Women's Golf Prepares for NCAA Championships
May 4, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky women’s golf team did what it needed to do in the regular season, now it’s time for the postseason. The Wildcats are playing in the postseason for the 16th time in program history and will begin play Thursday in the East regional of the 2011 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championships held in Daytona Beach, Fla., at the Legends Course at LPGA International (6,271 yards, par 72).
“The girls have been really focused on final exams, but we got down here early and are getting in some good practice on the course,” said first-year UK head coach Golda Johansson Borst. “Most of them have not been in this situation before. Really, it’s only Ashlee Rose who has. We’re just going to play our game, do what we do best, and take it one shot at a time. We have to focus on ourselves and we’ll be fine.”
The Kentucky lineup for the East regional will be Rose, a junior from Lexington, Ky., sophomores Ashleigh Albrecht, Betsie Johnson and Heather Lott, and freshman Liz Breed. This unit has played in the highest number of tournaments this year, and the Cats have gone with this lineup for each of their last three tournaments.
Albrecht, the team leader with a 75.40 scoring average this season, is just .06 strokes off the season record for scoring average. The Murrieta, Calif., native has recorded a program record seven rounds of par or better, and is the co-leader in Kentucky history with 11 career rounds of par or better. Lott (76.44) and Johnson (76.52) currently hold the sixth and eighth best scoring averages for a season in program history, respectively. Johnson’s four rounds of par or better this season are tied for the sixth most in a single season. As a team, Kentucky’s scoring average of 306.00 is the second best in program history.
Competing in the East regional against Kentucky will be 10 conference champions, including SEC champion Auburn, Alabama State, Coastal Carolina, Fairleigh Dickinson, Michigan State, North Carolina, North Carolina-Wilmington, Stetson, TCU and Yale. Also competing in the East regional is the region’s top seed, Alabama, as well as Arizona State, Augusta State, California, Colorado, Florida, Florida International, Florida State, Louisville, Ole Miss, Purdue, Texas Tech and Vanderbilt.
Kentucky will begin its round Thursday on the first hole with Rose teeing off at 1:25 p.m. ET, followed in 11-minute intervals by Breed, Lott, Johnson and Albrecht. The Cats will begin their second round Friday from the 10th hole at 8:55 a.m. Kentucky will be paired with Yale and Stetson for the tournament’s first two rounds.
Borst said she has played at LPGA International before and one of the keys for the Wildcats will be how they adapt to the Bermuda grass fairways and rolling greens.
“I’ve been to the LPGA International course before and it’s a typical Florida-style golf course,” Borst said. “There are small greens and it’s tight off the tees. What we’ll have to get used to is the Bermuda grass. We’ve been doing a lot of putting and chipping in practice so that we’ll be used to it for Thursday.”
The 72-team, 18-individual NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship field is split into three regions: the East (Daytona Beach), Central (Notre Dame, Ind.) and West (Auburn, Wash.). Each region will host 24 teams and six individuals not on those teams. The top eight teams from each of the three regions and the top two individuals, not on those teams, will then advance to the finals. The regional tournaments are considered preliminary rounds of NCAA championships competition. The finals will be held May 18-21 at the Traditions Club in Bryan-College Station, Texas, and will be hosted by Texas A&M.
For live results throughout the East regional, and for all Kentucky women’s golf coverage, check out UKathletics.com.
NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championships
LPGA International – Legends Course (Par 72 – 6,271 yards)
1. Ashleigh Albrecht
2. Betsie Johnson
3. Heather Lott
4. Liz Breed
5. Ashlee Rose