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Lady’Back linksters travel East this weekend

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Lady’Back linksters travel East this weekend

FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas women’s golf team travels east to the Bryan National in Browns Summit, N.C., Friday-Sunday, in the final regular season event of 2008.

The Lady Razorbacks are in the midst of one of the best seasons in program history. Arkansas has seven top five finishes in eight events including a tournament title at the UA Ann Rhodes last fall.

In addition, senior Stacy Lewis continues to lead the team with a sub-par stroke average and numerous individual honors.

This week, Arkansas, ranked between No. 8 and No. 12 in the three collegiate polls, takes on a mostly eastern region field at the Bryan National co-hosted by Wake Forest and North Carolina-Greensboro in Browns Summit, N.C.

“This is a really nice golf course,” said Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor. “We’ve never played it here (at Arkansas) but I’ve played it as a player. I think it sets up well for us and our strengths as a team will be a plus on this course.”

The Greg Norman signature course is a par 72 and stretches 6,384 yards. It is the longest course the Lady’Backs have played this year.

Arkansas has played well in recent events and is coming off back-to-back fourth-place finishes over spring break. The Lady Razorbacks finished fourth at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic Sunday and picked up a win over top-ranked Duke for the first time in program history.

But more importantly to Estes-Taylor, the Lady Razorbacks have continued to improve and learn from their rounds.

“We’re coming off of nine days on the road,” said Estes-Taylor. “We learned a lot from it. We played in tough conditions at both tournaments and both are regional sites. I think that definitely helps us in the postseason. We’ve been pretty solid all year but we are still struggling some on the last holes coming in. We’ve really focused on finishing strong this week. We’ve also worked on our par five scoring. We’ve let a couple shots get away there and that is a place you can make up some strokes on the field.”

Arkansas has solidified the top four spots in the lineup and are again paced by Lewis, who has won two Southeastern Conference Golfer of the Week honors. In addition to Lewis, junior Lucy Nunn, sophomore Kristin Ingram and freshman Kelli Shean have been regulars in the lineup. This week, the Lady’Backs travel sophomore Alex Schulte in the fifth spot.

As for this week’s field, it is again another tough one. All 18 teams are ranked in both the Golf World and Golfstat polls with more than half also ranked in the NGCA Coaches Poll as well. Arkansas is currently No. 12, No. 10 and No. 8, respectively.

In addition to Arkansas, the field includes top-ranked Duke, No. 5 Florida, No. 8 Auburn, No. 9 Wake Forest, No. 18 Tennessee, No. 21 Michigan State, No. 24 Virginia, No. 29 TCU, No. 31 South Carolina, No. 32 Florida State, No. 36 North Carolina State, No. 37 North Carolina, No. 49 North Carolina-Wilmington, No. 43 Furman, No. 62 North Carolina-Greensboro, No. 69 College of Charleston and No. 114 Penn State.

The three-day event is the final regular season tournament for Arkansas before the Lady Razorbacks travel to Louden, Tenn., for the 2008 SEC Championship April 18-20. For more information about Arkansas golf, please log on to LADYBACKS.COM.



Sports Category : Golf (W)