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Lady’Backs 11th at NCAA Championship

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Lady’Backs 11th at NCAA Championship

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SUNRIVER, Ore. – The 18th-ranked University of Arkansas women’s golf team put a cap of the 2005 season with atie for11th placeat the NCAA Championship in Sunriver, Ore., Friday. Arkansas carded a respectable 301 in the final round of the program’s first-ever NCAA Championship appearance at the Meadows Course in Sunriver, Ore., but solid scores from the top teams in the country edged the Lady Razorbacks down the leader board. Arkansas finished the four-day tournament with a 1197 (396-307-293-301). “I was disappointed with how we finished,” said Arkansas head coach Kelley Hester, “we all were. I haven’t looked at the stats yet but we didn’t putt very well today. I’m so proud, though, of what we’ve accomplished all season and all week. We’re walking out of here with our heads held up and proud of ourselves.” Three final rounds of 75 from redshirt freshman Stacy Lewis and junior Amanda McCurdy andsenior Gena Johnsonpaced the Lady’Backs on day four of the championship. For Johnson, it was the final event for the Hot Springs, Ark., native in the Cardinal and White. Junior Lindsey Hinshaw counted a five-over 76 while junior Courtney Mahon carded a 78 for Arkansas. “It’s happy and sad,” said Johnson. “It’s over but I’m ready for what’s next in my life.” McCurdy led Arkansas and finished tied for 34th overall. Lewis was tied for 39th while Hinshaw tied for 68th overall. Mahon finished tied for 73rd while Johnson was tied for 88th overall. The par-71, 6,312-yard course played hard in the final round. Temperatures and conditions were good for the morning round and the sun was shinning for Arkansas when they teed off at 2:30 p.m. But conditions quickly changed. By the time McCurdy teed off in the final spot, the winds picked up and the clouds rolled in. The Lady’Backs played the first nine in strong winds and finished in the rain with temperatures in the mid-30s. Top-ranked Duke rallied from a slow start to win the title. The Blue Devils finished with a final round 297 for 1170 and the victory. Number 2 UCLA finished second with 1175 while Southeastern Conference rival and third-ranked Auburn was third. Pepperdine, ranked fourth in the country, finished fourth with an 1179 while No. 24 California rounded out the top five with 1180. SEC foe Tennessee had the lowest round of the day with a one-over 285 for an 1187 and sixth place in the field.The Lady’Backs tied No. 14 Southern California for 11th in the field of 24. The NCAA Championship concludes the collegiate season for Arkansas but several players are preparing for summer events. Log on to LADYBACKS.COM for continuing coverage of Arkansas golf.



Sports Category : Golf (W)