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Hester Lady’Back linksters ready for NCAA Regional Championship

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Hester Lady’Back linksters ready for NCAA Regional Championship

Jump to NCAA West Regional site FAYETTEVILLE — The 10th-ranked University of Arkansas women’s golf team puts it all on the line this week looking to advance at the 2006 NCAA West Regional Championship in Auburn, Wash. Arkansas enters the event as the fifth seed in the 21-team field for the three-day event at Washington National Golf Course Thursday-Saturday. "We’re heading into this with a lot of excitement and confidence," said Arkansas head coach Kelley Hester. "The kids feel like we belong there and they believe in themselves. We all know that if we don’t beat the teams were supposed to beat, then we don’t deserve to go to the championship." Second-ranked UCLA headlines the West Regional field and enters the competition as the top seeded team in the field of 21. Number five Georgia is next followed by No. 8 Purdue, No. 10 Arkansas and No. 15 UNLV as the seeded teams. Also in the field is No. 19 Arizona, Stanford, New Mexico, host Washington, Long Beach State, Brigham Young, UC-Irvine, San Jose State, Denver, Oregon State, Washington State, New Mexico State, Georgia State, Oral Roberts, Bradley and Montana. Arkansas opens the regional action with a practice round Wednesday and tees off at 11:30 a.m. Central on Thursday. The Lady Razorbacks will be paired with UNLV and Arizona in the first round. "Each year, the selection is less and less a big deal," said Hester. "It’s always exciting but it’s changed from ‘I hope we get in’ to "what seed are we’. That confidence is great to see." Arkansas’ traveling five has been pretty consistent for much of the year. Seniors Amanda McCurdy, Courtney Mahon and Lindsey Hinshaw along with sophomores Stacy Lewis and Ashley Medders will represent the Lady’Backs. Hester is also traveling a sixth golfer, freshman Lucy Nunn, in case of injury and for the experience. "Four of the five all played in the regional and the NCAA Championship last year," said Hester. "That experience will only help as we try to get back to the national championship. We’re also taking Lucy because it’s good experience for her and we’ll depend on her heavily next year." The regional invitation is the fifth in the 11-year history of women’s golf at Arkansas. The Lady’Backs earned their first regional appearance under head coach Ulrika Belline in 2000. Arkansas has earned four consecutive regional bids under Hester beginning in 2003. For more information about Arkansas golf, log on to LADYBACKS.COM.



Sports Category : Golf (W)