Women's Golf To Tee Off At Big 12?s Friday
BOULDER - The University of Colorado women's golf team will tee off the postseason when the 13th Annual Big 12 Championship, hosted by Texas Tech, will be decided this Friday through Sunday, April 24-26 on the par-73, 6,564 Rawls golf course in Lubbock, Texas.
The 54-hole championship format will consist of 18 holes played each day with 9 a.m. (MDT) tee times off holes #1 and #10. In 2008, Oklahoma State captured its sixth Big 12 Women's Golf Championship with a decisive 27-stroke victory and a final score of 912 on its home course, the Karsten Creek Golf Course in Stillwater. OSU's Jaclyn Sweeney won individual medal honors with a score of 225.
"It definitely helps that our team is familiar with the golf course," said head coach Anne Kelly. "However, it's still a tough course that is very long and playing over 6500 yards, which is about 300 yards more than we normally play."
Colorado's travel roster for the tournament includes Dominique Pytlewski, Emily Talley, Julie Kim, Christine Kim, and Stephanie Simich. This marks this first Big 12 competition for Talley, while it's the second for both of the Kim's and Simich and the third-straight conference championship for Pytlewski.
The Buffs, who finished 11th a year ago, are coming off a very challenging spring schedule and remain hopeful for strong post-season play. Going into the weekend, they're carrying a team tournament average of 902.4 in nine outings this year, a 12-stroke improvement from last season. They've shot better than 300 in 11 rounds and have a team victory under their belt when they took first at the Texas State Challenge at Wolfdancer in the fall.
"We're just trying to approach this tournament like we would any other tournament and trying to stay in the present," added Kelly. "We have to make sure we stay focused on taking it one hole and one shot at a time. We can't get too ahead of ourselves and worry about the results, but rather we need to stay in the present moment and focus on each shot as it comes."
Colorado's No. 1 player, Pytlewski, enters the weekend as the most experienced of the squad as she will return for her third-consecutive Big 12 Championship. Pytlewski claimed her first tournament victory on this same course in 2007 when she carded a 1-over par, 220 total. With her past championship experience and success on the TTU course, she has the potential to become just the fifth Buff to finish in the top-10 at the conference tournament.
"This will be the third time for me and at least second time for everyone else on this course, which is always a plus," said Pytlewski. "Everyone knows the course, but we also understand that it will be playing tougher as they grow out the rough and it will be a lot windier. We just have to play smart. Honestly I think what we struggle with the most is getting hard on ourselves when things are going well. Instead of thinking that we're playing bad we need to realize that the entire field is probably struggling and just focus on ourselves and playing our best every day."
Talley is the only Buffalo that will be competing in the post-season for the first time. Talley, the lone freshman on the traveling squad, has proven to be one of Colorado's top golfers in her first season as a Buff. Talley leads Kelly's top-five with a 75.33 stroke average on the season and all but one of her 27 rounds this year has counted towards CU's tournament scoring.
Juniors Julie Kim and Christine Kim, and sophomore Simich will round out the scoring for the Buffs in Lubbock.
"We obviously want to finish with a win or a top finish and we're closer than we have been in the past with an opportunity to advance to regionals," added Pytlewski. "We want to play strong and play well in the tournament so that we're not finishing the year with Big 12's."
Live scoring will be available on www.GolfStat.com for CU golf fans to follow the action.