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Lady’Back Linksters ready on eve of NCAA Championship

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Lady’Back Linksters ready on eve of NCAA Championship

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The 10th-ranked University of Arkansas women’s golf team is eagerly awaiting the start of the 2008 NCAA Championship in Albuquerque, N.M., May 20-23. The Lady Razorbacks are making the program’s third team appearance in four seasons returning to the final tournament with the defending national champion in senior Stacy Lewis. “At the beginning of the year,” said Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor, “we listed our team goals and one of those was to finish in the top 10 at the National Championship. We prepared for and played every tournament all year with that goal in mind and here we are. We’re going to prepare as we have all year and go out and try and win and just see where that puts us.” The goals Arkansas has set will face challenges from both the field of teams as well as the golf course this week. In addition to Arkansas, the 24-team field includes top-ranked Southern California, No. 2 UCLA, three-time defending champion and third-ranked Duke, No. 4 Florida and No. 5 Arizona State just to name a few. In fact, this year’s field includes the top 15 teams in this week’s Golfweek/Sargarin Performance Index. But Arkansas has Lewis and a cast of characters who have played well all season with 10 top five finishes in 11 tournaments. Lewis’ success is well documented throughout her career. The Woodlands, Texas, native has 12 collegiate wins, three first-team all-Southeastern Conference and three all-America honors to name a few. But it was sophomore Kristin Ingram who stepped up for Arkansas last weekend at the NCAA West Regional Championship helping the Lady’Backs punch their ticket for Albuquerque. “This is a young team but we have a lot of talent on the golf course,” said Estes-Taylor. “Stacy has been here before but it’s a first for the others and I’m excited to watch their faces and emotions for their first time. The national championship is such a great experience. There are fans and television cameras and just a lot of excitement around the event that we don’t have most times we play. I want them to enjoy the moment but also not get lost in the excitement. We still have some goals we are reaching for and we want to be business-like on the course.” As for the golf course, Arkansas tees it up for the first time at the University of New Mexico Golf Course. The course is scheduled to play 6,069 yards – a bit shorter than the SEC Championship course or last week’s regional course. Arkansas begins the week with a pair of practice rounds Sunday and Monday followed by its first tee time at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday. The Lady’Backs play with fellow SEC members Alabama and South Carolina. The SEC had seven of its 12 members qualify for the NCAA Championships, the most of any conference this year. For more information about Arkansas golf, please log on to LADYBACKS.COM. Live stats for the entire event are available at golfstat.com.



Sports Category : Golf (W)