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Ingram leads No. 7 Arkansas to the NCAA Championship

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Ingram leads No. 7 Arkansas to the NCAA Championship

Jump to complete scores SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sophomore Kristin Ingram fired a career-best two-under 70 leading the seventh-ranked University of Arkansas women’s golf team to a tie for fifth place at the 2008 NCAA West Regional in Sacramento, Calif., Saturday. Ingram and the Lady Razorbacks counted a final round 294 for an 882 (291-297-294) on the par 72, 6,338-yard Orchard Course at Lincoln Hills Golf Club. That tied No. 14 Oklahoma State (293-293-296) in fifth place. The top eight teams from each of three regionals contested this week advance to the NCAA Championship in Albuquerque, N.M., May 20-23. “What a day,” said Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor. “I think I’ve aged about 30 years today. Ya know, our motto all year was to finish strong and we did that today. Our last six holes were incredible. The kids made the turn and saw the leader board and realized we were in a little trouble. But they dug deep and found a way to get it done. I couldn’t be more proud.” Arkansas’ four counting scores played the final six holes one over as the team rallied from a tie for ninth to a tie for fifth. “This is great as a first year head coach to have the chance to coach a team at Nationals,” Estes-Taylor continued. “Our young players really stepped up today and that says a lot about the program and our future. Ya know, we hit 800-plus shots today and one or two strokes is the difference in playing for a national championship and staying home.” The NCAA Championship qualification is the third for the team in four seasons after the Lady Razorbacks missed the cut by five strokes last year. Senior Stacy Lewis returns to the NCAA Championship to defend her individual title from 2007 when she qualified without the team. Ingram, a Pasadena, Calif., native, had her career-best tournament this weekend playing in front of her parents in her home state. She opened with a one-over 73 and added rounds of 71-70 finishing with a career-best 214 and tied for sixth, also a career-high. Ingram’s 214 is her first sub-par tournament and her sixth-place showing is her first career top 10. “I can’t say enough about Kristin,” said Estes-Taylor. “She had a great tournament and really picked us up this weekend. I knew she had a lot of potential when we recruited her and she came into her own this weekend. I hope this builds up her confidence and proves to her that she can play on any level.” Lewis, finished tied for 12th overall with a 217 after rebounding with a final round 72. Lewis carded a second round 76 (69-76-72) and started slowly on Saturday. But The Woodlands, Texas, native battled back from a plus-two start finishing even for the final round. “Stacy had to dig deep today,” said Estes-Taylor. “It’s hard to come off a round in which you don’t feel you played your best. But she really rallied in the middle part of her round to help her team advance. That’s what you need from your leader.” Junior Lucy Nunn also started slowly. The Lawton, Okla., product was four-over in the first five holes and moved to plus seven late in the round. But Nunn stepped up with an eagle on the eighth hole and played her final three holes even to count a 77 for a 225 (74-74-77) for the Lady Razorbacks. “I walked in from seven with Lucy today,” said Estes-Taylor. “She had the eagle on eight, a par on nine and two-putted from 50 feet for par on 10. She really came through in the final holes.” Freshman Kelli Shean was a close fourth for Arkansas with a 226 (75-76-75). Shean birdied the eighth hole dropping a stroke for Arkansas. Shean counted a three on the par five eighth hole in the first round and birdied the hole days two and three. “Kelli is just a freshman and she played well all week,” said Estes-Taylor. “This is great experience for her and her future with our team is bright.” Sophomore Alex Schulte wrapped up the Arkansas scores. Schulte finished with a 242 (80-79-83) for Arkansas in her second NCAA Regional appearance for the Lady Razorbacks. Second-ranked Southern California won the West Regional title leading wire-to-wire finishing with a nine-under 855. Also qualifying for the NCAA Championship is No. 4 Arizona State (870), No. 47 UNLV (879), No. 12 Arizona (880), No. 14 Oklahoma State (882), No. 7 Arkansas (882) and No. 28 Tulsa (884). UC-Davis, No. 36 Ohio State and No. 22 Stanford were tied in the eighth spot with 892 and a three-team playoff was taking place after completion of the final round. For more information regarding Razorback women’s golf or University of Arkansas athletics please visit www.LADYBACKS.COM and www.hogwired.com.



Sports Category : Golf (W)