In-depth: Women’s regionals

Women's Rankings »

RankNameSchoolRating
1Alison LeeUCLA  69.59 
2Annie ParkUSC  69.73 
3Yu LiuDuke  69.81 
4Stephanie MeadowAlabama  70.00 
5Gaby LopezArkansas  70.01 

Women's Team Rankings »

RankNameRatingEvents
1Southern California 70.32 
2UCLA 70.60 
3Duke 70.79 
4Stanford 71.49  10 
5Arkansas 71.52 

NCAA WOMEN'S EAST REGIONAL

When: May 7-9

Where: Mark Bostick Golf Course at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.

Who: Seven teams in the top 15 of the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, including top seed Virginia (No. 5), SEC champion Auburn (No. 7) and Alabama (No. 8).

Defending champion: Florida; Benedicte Toumpsin (South Carolina)

Scoop: Virginia may be a surprise as the top seed, but the Cavs’ results this season have been impressive. They’ve racked up a victory and two runners-up, placing outside of the top 5 only once this year. A slight misstep at the ACC Championship, where the Cavs finished fifth, should refocus them for a run at the NCAA Championship.

The hottest team coming in is Auburn. The Tigers rallied to win the SEC Championship by eight shots and placed four players in the top 12. The 1-2 punch of junior Candace Schepperle and sophomore Cydney Clanton is as powerful as they come.

Short shots: Defending East Regional champ Florida is seeded 11th. . . North Carolina, coming off a runner-up showing at the ACC Championship, will play its last regional with coach Sally Austin, who will retire at the end of the season after 16 years with the Tar Heels. . . . Denver is the only team from west of the Mississippi River in the field. The Pioneers won their sixth consecutive Sun Belt Conference Championship April 22.

Who can crack the top 8? Tenth-seeded Tulane could be the feel-good story. The Green Wave, which is in its first season back since Hurricane Katrina, won the Conference USA crown. Ninth-seeded Georgia, No. 15 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, is ranked ahead of seventh-seeded Tennessee (No. 26) and eighth-seeded Vanderbilt (No. 21).

Fun fact: Stetson captured the program’s first Atlantic Sun Conference title to earn its bid to regional play.

Solo act: After a slow start to the season, Duke senior and three-time national player of the year Amanda Blumenherst is coming off a victory at the Lady Gator Invitational at Mark Bostick Golf Course and a runner-up at the ACC Championship. Tough to bet against Blumenherst as she wraps up an historic college career.

A few players who also have a shot at the title: Schepperle, who spent a portion of the year as the top-ranked player in the country, is currently No. 4 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings. Duke senior Jennie Lee, Alabama senior Kathleen Ekey and Denver junior Stephanie Sherlock will contend, too. And don’t count out Florida sophomore Jessica Yadloczky, who is playing at home and tied for forth at the Lady Gator last month.

TEAMS

1. (5) Virginia

2. (7) Auburn – SEC champion

3. (8) Alabama

4. (12) North Carolina

5. (11) Duke

6. (14) Denver – Sun Belt champion

7. (26) Tennessee

8. (21) Vanderbilt

9. (15) Georgia

10. (34) Tulane – Conference USA champion

11. (28) Florida

12. (43) East Carolina

13. (38) Mississippi

14. (41) South Carolina

15. (42) Furman – Southern champion

16. (56) College of Charleston

17. (51) Florida State

18. (53) UCF

19. (89) Coastal Carolina – Big South champion

20. (88) Stetson – Atlantic Sun champion

21. (205) Jackson State – SWAC champion

INDIVIDUALS

1. (113) Susannah Aboff, Princeton

2. (75) Julia Potter, Missouri

3. (105) Jessica Hollandsworth, Maryland

Note: Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings in parenthesis.

– Dan Mirocha

NCAA WOMEN'S CENTRAL REGIONAL

When: May 7-9

Where: Ohio State’s Scarlet Golf Course, Columbus, Ohio

Who: Four teams in the top 10 of the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings: UCLA (2), Oklahoma State (4), Wake Forest (6), and Purdue (9).

Defending champion: UCLA; Maria Hernandez (Purdue)/Maria Jose Uribe (UCLA)

Scoop: Defending champion UCLA will have its hands full, especially against Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons routed the field at the ACC Championship, pulling off a 34-shot victory over North Carolina, as three players finished in the top 5.

The Bruins, meanwhile, finished third at the Pac-10 Conference Championship. Not exactly a bad finish considering top-ranked Arizona State and third-ranked USC finished 1-2, but a more well-rounded effort at the Scarlet Course would be nice. Senior Tiffany Joh and junior Sydnee Michaels both finished T-24 at Pac-10s.

Don’t overlook Oklahoma State, either, which won its seventh Big 12 title as four Cowgirls finished in the top 10.

Short shots: The Central Regional features 15 teams ranked in the top 45 of the Golfweek rankings, the same number as the West and East. . . . Harvard is coming off a victory at the Ivy League Championship and has won six events in seven starts this year. The Crimson’s won-loss record is 61-1.

