Arkansas Golf Fact Sheet #1 – Mason Rudolph Championship
Arkansas opens season at Mason Rudolph Championship
The University of Arkansas hits the road this week for the first meet of the 2006-07 season traveling to Nashville, Tenn., for the Mason Rudolph Championship hosted by Vanderbilt.
This is the second consecutive year that Arkansas has kicked off the season at the Mason and the Lady’Backs finished third last year.
Arkansas junior Stacy Lewis is currently the No. 1 ranked amateur in the country. Lewis had an amazing summer with a runner-up finish at the Southern Amateur, a win at the Western Amateur, a semifinal finish at the U.S. Women’s Amateur and she became the first Lady’Back to take part in an LPGA event at the Jamie Farr Ownes Corning Classic. Lewis wrapped up her summer last week at the World University Games in Tornio, Italy.
Top 20 again
Arkansas begins the 2006-07 season ranked No. 20 in the GolfWorld.com poll. It might seem a little low after the Lady’Backs’ 10th place finish at the NCAA Championship last year but the graduation of four seniors from that squad might have influenced voters.
Two-time defending national champion Duke tops the poll followed by Arizona State, Georgia, Auburn and Purdue to round out the top five. Pepperdine ranks sixth, followed by UCLA, USC, Florida, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Arizona, Virginia, Tennessee, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Stanford, California, UNLV and Arkansas to complete the top 20.
Speaking of seniors
Arkansas doesn’t have any. The Lady’Backs graduated Amandy McCurdy, Courtney Mahon, Lindsey Hinshaw and Sarah Trew last year. Lewis is the program’s top returning junior along with Ashley Medders and Whiteny Sylvan.
Who’se making the trip?
Hester and the Lady’Backs are taking six athletes on the trip with one competing as an individual. Traveling to Nashville is Stacy Lewis, Alex Schulte, Ashley Medders, Lucy Nunn and Whitney Sylvan. Corinna Rees is the individual.
About the traveling six
Stacy Lewis is the top returning Lady Razorback for the 2006-07 season. A two-time National Golf Coaches Association for Women all-American and a two-time first-team all-Southeastern Conference selection, Lewis holds nearly every individual record at Arkansas. See the list to the left of this page.
Alexandrea Schulte is one of the top recruites for Arkansas this year. She enjoyed a bit of a jump start on her Lady Razorback career competing in several summer events with her future teammates. Schulte was a three-time Oklahoma state medalist and an all-conference selection at Broken Arrow High School.
Ashely Medders came on strong for Arkansas last year. Medders competed in nine events including the NCAA Regional and National Championships. She is the school record-holder for the lowest three-round tournament score with a 212 posted in a win at the 2006 Tyson/Embassy Suites Invitational.
Lucy Nunn played in five events for Arkansas last year but had the opportunity to travel to others including the NCAA Regional and National Championships. Nunn’s career-best is a 72 and her best three-round total was a 226 at the Mason Rudolph Championship last year.
Whitney Sylvan competed in one event last year scoring a 246 at the Tyson/Embassy Suites Invitational.
Corinna Rees is traveling with the Lady’Backs as an individual this week. Rees took part in several summer events but none more prestigious than the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship where she was paired alongside future Lady’Back teammate Stacy Lewis in the early rounds.
Lady’Backs 20th in GolfWorld Preseason Poll
As a team, the Lady Razorbacks check in at No. 20 and are one of seven SEC teams in the top 25. Arkansas finished a program best 10th at last year’s NCAA Championship highlighted by a ninth place finish from Lewis.
But the Lady Razorbacks graduated four players, three of whom were regulars in the traveling five. Gone are Amanda McCurdy, Courtney Mahon, Lindsey Hinshaw and Sarah Trew, leaving behind a young team with no seniors for Hester this year.
“I think that it’s about right,” Kelley Hester said of the team poll. “We have so many question marks with half of the squad being freshmen. If we develop the way we can, we’ll improve on that. Any time a program returns just two players who traveled to nationals you know you’re going to have to have players develop fast and play to their potential. Overall very pleased with the ranking. We in a “rebuilding” year and to still be in the top 20 is a testament to how far the program has come.”
Lewis third in GolfWorld Preseason Poll
University of Arkansas junior golfer Stacy Lewis is ranked third in the GolfWorld preseason poll released this September. Lewis, a Woodlands, Texas, native, has had a record-setting career at Arkansas with two seasons still remaining. Currently the number one ranked amateur, Lewis’ collegiate career includes medalist honors as a freshman at the Southeastern Conference Championship, back-to-back SEC first-team selections and a pair of National Golf Coaches Association for Women all-America honors.
“I think that Stacy had a stand out freshman year,” said Arkansas head coach Kelley Hester. “Her stroke average was again really good last year but she lacked a couple of the tournament wins. This summer established her as one of the top amateur players and one of the top collegiate players in country. I think it’s about right. She’d like to be number one on that list and that’s one of her goals for the year.”
What’s Stacy Lewis been up to lately?
TORINO, Italy University of Arkansas junior Stacy Lewis captured medalist honors leading the United States to the team title at the 11th World University Games in Tornio, Italy.
Lewis, the top-ranked amateur and the third-ranked collegiate player, was the lone player under par finishing with a 286. The Woodlands, Texas, native shot par the first day with a 72 followed by back-to-back one-under 71s. She finished with a 72 in the final round.
“I couldn’t be more proud of Stacy,” said Arkansas head coach Kelley Hester. “She has had such a great summer and played in so many big events. I’m sure winning this and being a part of the United States delegation is a big thrill for her. I’m excited to get her back and test her against our schedule this fall.”
“I’m very happy with my score,” said Lewis at the conclusion of the third round.
Lewis went on to say the weather was hot and the course was challenging.