Arkansas Golf Fact Sheet #3-Mercedes Benz Collegiate Classic
Arkansas returns to the links
The University of Arkansas had a two-week break to fine tune its game before heading to the Mercedes Benz Collegiate Classic in Tennessee this weekend.
About the Mercedes-Benz
This is Arkansas’ fourth trip to the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Classic. Arkansas’ best finish was a third-place showing last year. Then-senior Amanda McCurdy won medalist honors with a 213 – a mark that ranks second all-time at Arkansas.
About the field
Arkansas gets a bit of a sneak peak at some of the other Southeastern Conference schools this week facing four other league teams. The Lady’Backs compete against Alabama, Auburn, Florida and Georgia in the 15-team field.
More about the field
Georgia enters the weekend as the top-ranked team according to Golfstat. Arkansas also faces No. 11 Michigan State, No. 13 Northwestern, No. 14 Michigan, 17 Auburn and No. 21 North Carolina in the talented field. The complete field is in the box above.
Lewis’ numbers a bit high?
Stacy Lewis is coming off an incredibly busy summer and her first two events as a Lady Razorback have been a bit high in terms of her scoring average. In fact, her tie for 29th at the NCAA Fall Preview was her third highest finish at Arkansas. However, her stroke average of 73.50 is currently the lowest it’s ever been. Lewis averaged 74.31 as a freshman and 74.32 as a sophomore.
Scoring well in the region
The Lady Razorbacks rank fifth in the Central Region with a 301.17 scoring average. Arkansas trails TCU, Oklahoma State, Southern Illinois and Purdue in regional scoring average with two events for each team. Arkansas junior Stacy Lewis ranks ninth in the region with a 73.50 stroke average this season.
Last year at the Mercedes
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. Senior Amanda McCurdy led the University of Arkansas and the field wire to wire at the Mercedes Benz Collegiate Classic in Knoxville, Tenn., taking individual honors and leading the third-ranked Lady Razorbacks to a third-place finish against a stacked field. McCurdy tied for the second lowest round of the day with a two-under par 69 to win her first title of the season and post a career best round of even par (213) on the par 71 course. McCurdy’s win is the second for a Lady Razorback in two competitions as Ashley Medders took the top spot at the Tyson/Embassy Suites Invitational. McCurdy’s final day score coupled with a 71 by sophomore Stacey Lewis helped the Lady’Backs post the best round of the day at just six over par which gave Arkansas a team score of 889, just seven strokes off #2 Georgia’s 882 and four back of sixth-ranked Purdue (885). Rounding out the top five were the Swedish Junior National Team (892) and #16 Tennessee (899).
Who’s making the trip?
Arkansas head coach Kelley Hester has some options this week in her lineup. Hester and the Lady’Backs will travel six with one player competing as an individual but Hester isn’t sure who that will be. The top four are juniors Stacy Lewis and Ashley Medders along with sophomore Lucy Nunn and freshman Alex Schulte. The last two, freshman Corinna Rees and redshirt freshman Tanica van As, will fight it out for the final spot right up until tee time on Friday.
About the traveling five
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. Lewis finished tied for 11th at the Mason Rudolph and tied for 29th at the NCAA Preview.
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.
Alexandrea Schulte is one of the top recruits 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.
Tanica van As joined the Lady Razorbacks in January redshirting her first semester. She is making her first trip as a collegiate golfer with the Lady’Backs this week.
Corinna Rees has competed in one event (Mason Rudolph) this year. The highly recruited freshman is adjusting to college life and the collegiate game and is expected to impact the lineup this year.
Frequent Flyer miles to the Sunshine State
Arkansas should ask for frequent flyer miles to Florida. The recent trip to Florida for the NCAA Preview was the first of five trips to the Sunshine State. Arkansas also travels to the Hooters Match Play Championship (Orlando), the Central District Invitational (Parrish), the UCF Invitational (Grand Cypress) and the NCAA Championship (Daytona Beach).
Former Lady’Back goes to school
Former Lady Razorback golfer Amanda McCurdy has advanced to the final stage of LPGA qualifying school after finishing tied for 30th at the LPGA Section Qualifying School in Venice, Florida. The El Dorado native shot an 11-over par 299 (78-71-73-77) over the four day 72-hole sectional, closing with a final round 5-over 77. “I’m excited especially since I made an eight on one hole and was afraid I was going to miss it by a shot. I felt I played well enough all week to advance.” said McCurdy following the round. “I will probably play in a couple of tournaments to get ready for the finals. I know I’m also going to have to practice a lot, but getting my LPGA playing card has been my goal and I want to do everything I can to reach that goal.” The next and final step in LPGA Qualifying for McCurdy is the 90 hole LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, FL. The Final Qualifier begins November 29 with the first 72 holes being played on both the Legends and Championships courses. After 72 holes, the field will be reduced to the low 70 players and ties for the final round which will be played on the Legends course. The LPGA will begin playing a tournament in Northwest Arkansas next year when the LPGA NW Arkansas Championship presented by John Q. Hammons takes place at Pinnacle Country Club beginning September 3-9.