Women's Golf Gets Ninth Straight NCAA Regional Bid
April 30, 2001
EUGENE, Ore. - The University of Oregon's women's golf will be staying home for the NCAA regional tournament. The Ducks were awarded the No. 12 seed for the NCAA West Regional, which will be played May 10-12 at Trysting Tree Golf Club in Corvallis, Ore.
The top eight teams, plus the top two individuals, advance to the NCAA Championships, May 23-26 at Howee-in-the-Hills, Fla.
'We definitely feel like we are playing in our own backyard,' said Oregon coach Shannon Rouillard. 'It's a great opportunity to play in front of our own fans and families on a course we are familiar and comfortable with.'
Pac-10 champion Arizona was the No. 1 seed in the West, followed by USC, Stanford, Tennessee and Ohio State to round out the top five. Arizona State received the No. 6 seed, with UCLA, Big Ten champion Michigan State, Washington, Southern Conference champion Furman and Indiana immediately ahead of the Ducks.
Rouillard said the draw could very much be to Oregon's advantage. 'All we have to focus on is beating the teams seeded eight through 11 to make the NCAA Championships and only one of those teams is from the West,' Rouillard said about Michigan State, Washington, Furman and Indiana. 'This is our biggest test yet and we're playing our best golf at the right time of the year. If there is one thing you can count on, it's that Oregon always rises to the occasion.'
The last half of the regional was filled by No. 13 Memphis, the Conference USA champion, Missouri, Colorado State, Nevada, Oregon State at No. 17, Brigham Young, Northeast Conference champion Central Connecticut State, Missouri Valley Conference champion Southwest Missouri State and Big Sky champion Weber State as the No. 21 seed.
The regionals will be a homecoming for senior All-America candidate Jerilyn White from Salem, Ore., and sophomore Megan Heckeroth of Netarts, Ore. The rest of Oregon's five-player squad will include senior Dawn Berry, junior Kathy Cho and freshman Lacy Erickson.
The top seed in the other two regionals, which will also be conducted May 10-12, are Duke in the East and Texas in the Central. The East Regional will be played at North Carolina, while the Central will be played at North Carolina. This is the first year the NCAA has gone to the 21-team regional format, with eight advancing from each regional for a 24-team NCAA Championship field.
Oregon is coming off a ninth-place finish at the Pac-10 championships at Arizona State, but the low finish could be deceiving. Oregon had its best team score of the season (914), and the league sent nine of its 10 schools on to the NCAA regionals. Only the 12-team Big XII could match the Pac-10's nine bids. The SEC sent eight teams, the Big Ten had seven and the ACC, Mountain West and WAC each had four.
Last year, Oregon finished seventh at the regional held in Tempe, Ariz., and advanced to their third NCAA championship in four years. White has been Oregon's top finisher in the last two regionals, placing 21st last year at 7-over par (223) and 39th in 1999 at 15-over (231).