BATON ROUGE, La.. – The 26th-ranked University of Arkansas women’s golf team takes on a tough field and challenging golf course at the 2011 LSU Tiger Golf Classic in Baton Rouge, La., Friday-Sunday.
The Razorbacks are quickly well into the spring season taking part in the third event in as many weeks. Arkansas is coming off a fifth-place showing at the Florida SunTrust Invitational Sunday and Monday and must meet the challenges of the back-to-back trips this week.
It is a challenge," acknowledged Razorback head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor, "but one I think we are prepared for. It’s a good test of how well we adapt and adjust and how well we can focus when we are on the golf course."
Arkansas has a solid lineup anchored by senior Kelli Shean and freshman Emily Tubert. Tubert won two of her first three collegiate events and moved up 17 spots on the leaderboard last week tying for third place in Florida.
Tubert is a Burbank, Calif., native and leads the team with a 72.33 stroke average this season.
Shean is second on the team with a 72.50 stroke average and has been the Razorbacks’ top finisher in three events this year.
"Kelli and Emily are just so solid," Estes-Taylor said. "They both have a great work ethics and are always striving to get better and to make this team better. They are good leaders on and off the golf course."
Sophomore Victoria Vela is making her seventh start in as many events along with senior Corinna Rees and redshirt freshman Emma Lavy.
"This lineup presents us with a lot of opportunities to go low," Estes-Taylor said. "We have all seen what Kelli and Emily can do but don’t forget the Corinna was our leader on day one last week and tied her career-low with a 69 in the first round. We have also had rounds in the 60s and low 70s from both Vicky and Emma and I think that any one of them could lead us in any given round."
The field is one that will challenge Arkansas. Top-ranked Southeastern Conference foe Alabama leads the field closely followed by No. 5 host LSU this week. Other teams include No. 4 Duke, No. 5 TCU, No. 7 Virginia, No. 11 Tulane, No. 13 North Carolina, No. 17 Wake Forest, No. 18 Tennessee, No. 25 Texas A&M, No. 37 South Carolina, No. 39 Ole Miss, No. 42 Louisville, No. 48 Kentucky, No. 62 Furman, No. 69 North Carolina State, No. 79 Charleston, No. 121 UNC-Wilmington, No. 101 Mississippi State and No. 169 ULM.
This year’s three-day event takes place at the newly renovated University Club course, a par 72, 6,186-yard facility near campus. The tournament was last held on the University Club course in 2009 with Virginia winning the team title and former Razorback Lucy Nunn earning medalist honors in a playoff.
Fans can follow all of the action via livestats at www.golfstat.com or at ArkansasRazorbacks.com.