Diane Thomason, former head coach at the University of Iowa, has been selected to coach the U.S. women’s team at the World University Games. The games will be played Aug. 12-23 at Mission Hills in Shenzen, China. The event, played every other year, is sponsored by the International University Sports Federation.
This is only the second year that golf has been included in the Games, which are in their 14th playing. Golf was first included in Thailand in 2007. The U.S. finished third that year, out of first by just three shots.
Catherine O’Donnell, a junior at UNC who won the World University Golf Championship in June 2010, highlights Thomason’s team. O’Donnell is ranked No. 55 by Golfweek.
Michigan State sophomore Caroline Powers (No. 29), LSU junior Tessa Teachman (No. 17), TCU junior Brooke Beeler (No. 61) and Colorado junior Emily Talley (No. 70) round out the team.
“I just put together going down the ranking sheet the kids I thought would be the best kids to represent to the USA,” Thomason said. “… I’m excited. I think everybody is a good player.”
Players will have to pay their own way to the event, but Thomason said they are allowed to fundraise.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience for these kids,” she said. “It’s like the Olympics, really.”
The team will not practice together prior to the event, but Thomason said they will get in a few practice rounds before play begins at Mission Hills.
Wyn Norwood, head men’s coach at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, will captain the U.S. men’s squad.