Arkansas Golf Fact Sheet #11 – SEC ChampionshipSoutheastern Conference ChampionshipThe University of Arkansas golf team travels to West Point, Miss., for the 2007 Southeastern Conference Championship next week. The competition takes place Friday-Sunday, April 20-22, with a practice round on Thursday.
Arkansas opens earlyThe Lady Razorbacks open the 2007 SEC Championship playing with Vanderbilt and Florida in reverse order with the first tee time set for 8:30 a.m. Arkansas’ number five tees off with the fives from Vandy and Florida at 8:30 followed by the fours at 8:40, the threes at 8:50, the twos at 9:00 and the ones at 9:10. Auburn, Tennessee and Georgia are paired in the following group and also start at hole one. Mississippi State, Kentucky and Mississippi are grouped and begin at 8:30 a.m. from the 10th hole followed by LSU, South Carolina and Alabama
The SEC FieldThe SEC is one of the strongest conferences for women’s golf and this year the league again dominates some of the top spots. The latest Golfstat.com poll lists Auburn as third, followed by No. 4 Georgia, No. 5 Vanderbilt, No. 7 Florida and No. 10 Tennessee. In addition, Alabama is ranked 22nd, Arkansas is 24th, LSU is 25th, and South Carolina is number 27. Mississippi checks in at No. 79, followed by No. 88 Mississippi State and No. 119 Kentucky. Several teams are also ranked in the top 25 in the Golfworld.com poll highlighted by No. 3 Auburn, No. 4 Georgia and No. 6 Vanderbilt. Also ranked are No. 11 Florida, No. 13 Tennessee and No. 23 Arkansas with Alabama and LSU receiving votes.
Arkansas at the SEC ChampionshipArkansas has competed in all 11 SEC Championships since adding women’s golf in 1996. The Lady’Backs had a rough start to conference championship play finishing 12th at the first events in 1996 and 1997, but Arkansas made a jump to 10th in 1998. The Lady’Backs were fifth the following year and moved to eighth in 2000 but fell back to 12th in 2001. Arkansas was up a spot to 11th in 2002, sixth in 2003, ninth in 2004 and a program-best third in 2005. The Lady’Backs were fifth in 2006.
Lewis won SEC medalist honorsStacy Lewis became the first SEC medialist in Arkansas history as a redshirt freshman in 2005. Lewis carded a then school-record 214 with rounds of 72-75-67 for the win.
We meet againArkansas has faced many of the league teams already this year. Although Arkansas’ head-to-head numbers are less than stellar, the Lady Razorbacks are still close enough to make a move this week. This year, Arkansas is 1-5 against Georgia; 0-4 against Vanderbilt; 1-3 against LSU; 3-1 versus Alabama; 0-3 against Auburn; 1-3 against Florida; 0-2 against Tennessee and 1-0 against both South Carolina and Mississippi State. The Lady’Backs have not faced Kentucky or Mississippi this season.
About Old WaverlyOld Waverly Golf Club captures the essence of the Scottish Highlands within the graceful setting of the Old South. Located about 45 minutes from Starkville, Miss., Old Waverly becomes the host for the first time since the Lady Razorbacks added golf. Mississippi State is also hosting for the first time during that stretch. The course is a par 72, 6,432-yard course.
Mississippi State hosts this yearThis the first time that Arkansas has traveled to Mississippi State for the SEC Championship – in fact, its the first time the program has gone to Starkville. This year completes the cycle of all 12 SEC teams hosting the golf championship and the rotation will start over next year. Arkansas hosted the league championship at Pinnacle Country Club in 2000.
Record-setting weekend at OUArkansas is coming off a record-setting weekend at OU and the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic. The Lady’Backs posted a school record for lowest round with a 278 in the second round Sunday and set a school record with a final 869 for the three-round event. Stacy Lewis carded a 208 (second-best all-time) to win the event with near-record rounds of 67 on Sunday (Lewis holds the record with a 66 set last year at the NCAA Championship). In addition, several Lady’Backs carded personal-bests. They include Lucy Nunn with a 70 in the second round and a 217 for the tournament; Ashley Medders with a second-round 70, Kristin Ingram with a second-round 71 and Whitney Sylvan with a second-round 74 and a final 232.
Who’s making the trip?Arkansas is beginning to settle into a lineup. Although the fifth spot has been a revolving door at times for the Lady’Backs, this lineup will likely guide the team into the postseason. Making this trip is juniors Stacy Lewis and Ashley Medders, sophomore Lucy Nunn, and freshmen Krsitin Ingram and Alex Schulte. Lewis and Nunn have made all nine trips this year while Schulte and Medders have made eight each. Ingram, who joined the team at semester, has made all four trips since her arrival.
