FAYETTEVILLE — The 11th-ranked University of Arkansas women’s golf team tees it up for the first time this season at the Mason Rudolph Women’s Championship in Nashville, Tenn., Friday-Sunday. The three-day event takes place on the par 72, 7,200-yard Ironhorse Course at the Vanderbilt Legends Club and features a top-notch field that will test the Lady’Backs out of the gate. "We’re excited to go to Tennessee for the Mason Rudolph," said Arkansas head coach Kelley Hester. "It’s the first time for me as a coach and the first time for this program to play at this event. It’s a very prestigious golf course and it’s hosted several high profile college and professional events. The field is quite strong which is great. We want to face the best and we do that right out of the gate." Preseason numbers one and two await Arkansas in the 15-team field. Headlining the competition is No. 1 UCLA, No. 2 Duke, No. 4 Georgia, No. 5 Auburn, No. 7 Arizona State and No. 9 Florida in the top 10. Arkansas, ranked 11th, is just ahead of No. 16 Tulane, No. 20 Arizona, No. 21 Missouri, No. 22 Wake and No. 29 and host Vanderbilt. Unranked Furman, Oklahoma State and Texas are also in the field. "The preseason poll shows some respect from other coaches," said Hester, "and I’m excited for the program to have gotten that respect. This team earned it and they are getting to enjoy it. It’s not often you see the rewards for your hard work as an athlete. Sometimes you lay the foundation for others to be successful and this preseason ranking speaks volumes for what this team and this group of athletes has accomplished." The Lady’Backs send an interesting lineup to Nashville this week. Senior Courtney Mahon and all-American sophomore Stacy Lewis tied for the top spot in qualifying closely followed by sophomore Ashley Medders who saw limited action last year. Senior Amanda McCurdy captured the fourth spot followed by Arkansas’ lone freshman Lucy Nunn. Senior Lindsey Hinshaw narrowly missed qualifying and is making the trip as an individual. The Mason Rudolph also serves as a Southeastern Conference Championship warm-up for the Lady’Backs. Vanderbilt hosts the SEC Championship April 15-17, on the same course. Arkansas returns home to host the Tyson/Embassy Suites Invitational Oct. 16-18, at Pinnacle Country Club. For more information about Arkansas golf, log on to LADYBACKS.COM.