NCAA Women’s Regional previews

Duke senior Alison Whitaker, UCLA sophomore Stephanie Kono and Arizona State senior Juliana Murcia.

Duke senior Alison Whitaker, UCLA sophomore Stephanie Kono and Arizona State senior Juliana Murcia.

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 

Staff picks: NCAA Women’s Regionals

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Podcast episode

College Golf

What to watch for at the Women’s Regionals

Lance Ringler and Asher Wildman discuss which teams will advance to the NCAA Women’s Championship.

Download podcast

The NCAA Women’s Regionals kick off Thursday, with 72 teams vying for a spot at the NCAA Women’s Championship. The top 8 teams from each regional advance to the national championship, to be played May 18-21 at the Country Club of Landfall in Wilmington, N.C.

• • • 

EAST REGIONAL

When: May 6-8

Where: Ironwood Country Club, Greenville, N.C.

Who: Four of the top 10 teams in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings: Auburn (5), Duke (8), Pepperdine (9) and Wake Forest (10).

Scoop: Duke has long been associated with postseason glory, but after a T-6 finish at the national championship last year, the team will be looking to renew that streak, starting in Greenville. A win here would be Duke’s eighth East Regional title since 1996. Auburn could be a thorn in the Blue Devils’ side, and should contend for the title behind the play of Cydney Clanton and Candace Schepperle. Both teams have won twice this season, and Duke narrowly topped Auburn at the NCAA Fall Preview in October.

Short shots: Chattanooga will compete with just four players, as sophomore Moa Duf, who filled out the Mocs’ top 5 at the Southern Conference Championship, has returned home to Sweden. Mocs coach Colette Murray said Duf was homesick. Chattanooga won the SonCon Championship by eight shots, while Duf tied for 14th individually.

Who can crack the top 8?: Look out for 11th-seeded Tulane, a team that got wins this season at the Kinderlou Forest Challenge and the Conference USA Championship. Ranked No. 27 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, Tulane will be looking for a return trip to the national championship.

Fun fact: Playing so close to home, Wake Forest is all but a lock to finish inside the top 8, especially since the Demon Deacons have advanced to the NCAA Women’s Championship in 12 of their last 17 regional appearances. Check this out: Wake Forest last won the East Regional in 1995 before recording its best national championship finish (third) at the Country Club of Landfall (site of this year’s championship).

Solo act: Clanton and Schepperle can’t be overlooked in any field, and Duke also has a solid competitor in Lindy Duncan, the ACC Player and Freshman of the Year. Vanderbilt’s Marina Alex, the SEC Player of the Year, just claimed the SEC individual title for her first victory of the season after finishing in the top 10 in every tournament appearance so far this year.

Field:

  • 1. Duke
  • 2. Auburn
  • 3. Wake Forest (ACC champion)
  • 4. Pepperdine
  • 5. Vanderbilt
  • 6. Tennessee
  • 7. Florida
  • 8. TCU
  • 9. North Carolina
  • 10. South Carolina
  • 11. Tulane (Conference USA champion)
  • 12. Chattanooga (Southern Conference champion)
  • 13. Washington
  • 14. Texas Tech
  • 15. Georgia State
  • 16. Campbell
  • 17. East Tennessee State
  • 18. Furman
  • 19. Coastal Carolina
  • 20. East Carolina
  • 21. College of Charleston
  • 22. Stetson (Atlantic Sun champion)
  • 23. Charleston Southern (Big South Conference champion)
  • 24. Fairleigh Dickinson (Northeast Conference champion)

Individuals:

  • 1. Sofia Hagsund, UNC Wilmington
  • 2. Shena Yang, USF
  • 3. Nicole Sakamoto, James Madison

– Julie Williams


Podcast episode

College Golf

What to watch for at the Women’s Regionals

Lance Ringler and Asher Wildman discuss which teams will advance to the NCAA Women’s Championship.

Download podcast

CENTRAL REGIONAL

When: May 6-8

Where: Otter Creek Golf Course, Columbus, Ind.

Who: Six of the top 20 teams in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings: Arizona State (2), Southern California (4), Purdue (7), Michigan State (13), Georgia (14) and Denver (16).

Scoop: How will Arizona State recover after being disqualified at the Pac-10 Championship? The defending national champions lost the top spot in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings when they were unable to field a full squad after Guilia Molinaro and Jennifer Johnson withdrew due to illness. Instead of earning the No. 1 overall seed in the West Regional – and the chance to play closer to home, in Stanford, Calif. – Arizona State travels to the Midwest. 

photo

Purdue won the Big Ten Championship on April 25.

Short shots: Purdue is coming off its best performance of the year at the Big Ten Conference Championship. The third-seeded Boilermakers won both the individual and team titles while smashing their own conference and school record for best 72-hole score (1,158). It was Purdue’s third consecutive Big 10 title. 

Who can crack the top 8?: Keep an eye on Oregon. The 11th-seeded Ducks have championship experience (four current players also competed in the 2008 NCAA West Regional). They are coming off their best finish at the Pac-10s (third). And they have five top-5 finishes this season. If recent play is any indication, Oregon may be on the verge of its first NCAA appearance since 2000. 

