Women Golfers Prepare for NCAA West Regional
May 7, 2001
WHAT'S ON TAP: The Ducks are the No. 12 seed (out of 21) at the NCAA West Regional, which will be held Thursday, May 10 through Saturday, May 12 at the 6,089-yard, par-72 Trysting Tree Golf Course in Corvallis, Ore. Oregon State is the host school. There are three regionals that will be held nationally on May 10-12 (the other two are at Purdue and North Carolina). The top eight teams and two individuals from each region advance to the NCAA Championships, May 23-26 at Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.
THE FIELD: Three of the nation's top five teams and 14 of the top 50 will be in competition at the 2001 NCAA West Regional. Pac-10 champion Arizona, the No. 2 team in the nation, heads the field as the top seed in the region followed in the seeding by No. 4 USC and No. 5 Stanford. Five of the next eight seeds went to teams outside the region with Tennessee getting the fourth seed, followed by Ohio State, Arizona State, UCLA, Big Ten champion Michigan State, Washington, Southern Conference champ Furman and Indiana. Oregon heads the second half of the bracket as the No. 12 seed, just in front of Conference USA champion Memphis, Colorado State, Nevada and Oregon State at No. 17. The final four teams are Brigham Young, Northeast Conference champion Central Connecticut State, Missouri Valley champ Southwest Missouri State and Big Sky champion Weber State. The two individuals are Tasha Browner of Washington State and Taya Battistella of Portland State, who was the Big Sky individual medalist.
OREGON PROBABLE STARTERS
Jerilyn White Sr.-4L Salem, Ore. (McNary)Kathy Cho Jr.-1L Honolulu, Hawaii (Punanau/Hawaii)Dawn Berry Sr.-4L Calgary, Alberta (Lethbridge)Lacy Erickson Fr.-1V Austin, Minn. (Austin)Megan Heckeroth So.-2L Netarts, Ore. (Tillamook)
RANKINGS: Senior All-America candidate Jerilyn White was ranked 27th individually in the May 2 Mastercard Collegiate Golf rankings.
OREGON IN THE NCAA REGIONALS: In eight previous regional competitions, Oregon has advanced to the NCAA Championships six times, including three of the past four years. Last year, Oregon finished seventh to advance to the NCAA Championships in Sun River, Ore. The Ducks' best regional finish came in 1995 when current Oregon head coach Shannon Rouillard (the former Shannon Hare) tied for fifth individually to lead the Ducks to a fourth place finsh. Jerilyn White has been Oregon's top individual golfer at the NCAA Regional each of the last two seasons. Last year, she finished tied for 21st, while she tied for 39th as a sophomore. No Duck has ever won regional honors, the closest was Rouillard's tie for fifth in 1995 that was most recently matched by Paula Patterson in 1997. Only two of Oregon's contingent have NCAA Regional experience: White and fellow senior Dawn Berry. Here's a look at how Oregon's current team members have fared at the NCAA Regional during their careers:
Player 2000 1999Jerilyn White 223/T21st 231/T39thDawn Berry --- 244/T84th
Oregon in the NCAA West Regional
Year Place (Score) Top Individual Place (score)2000 7th (895) Jerilyn White T21st (223)1999 T12th (932) Angie Rizzo T39th (231) Jerilyn White T39th (231)1998 T10th (912) Kylie Wilson T23rd (226)1997 6th (885) Paula Patterson T5th (213)1996 16th (974) Christel Tomori T54th (242) Kylie Wilson T54 (242)1995 4th (898) Shannon Hare T5th (220)1994 10th (912) Karly Mills T22nd (224)1993 9th (885) Cappy Mack T59th (228) Shannon Maier T59th (221)
ABOUT THE DUCKS: Only one golfer returns from last year's NCAA Championships quintet -- senior All-America candidate Jerilyn White. The other four, Anika Heuser, Angie Rizzo, Pam Sowden and Kylie Wilson, all graduated last spring. The Ducks are sharpening up their games at just the right time -- Oregon's No. 1 player, White, has been very consistent in the spring with top 20 finishes in her last seven tournaments, including her first collegiate win at the Peg Barnard California Collegiate April 13-14. And despite finishing ninth, Oregon recorded its best three-round total (914) of the season April 23-25 at the Pacific-10 Championships. Two other players, senior Claire Hunter and sophomore Megan Heckeroth, careded their low rounds of the season on the final day of the Pac-10s. Heckeroth shot a 74, while Hunter had a 75. White and fellow senior Dawn Berry are the only two Ducks who have NCAA Regional experience. White was Oregon's top golfer at last season's regional, tying for 21st (223). She was 39th in 1999 (231), while Berry was 84th (244) that year -- her only regional appearance. It will be the first Pac-10 championship experience for Heckeroth, junior Kathy Cho and freshman Lacy Erickson.
OREGON AT TRYSTING TREE: The Ducks have competed at Trysting Tree nine times in the last 11 years, most recently in 1999 where they finished fourth at the Northwest Collegiate with a 915 -- coincidentally, that's the same score that UO coach Shannon Rouillard feels will be low enough for the Ducks to advance to the regionals. Oregon won three straight Northwest Classics at Trysting Tree from 1991-93 and won again in 1996. This will be the first time that Trysting Tree has hosted an NCAA Regional.
COACH SHANNON ROUILLARD: Former all-Pac-10 golfer and `95 Oregon grad Shannon Rouillard is in her first year as head coach of the Ducks' women's golf program. Rouillard, who began her playing career as a walk-on, tied for 29th at the NCAA Championships as a senior and qualified for the 1999 U.S. Open. Last year as an assistant, Rouillard helped coach Oregon to a tie for 11th at the NCAA Championships.
ROUILLARD ON THE NCAA WEST REGIONAL: 'Our goal is to break 305 three days in a row. If we do that, I think we will have a very realistic chance of making the NCAA championships. We need to go out and play strong and hard.' 'Everybody on the team has played Trysting Tree before except Lacy Erickson and we will have a lot of support there from family, friends and UO athletic department. When you are competing at the highest level in your sport, I think it is a huge advantage to know that support is there.'
ROUILLARD ON TRYSTING TREE: 'There aren't too many trees that come into play at Trysting Tree. It can be windy, so I think it will come down to the short game. The greens are big and in great shape. We need to make putts for par and knock down birdie opportunities when they are there.'
ROUILLARD ON SENIOR ALL-AMERICA CANDIDATE JERILYN WHITE: 'Jerilyn is very excited to play in front of friends and family. For her, the stage could not be set any better. The way she has worked to improve her game this spring, if she sticks to her game plan, she will put herself in a position to win this tournament.' 'Jerilyn has played well enough to beat the best golfers in the country, which should give her tremendous confidence because she'll see a lot of them at regionals. She has proven time and and time again that you never have to worry about her mental toughness. She is one of the best pressure players in the country.'