine, Oral Roberts 86
+ 14 108. Kanika Minocha, San Jose St. 87
+ 15

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