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Women's Golf to Tee Off at Big 12's Friday

Apr 24, 2008

BOULDER - The University of Colorado women's golf team will tee off the postseason when the 12th Annual Big 12 Championship, hosted by Oklahoma State, will be decided this Friday through Sunday, April 25-27 on the par-72, 6,210-yard Karsten Creek golf course.


The 54-hole championships format will consist of 18 holes played each day with 8 a.m. (MDT) tee times off holes #1 and #10.  In 2007, Texas A&M captured its second Big 12 women's golf championship with a score of 911 at the Ridgewood Country Club in Waco, Texas.  Kansas' Amanda Costner won individual medal honors with a score of 221.


"I definitely know that the course is extremely tough and challenging," said Colorado head coach Anne Kelly.  "It's ranked 30th in the country right now, but in my opinion I think that's good for us.  I think that we have a pretty straight hitting team and I if this course is going to be hard for the entire field we will have to make sure that we keep hitting the ball straight and play smart golf that works to our advantage."


Colorado's travel roster for the tournament includes sophomores Dominique Pytlewski and Christine Kim, senior Lindsay Senger, freshman Stephanie Simich, and junior Cierra Ko.  This marks the first Big 12 meet for Simich, Kim and Ko, whiles it's Senger's third and Pytlewski's second.


The Buffs, who finished sixth a year ago in Waco, Texas, are coming off two of their best performances in the annual championship, as they claimed a program-best third place finish in 2006.  Going into the weekend they're carrying a team tournament average of 914.9 in eleven outings this year.  They've shot better than 300 seven times this season, and have a team victory under their belt when they took first at their own CU Heather Farr Memorial in the fall.


Colorado has been plagued this season by injuries and sickness, but remains hopeful for a strong post-season due to their experience on a handful of challenging courses this year.


"It has been an interesting semester because we've had a lot of injuries and illnesses and some other serious family issues that our players have had to deal with," said Kelly.  "However, I think through it all the team has remained very supportive of each other and they are definitely learning lessons in mental toughness.


"All of the challenges that they've faced will definitely pay off in the long run.  We are going to be stronger and have the ability to handle everything that comes our way.  I am very hopeful that these valuable lessons will pay off at the Big 12 Championship this year."


Colorado's No. 1 player, Pytlewski, has the team's low stroke average at 75.59.  Pytlewski claimed her first individual victory this fall at the Texas Tech Invitational as she carded a one-over par, 220 total.  She hopes to be just the fifth Buff to finish in the top-10 at the conference tournament.  Pytlewski, after a dominating freshman campaign, was not able to gain her usual momentum at Big 12's last year as she finished in a tie for 50th.  Pytlewski is now confident with her past championship experience that she can be a top contender this time around.


Kim, who missed out on the Big 12 Championships a year ago due to a season-ending wrist break, is looking forward to getting a taste of her first post-season action.  Kim missed the fall portion of this season as she was still recovering from the injury, but has showed great progress and improvement during this spring and has returned to the high level of play that she demonstrated a year ago.  Kim is fresh off her best finish of the year at the Stanford Invitational on a very prestigious and challenging golf course.  She led all Buffaloes with a 149, 36-hole total, taking seventh place in the individual standings.


Senger enters the weekend as the most experienced of the squad as she will return to her third-consecutive Big 12 Championship.  Senger finished 40th as a sophomore, and cut her finish in half a year ago to lead the Buffaloes and finish 20th.  The lone senior of CU's roster has recorded a pair of top-20 finishes, including a season-best eighth place finish in CU's Heather Farr Memorial.


Simich is one of three Buffaloes that will be competing in the post-season for the first time.  Simich rallied from a mediocre fall and came out strong and ready to play at the start of the spring season, as she was CU's top individual in the first two tournaments of the spring.  She enters the Big 12 tournament with two top-20 finishes, including a career-best 15th place finish at the Sacramento State Invitational, where she recorded 69 in the second round for the team's lowest score this season.


Ko has become a part of CU's regular line-up, playing in all but two tournaments this year.  Her best round of the season is a three-over 75, and with her level of focus and determination, she is looking to score for CU in her first Big 12 tournament.


"We're coming in with a fairly young team this season," added Kelly.  "Domi (Pytlewski) and Lindsay are the only ones with any Big 12 experience at all and I look to them to provide leadership for the week.  Senger is going into her last regular season event and I definitely know that she wants to finish up on a good note. "


Ko will be the first Buffalo to tee off on Friday on No. 10 at the Karsten Creek golf course.  Live scoring will be available on for CU golf fans to follow the action.