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Lady’Backs shake things up this weekend

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Lady’Backs shake things up this weekend

FAYETTEVILLE — For the third time in as many weeks, the University of Arkansas women’s golf team packs its bags for a road trip. This weekend, the 17th-ranked Lady Razorbacks travel to the 2005 Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational in Austin, Texas, Friday-Sunday, taking on one of the toughest fields of the early spring. "This is a strong field," acknowledged Arkansas head coach Kelley Hester, "but one we feel we can beat some teams in." Arkansas will battle many elements this weekend. The Lady Razorbacks are coming off back-to-back road trips to Florida opening the spring. In addition, the Betsy Rawls Invitational takes place at the recently completed University of Texas Golf Course, a par-72, 6,323-yard course no one in the field has played on. Finally, Arkansas will shake up its lineup for the event. "It’s a brand new course," said Hester, "and we are not sure what to expect from it yet. We’ve also shuffled our lineup a bit just to see how we can match up against the course." Making the trip again this week are juniors Amanda McCurdy and Courtney Mahon along with redshirt sophomore Stacy Lewis. The trio have been solid all season competing in all of Arkansas’ events. Lewis leads the team in stroke average with a 74.00 mark followed by McCurdy at 74.65 this season. Also traveling for Arkansas is seniors Gena Johnson and Lina Axelsson and junior Lindsey Hinshaw. Johnson has competed in four events and Hinshaw three this year while Axelsson has competed sparingly since an injury suffered at the mid-point of last season. "I just want to see how things go at the practice round," said Hester, "then, I finalize the lineup based on how we handled the course." Arkansas is coming off a solid ninth-place showing last week at the SunTrust Lady Gator Invitational. Hester felt as though the team was just one score away from a spectacular finish in a good tournament that pitted golfers against one of the toughest course setups around. "When you play a golf course like that (the University of Florida Golf Course) well, it loads you with confidence," said Hester. "Stacy and Amanda played well there and they should leave that tournament thinking ‘I feel pretty good.’ They need to carry that over to this weekend." The Lady Razorbacks face a competitive field with teams from all over the country. Headlining the lineup is No. 1 Duke, No. 7 Arizona State, No. 8 Oklahoma State and No. 12 Missouri. Arkansas checks in ranked 17th followed by No. 21 Tulsa, No. 23 Texas, No. 26 SMU, No. 30 TCU, No. 32 Baylor, No. 35 Texas A&M, No. 37 Oklahoma, No. 46 Texas Tech, No. 62 Nebraska, No. 63 New Mexico State, No. 64 Kansas and No. 73 Kansas State. For more information about Arkansas golf log on to LADYBACKS.COM.



Sports Category : Golf (W)