Fun fact: Florida State is one of five teams that has won three tournaments this season – and the Seminoles almost won three in a row this spring, losing by one shot to Michigan State at the SunTrust Gator Women’s Invitational. They are playing this spring under an interim coach, Kate Golden

Solo act: Hard to overlook Arizona State’s strong contingent of players, three of whom –  Juiliana Murcia (6), Jennifer Johnson (8), and Carlota Ciganda (9) – are in the top 10 in Golfweek’s individual rankings. But they should encounter some resistance at the top of the leaderboard. Oklahoma State’s Caroline Hedwall, the two-time Big 12 Player of the Year, has won four times in 10 starts this season, including medalist honors at the Big 12 Championship. Denver’s Kimberly Kim, the 2006 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion who earned a spot on this year’s Curtis Cup team, is fresh off her first collegiate victory at the Sun Belt Conference Championship. Also a threat: USC’s Jennifer Song, the No. 2 player in Golfweek’s rankings. She will turn pro after the Curtis Cup this summer. 

Field:

  • 1. Arizona State
  • 2. USC
  • 3. Purdue (Big Ten champion)
  • 4. Michigan State
  • 5. Georgia
  • 6. Denver (Sun Belt champion)
  • 7. New Mexico (Mountain West champion)
  • 8. Florida State
  • 9. Oklahoma State
  • 10. Louisville (Big East champion)
  • 11. Oregon
  • 12. Kent State (Mid-American champion)
  • 13. Northwestern
  • 14. Notre Dame
  • 15. Mississippi
  • 16. San Diego State
  • 17. Baylor
  • 18. Tulsa
  • 19. N.C. State
  • 20. Indiana
  • 21. Illinois State (Missouri Valley champion)
  • 22. Murray State (Ohio Valley League champion)
  • 23. Detroit Mercy (Horizon League champion)
  • 24. Jackson State (Southwestern Athletic champion)

Individuals: 

  • 1. Ashley Bauer, Michigan
  • 2. Olivia Lansing, Drake
  • 3. Julia Potter, Missouri

– Ryan Lavner


Podcast episode

College Golf

What to watch for at the Women’s Regionals

Lance Ringler and Asher Wildman discuss which teams will advance to the NCAA Women’s Championship.

Download podcast

WEST REGIONAL

When: May 6-8

Where: Stanford (Calif.) Golf Course

Who: Nine of the top 25 teams in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings – the only regional to have that many teams in the top 25 in its field. The field includes champions from the two top conferences in the country: Arizona from the Pac-10, Alabama the SEC.

Scoop: Will the four Pac-10 schools – UCLA, Arizona, Stanford and California – finish in the top 8 and advance to the national championship on a course they have played numerous times? Most of the at-large bids in this field have seen Stanford Golf Course several times, but how will Alabama and Virginia – both top-5 seeds – fare on a course they will be playing for the first time?

photo

Arizona assistant coach Laura Myerscough celebrates after the Wildcats won the Pac-10 Championship on April 21.

Short shots: Arizona has been one of the hottest teams this spring. The Wildcats ended the fall ranked No. 20 by Golfweek and enter the postseason No. 3. Arizona won Pac-10s without the services of head coach Shelly Haywood, who is attending to private family matters.

Who can crack the top 8?: Keep an eye on 10th-seeded Texas. The Longhorns advanced to the NCAA Women’s Championship last year from the West Regional and will be returning to the home of head coach Martha Richards. Richards played college golf at Stanford.

Fun fact: UNLV has advanced to the NCAA Women’s Championship in even years since the program was started nine years ago. The Rebels’ first trip to the finals came in 2004 and they have followed that up with trips in 2006 and 2008.

Solo act: North Dakota State’s Amy Anderson was selected as an individual to compete in regional play. The 2009 U.S. Girls’ Junior champ has been no letdown at the collegiate level. Anderson, ranked No. 105, has won five times, but has not played against anyone in the top 100. She will see plenty this week in the West Regional.

Field:

  • 1. UCLA
  • 2. Alabama (SEC champion)
  • 3. Arizona (Pac-10 Conference champion)
  • 4. Ohio State
  • 5. Virginia
  • 6. Stanford
  • 7. LSU
  • 8. California
  • 9. Texas A&M (Big 12 Conference champion)
  • 10. Texas
  • 11. UC Davis (Big West Conference champion)
  • 12. Arkansas
  • 13. UNLV
  • 14. San Jose State (Western Athletic Conference champion)
  • 15. San Francisco
  • 16. Idaho
  • 17. UC Irvine
  • 18. Iowa State
  • 19. Maryland
  • 20. Colorado State
  • 21. Oral Roberts (The Summit League champion)
  • 22. Texas State (Southland Conference champion)
  • 23. Pennsylvania (Ivy League champion)
  • 24. Portland State (Big Sky Conference champion)

Individuals:

  • 1. Amy Anderson, North Dakota State
  • 2. Teresa Puga, Minnesota
  • 3. Ellen Mueller, Oklahoma

– Lance Ringler

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