Stanford Readies for NCAA West Regionals

May 3, 2010

STANFORD, Calif. - Twenty-four of the nation's top women's golf teams make up the field for the NCAA Division I Women's Golf West Regional, which gets underway on Thursday at Stanford Golf Course.

The 54-hole event continues on Friday and Saturday, with the top eight finishers earning a spot in the NCAA Championships, to be held May 18-21 at the Country Club of Landfall in Wilmington, NC.

Teams will tee-off from holes No. 1 and 10 at 8:00 a.m. each day. Stanford will tee-off on No. 10 at 9:06 a.m. on Thursday off of No. 1 at 1:26 p.m. on Friday. Saturday's tee-times are to be determined.

Joining Stanford in the NCAA West Regional field are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado State, Idaho, Iowa State, Louisiana State, Maryland, Ohio State, Oral Roberts, Penn, Portland State, San Francisco, San Jose State, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas State, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UNLV, Virginia.

Nine of the teams are ranked in the top-25 by Golfweek, including No. 1 UCLA, No. 3 Arizona, No. 6 Alabama, No. 11 Virginia, No. 12 California, No. 17 Stanford, No. 19 Louisiana State, No. 23 Ohio State and No. 24 Texas A&M.

Nine conference championships are also in the field, including Alabama (Southeast), Arizona (Pac-10), Texas A&M (Big 12), UC Davis (Big West), San Jose State (Western Athletic), Oral Roberts (Summit), Texas State (Southland), Penn (Ivy) and Portland State (Big Sky).

Amy Anderson (North Dakota State), Teresa Puga (Minnesota) and Ellen Mueller (Oklahoma) will be competing as individuals in the event.

Stanford Golf Course, which also served as the host site for the NCAA West Regionals in 1998, 2001 and '04, will play to a par of 71 and a distance of 6,103 yards for this event.

A top-eight finish will send Stanford back to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2007, when the Cardinal finished fifth at LPGA International (Legends Course) in Daytona Beach, Fla. Stanford finished 14th at last year's NCAA Central Regional in Columbus, Ohio and were denied a spot in the NCAA Championship field in 2007, when the Cardinal fell short in a three-team playoff with Ohio State and UC Davis.

Stanford is coming off a seventh place finish at the Pac-10 Championships, which were held Apr. 19-21 at the Eugene (Ore.) Country Club, finishing with a 54-hole team score of 928 (+64). Freshman Kristina Wong was the team's top finisher, tying for 16th with an eight-over score of 224.

'We're in a good frame of mind entering the regionals,' said head coach Caroline O'Connor. 'We took some time after the Pac-10's to reassess our strengths and weaknesses and feel we've had some really productive prep time heading into this event.'

'Even though the top eight teams advance to the NCAA's, we're trying to put ourselves in a position to win the golf tournament. That's the mentality we need to have.'

Wong, along with freshmen Sally Watson and junior Rebecca Durham have held steady a top the lineup all season long for the Cardinal. The trio has combined for eight top-10 finishes on the year, with Watson capturing a share of the individual title at the Peg Barnard Invitational, held at Stanford in February.

'We definitely need a strong performance from the top of the lineup, but if we are going to be successful this week, we'll need contributions from everyone,' said O'Connor.

'We typically play well on our home course, but we can't let our guard down. We will still need to make good decisions and know where to leave the ball.'

The Ironwood Country Club in Greenville, NC and the Otter Creek Golf Course in Columbus, Ind. will host the Central and East Regional sites.

The top eight teams from each regional will advance to the NCAA Championships, to be held May 18-21 at the Country Club of Landfall in Wilmington, NC.

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