About Stacy LewisJunior Stacy Lewis has notched a pair of wins this year bringing her career collegiate total to four. Lewis has dropped more than a stroke off her previous seasons averages and leads the team with a 72.78 stroke average. Lewis ranks third in the SEC for stroke average and has earned SEC Golfer of the Week twice this year. In addition, her amateur career has been nothing short of stellar including being named Golf Week Amateur of the Year and a tie for fifth place at the LPGA’s Kraft Nabisco Championship in California in early April. Lewis is also the Lady Razorbacks’ nominee for the SEC Community Service award.
About Ashley MeddersJunior Ashley Medders has continued to improve throughout the season. Medders has made eight of Arkansas’ nine cuts and played to a 76.71 stroke average this year. Medders played in just three events as a freshman but took on a full schedule as a sophomore. Medders competed in Arkansas’ own Tyson/Embassy Suites Invitational winning the event with a then school record 212 (72-71-69). This year, Medders has been solid with a season-best 223 (78-70-75) shot last week at the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic in Oklahoma.
About Lucy NunnSophomore Lucy Nunn has stepped up and contributed with all of her rounds counting for the team this year. Nunn has competed in all nine events with a 74.92 stroke average – second on the team behind Lewis. Nunn posted a career-best last week at the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic carding a 217 (75-70-72) tying her career-best with a 70 in the second round. Nunn enters the SEC Championship ranked 14th in the in the league for her stroke average.
About Kristin IngramKristin Ingram joined the Lady Razorbacks at the semester after starting her collegiate career at UNLV in the fall. Since joining the Lady’Backs, Ingram has made the cut in all but one event (her first one on campus) and played herself to a 77.83 stroke average in four events. Ingarm posted her best round at Arkansas last week at the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic with a 225 including a second-round 71 to score for the team.
About Alexandrea SchulteAlex Schulte has had a solid freshman campaign for the Lady Razorbacks. She competed in every event at Arkansas until the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational, where, in the second round, she sprained her wrist and was unable to finish. Schulte missed the next event but was back in the lineup at the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic last week. Schulte carded a career-best 223 (70-79-74) at the Mercedes Benz Collegiate Classic tying for 15th overall. Schulte enters the week with a 76.68 stroke average – a mark that ranks third on the team.
Lewis lowers stroke averageStacy Lewis was pretty consistent for her first two seasons at Arkansas. As a redshirt freshman, Lewis had a 74.31 stroke average with 2601 strokes in 35 rounds for 12 tournaments. The following season in 2005-06, Lewis’ average was 74.32 with 2527 strokes in 24 rounds through 12 tournaments. This year, Lewis has lowered her stroke average to 72.78 with 1965 strokes in 27 rounds through nine tournaments.
Nunn also improvesSophomore Lucy Nunn has also lowered her numbers this season. Nunn played in four tournaments for 12 rounds. She carded 941 strokes for a 78.42 average. This year, Nunn has played nine events, 27 rounds and has 2023 strokes for a 74.92 average.
Hester selected to Macon Sports Hall of FameKelley Hester has been selected to the Macon Sports Hall of Fame it was recently announced. Hester, in her fifth season with the Lady Razorbacks, is one of 14 Macon, Ga., area athletes or supporters selected to this year’s Hall. The former Kelley Richardson is a native of Macon and attended First Presbyterian Day School where she was a standout golfer. She went on to the University of Georgia helping the Bulldogs to a pair of Southeastern Conference team titles and a fourth-place showing at the 1993 NCAA Championship. A two-time all-SEC selection, she also earned all-America honors in 1995. Hester went on to play professionally on the Futures Golf Tour in 1996 and 1997 where she qualified for the 1996 U.S. Women’s Open. She then joined the coaching and teaching ranks.
Hester’s backArkansas head coach Kelley Hester is also returning to the links this week. Hester took much of the semester off after the birth of her first child trusting the team to assistant coach Shauna Estes. Hester will be traveling with the team this weekend in her first golf tournament this year.
Times getting shortIt’s hard to believe that time is getting short but that’s what’s happening for the Arkansas golf team. Arkansas travels to West Point, Miss., and Old Waverly Golf Course for the SEC Championship April 20-22, before Regionals (May 10-12) and the NCAA Championship (May 22-25).
Lewis and Medders provide experienceArkansas has a young team this year with no seniors. Juniors Stacy Lewis and Ashley Medders are the only two players who have competed at the conference championship. Lewis won the event as a redshirt freshman in 2005 and finished tied for 21 last year. Medders tied for 38th as a sophomore last year in her only appearance at the SEC Championship.