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Lady’Back golf travels to Sacramento for NCAA West Regional

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Lady’Back golf travels to Sacramento for NCAA West Regional

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The seventh-ranked University of Arkansas women’s golf team travels to Sacramento, Calif., for the 2008 NCAA West Regional Championship Thursday-Saturday at Lincoln Hills Golf Club. Arkansas is making the program’s seventh NCAA Regional appearance and it’s sixth in a row with aspirations of a top eight finish allowing the team to advance to the NCAA Championship in Albuquerque, N.M., May 20-23. “The West Regional sets up good for us,” said Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor. “Not only do we have a great opportunity to advance, but we have an opportunity to win the tournament.” Arkansas enters the week as one of the top-seeded teams trailing only No. 3 South California and No. 4 Arizona State in the field of 21 teams. The field also includes No. 12 Arizona, No. 14 Oklahoma State, No. 17 California, No. 21 Michigan State, No. 23 Stanford, No. 27 BYU, No. 29 Tulsa, No. 34 North Carolina, No. 36 Ohio State, No. 38 San Jose State, No. 41 Oklahoma, No. 44 Oregon, No. 46 UNLV, No. 53 UC-Davis, No. 60 UC-Irvine, No. 77 Fresno State, No. 97 Oral Roberts and No. 142 Portland State. Arkansas is led by second-ranked senior Stacy Lewis. The Woodlands, Texas, native leads the team and the Southeastern Conference and is second in the nation in stroke average with a 70.08 mark. Lewis has won six tournaments this year including the 2008 SEC Championship last week but she’ll have her hands full with the talented field at this year’s regional. In addition to Lewis the field includes the fourth and fifth-ranked collegians in Arizona State’s Anna Nordqvist (70.67) and Azahara Munoz (70.68). “Stacy’s ready,” said Estes-Taylor. “She has two more collegiate events to try and capture the national player of the year. She’s been working hard on some little things this week and she’s well-prepared for this stretch.” But Lewis won’t go into battle alone. She is joined by junior Lucy Nunn, sophomores Kristin Ingram and Alex Schulte and freshman Kelli Shean. Shean earned SEC all-Freshman Team honors this year. “Lucy has had a really great year,” said Estes-Taylor. “Our success is not only due to Stacy but to the rest of the team stepping up. Lucy is a great number two. She’s worked a lot with her mental preparation and that’s been reflected in her scores. We’ve worked with Lucy on slowing things down a bit and using some visualization. That’s really helped her game.” Arkansas faces a new golf course for the third week in a row as well. Lincoln Hills, like the Champions Course at Bryan National and this year’s SEC site, Tennessee National, are first-time courses for Arkansas. “This course is pretty demanding off the tee,” said Estes-Taylor. “We’ve researched the course on-line and I called out there and spoke to the club pro. I think there are some similar holes at Blessings and we’ll work those hard before we go. There are a lot of wetland areas where you can’t go in for your ball, you just have to take a drop.” The Lady Razorbacks depart Fayetteville for a travel day on Tuesday, have a practice round Wednesday and tee off at 9:00 a.m. local, 11:00 a.m. central with Southern California and Arizona State. Live stats for the event will be available at golfstat.com. For more information about Arkansas athletics or Lady Razorback golf log on to LADYBACKS.COM or Hogwired.com.



Sports Category : Golf (W)