FAYETTEVILLE – The No. 30 University of Arkansas women’s golf team opens the 2010 fall season at the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic in Norman, Okla., Friday-Sunday.
The Razorbacks take part in the first of four fall events taking on an eight-team field at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Course.
"I think this is the most excited I’ve been as a coach to start the season," head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor said. "This entire group, top-to-bottom, one-through-eight is very talented."
The 2010 opening event lineup is an interesting one for the Razorbacks. It features two seniors, two second-year players and a true freshman along with a sophomore individual. Parts of the lineup seem young but the experience in this group of players may be some of the best ever for the Razorbacks.
Senior Kelli Shean has U.S. Women’s Open experience and led the field of pros when she came off the course after the first round. She, along with senior Corinna Rees and sophomore Victoria Vela also took part in the P&G Beauty NW Arkansas LPGA Championship at Pinnacle Country Club earlier this month and Vela competed against the professionals in a Texas event that saw her emerge as the top amateur.
Freshman Emily Tubert’s junior golf experience makes her one of the contenders in any field she tees it up in. Redshirt freshman Emma Lavy and sophomore Meagan Roberts have a year’s experience under their belts as well making the Razorbacks deep. Roberts will compete as an individual this week.
"Emily had an amazing summer," Estes-Taylor said, "and she was our top qualifier this week. "She is a tremendous player who has added great depth to our team.
"Kelli, Victoria and Corinna are all very experienced players who have traveled extensively with the team," Estes-Taylor continued. "I have pretty high expectations of this group and I’m excited to get out there and tee it up."
This week’s field is small with just eight teams and features a mix of talented programs with a few lesser-known teams all of whom are capable of winning tournaments.
In addition to the Razorbacks the field includes host and No. 69-ranked Oklahoma, SEC-rival No. 41 Ole Miss, No. 52 Tulsa, No. 98 Texas State, No. 99 Middle Tennessee State, Redlands Community College and Oklahoma City University.
"This is a good place to start," Estes-Taylor said of the event. "It’s a great golf course and it fits us well. I hope this event can propel us into the rest of the fall schedule.
The Razorbacks next travel to the Mercedes Benz Collegiate Championship in Knoxville, Tenn., Oct. 8-10. For more information about Arkansas women’s golf, please log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.