Who can crack the top 8? Tenth-seeded New Mexico (No. 22) is the highest-ranked team seeded outside the top eight. The Lobos are coming off a victory at the Mountain West Conference Championship, where three players – including eighth-ranked Jodi Ewart (T-4) – finished in the top 10. New Mexico is ranked higher than the seventh, eighth, and ninth seeds (Michigan State - 23; Ohio State - 27; Stanford - 24).

Fun fact: The Central Regional features the most conference champions of any other regional (11; East - 7; West - 6).

Solo act: Just as the team title will likely be a shootout, the individual medal is up for grabs, too. UCLA sophomore Maria Jose Uribe and Purdue senior Maria Hernandez are co-defending champions. Hernandez has five victories this season – one more than anyone in Division I women’s golf – and shared medalist honors with teammate Maude-Aimee Leblanc at the Big Ten Championship. She also earned Big Ten Player of the Year for the third time in her career.

Other players to watch include UCLA’s Stephanie Kono, New Mexico’s Ewart, and Oklahoma State’s Caroline Hedwall.

Wake Forest’s Natalie Sheary, No. 21 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, outlasted Amanda Blumenherst in a playoff to win the ACC title.

TEAMS

1. (2) UCLA

2. (4) Oklahoma State – Big 12 champion

3. (9) Purdue – Big Ten champion

4. (6) Wake Forest – ACC champion

5. (18) Louisville – Big East champion

6. (19) Kent State – Mid-American champion

7. (23) Michigan State

8. (27) Ohio State

9. (24) Stanford

10. (22) New Mexico – Mountain West champion

11. (29) Georgia State – Colonial Athletic Association champion

12. (33) Notre Dame

13. (30) N.C. State

14. (45) Washington

15. (44) Kentucky

16. (46) Chattanooga

17. (49) Michigan

18. (126) Murray State – Ohio Valley champion

19. (87) Illinois State – Missouri Valley champion

20. (81) Harvard – Ivy League champion

21. (195) Fairleigh Dickinson – Northeast champion

INDIVIDUALS

1. (81) Kendall Dye, Oklahoma

2. (76) Kayla Mortellaro, Idaho

3. (54) Sara Wikstrom, Arkansas-Little Rock

Note: Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings in parenthesis.

– Ray McCarthy

NCAA WOMEN'S WEST REGIONAL

When: May 7-9

Where: ASU Karsten Golf Course, Tempe, Ariz.

Who: Two of the top three teams in the country – No. 1 Arizona State and No. 3 USC – and 14 teams ranked inside the top 36 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings.

Defending champion: USC; Therese Koelbaek (UNLV)/Alison Walshe (Arizona)

Scoop: It should be a simple week for the host Sun Devils, who are coming off a victory at the Pac-10 Conference Championship. Arizona State and USC will battle for the team title.

Third-seeded LSU does not make many trips west and will need a good start in unfamiliar territory. And San Jose State, perhaps the best team in the country that gets little recognition, has lost to just six teams this season and will be looking to make a statement.

Short shots: UC Davis’ Alice Kim and Chelsea Stelzmiller will play as individuals. The Aggies advanced to the NCAA Championship as a team last year. . . . Pepperdine won three times this year, but finished eighth at Karsten GC for the Ping/ASU Invitational last month. . . . Arkansas has faced 12 of the 20 teams in the field and is a combined 13-11 this season against them.

Who can crack the top 8? Three teams – 10th-seeded San Francisco, 11th-seeded UNLV and 12th-seeded TCU. The Dons have had a solid year sporting a 4-7-1 won-loss-tie record against the top 25 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings.

The Rebels have finished in the top 3 in each of their last five events, and the Horned Frogs may be better than advertised.

Fun fact: Texas A&M-Corpus Christi will be playing in the postseason for the first time in school history after winning the Southland Conference Championship and the league’s automatic qualifier. In her seventh season, Islanders head coach Carol Blackmar is assisted by her husband, Phil, a three-time winner on the PGA Tour.

Solo act: UNLV sophomore Therese Koelbaek will be looking to make it two regional titles in a row, but will have plenty of competition in her way. Four of the top five players in the country – USC sophomore Lizette Salas (No. 1), ASU senior Azahara Munoz (No. 2), USC freshman Jennifer Song (No. 3) and ASU freshman Carlota Ciganda (No. 5) – are in the field. The national player of the year race may be decided at this tournament.

TEAMS

1. (1) Arizona State – Pac-10 champion

2. (3) USC

3. (10) LSU

4. (13) Pepperdine – West Coast champion

5. (16) Arkansas

6. (17) San Jose State – Western Athletic champion

7. (20) Arizona

8. (25) California

9. (35) UC Irvine

10. (32) San Francisco

11. (31) UNLV

12. (37) TCU

13. (39) Texas A&M

14. (36) Oregon

15. (48) Long Beach State – Big West champion

16. (47) Colorado

17. (40) Texas

18. (58) Baylor

19. (107) Texas A&M Corpus Christi – Southland champion

20. (109) Northern Arizona – Big Sky champion

21. (66) Oral Roberts – Summit League champion

INDIVIDUALS

1. (113) Miki Ueoka, Santa Clara

2. (71) Alice Kim, UC Davis

3. (100) Chelsea Stelzmiller, UC Davis

Note: Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings in parenthesis.

– Lance Ringler

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