GREAT EXPECTATIONS: The University of Arkansas opened the 2005-06 golf season with high expectations and lived up to their billing with a solid fall campaign. February began the spring season with six events heading up to the NCAA Championship hosted by Ohio State May 17-20.
ABOUT LAST WEEK: Arkansas tied for the win at the Texas A&M “Mo” Morial Invitational last week at the Traditions Golf Club. Arkansas struggled on the final day shooting a 315 as conditions again changed and the wind picked up. The Lady Razorbacks held a two-stroke lead as the final round began but the host Aggies made a push on their home course coming in just under Arkansas with a 313 to tie the Lady Razorbacks. Arkansas and the Aggies did go to a playoff hole with Texas A&M winning.
THIS WEEK: Arkansas travels to the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic. The Liz Murphey is the only event other than the Southeastern Conference Championship that the Lady Razorbacks have competed in every season since adding golf in 1995-96. The traditionally tough field has never allowed the Lady Razorbacks to finsh in the top 10.
THIS YEAR’S FIELD: This year, the field includes Arkansas, Auburn, Coastal Carolina, East Carolina, Florida State, Furman, Georgia, Kent State, Michigan State, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tulane, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest and Washington.
STRONG SEC LOOK: This year’s Liz Murphey features six of the 12 SEC teams (Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia, Mississippi, Mississippi State, South Carolina and Vanderbilt). Arkansas has faced a couple SEC teams already this season finishing behind Georgia twice and Florida once. Arkansas has finished ahead of Vanderbilt, Florida (twice), Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and South Carolina this year.
TIME’S GETTING TIGHT: Arkansas travels to the Liz Murphey and it is the final regular season event before the SEC Championship April 15-17. The Lady’Backs have already taken part in three events this spring as the season continues to fly by.
SOME INTERESTING NUMBERS: Arkansas more than eclipsed its scoring goals last fall and the numbers continue to look good this spring. In the fall, Arkansas averaged a 294 in the first round, 297.25 in round two, and 291.5 in third round. The Lady’Backs averaged 882.75 for the fall.This spring numbers are slightly higher against several courses that Arkansas is seeing for the first time. Arkansas is averaging 304.67 in the first round, 300.00 in round two and 306.33 in the third round. Arkansas’ third round average was hurt a bit by the highest round of the season – a 315 at Texas A&M.Here’s a quick look at how Golfstat ranks the Arkansas individuals in the first and third rounds.
|1st Round Average||CL||1st Rd||Rank||Out Of|
|Sarah Trew||SR||77.50||No Rk|
|Whitney Sylvan||FR||77.00||No Rk|
|Last Round Average||CL||LastRd||Rank||Out Of|
|Sarah Trew||SR||74.50||No Rk|
|Whitney Sylvan||FR||81.00||No Rk|
ARKANSAS’ NUMBERS GOOD EARLY: The Lady Razorbacks have posted some impressive numbers early in the season. Arkansas’ 876 at their home Tyson/Embassy Suites Invitational was a then-program best and the first time the team has played under par for the tournament. The Lady’Backs single round 286 on the final day was also a program best. Arkansas carded an 882 at Las Vegas, a mark that currently stands as the program’s lowest round.
THE STARTING FIVE: TBA
ABOUT MCCURDY: Arkansas senior Amanda McCurdy has played in every event since joining the Lady’Backs as a freshman. This year, the El Dorado, Ark., native has competed in seven tournaments and played 21 rounds with a 73.62 team average. She has two wins under her belt (Mercedes and Puerto Rico) and two top five finishes this year. Her low round of the year was a 213 – a mark that is also a school record.
ABOUT MAHON: Senior Courtney Mahon has also competed in all seven events and played 21 rounds this year. The Topeka, Kan., native has a 75.57 stroke average and three top 15 finishes including a second-place showing at the Tyson/Embassy Suites Invitational.
ABOUT LEWIS: Sophomore Stacy Lewis exploded onto the Arkansas golf scene winning last year’s SEC Championship individual title. She has also played in all seven events and has 21 competitive rounds under her belt this year. Lewis has a 74.04 stroke average and four top six finishes including a second-place showing at the Tyson/Embassy Suites Invitational.
ABOUT HINSHAW: Senior Lindsey Hinshaw has made the lineup for the seventh time in seven events and has played 21 rounds this year. Hinshaw has a 77.76 average this year and has consistently been around the 230 mark.
ABOUT NUNN: Freshman Lucy Nunn has competed four times this year, once as an individual at the Tyson/Embassy Suites Invitational and again at Texas A&M. Nunn has a 78.42 average and her best finish was a tie for 25th at the Lady Puerto Rico.
ABOUT THE POLL: Arkansas is currently ranked ninth in this week’s GolfWeek Top 50. The Lady’Backs were ranked as high as second early in the year which is the highest ranking in the Golfweek poll ever for the golf program. In addition, the golf team becomes the third-highest ranked women’s team at the University behind cross country and indoor track, both of whom have been No. 1.
YOU’VE COME A LONG WAY: Head coach Kelley Hester took over the Lady Razorback golf program in 2002-03. In the final poll prior to Hester taking over, the Lady Razorbacks were ranked 82nd in the Golfweek poll. Arkansas is eighth in that poll this week.
HESTER’S FIRST SENIOR CLASS: That’s right, head coach Kelley Hester has her first senior class at Arkansas. That class consists of Lindsey Hinshaw, Amanda McCurdy, Courtney Mahon and Sarah Trew.
NEWCOMER JOINS TEAM: Arkansas welcomed the addition of freshman Tanica van As to the roster at the semester. Van As just graduated from high school in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and will vie for playing time right away.