Kentucky Women's Golf Set for NCAA South Bend Regional
May 6, 2015
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The Kentucky women's golf team will make its fifth consecutive NCAA Regional appearance under head coach Golda Johansson Borst when it tees off Thursday at the South Bend Regional at the Warren Golf Course.
The Wildcats, who made the 18-team regional with an at-large berth, will compete for the chance to go to the NCAA Championships in May. The top six teams at the South Bend Regional will join the top six teams from each of the other three regionals at the Concession Golf Club in Bradenton Fla., beginning May 22.
Kentucky, which will compete with two juniors, a sophomore and two freshmen this week in South Bend, is seeking to become one of those six teams at the end of the 54-hole tournament on Saturday and make its first NCAA Championship appearance since 1992 and its sixth in team history.
This year's regional appearance marks the 20th in program history.
"This is now our fifth year back at the NCAA Tournament and several of the girls have played in this event before," Borst said. "I believe that will help us be more comfortable throughout the week."
Borst will use the lineup of junior of sophomore Haley Mills, juniors Sarah Harris and Cylia Damerau, and freshmen Isabelle Johansson and Grace Rose to try and combat the par-72, 6,301-yard Warren Golf Course.
Designed by Bill Coore and two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw, the course is a throwback to the designs of the early 20th century with an old-fashioned, traditional layout. The course opened in 1999 and has since held multiple high-profile golf competitions for the USGA, NCAA, WGA, AJGA and PGA.
"The Warren Course will provide us with a good challenge and we will need to be accurate off the tee as well as have good distance control with our irons," Borst said. "With that said, we have solid ball strikers on this team so we just need to trust in ourselves and our team and play with determination."
As one of 11 Southeastern Conference teams to make the 72-team NCAA Tournament field, the Wildcats are well prepared for this weekend's competition, which features eight conference champions in Arizona, UC-Davis, Pepperdine, Kent State, Harvard, Troy, Eastern Kentucky and Youngstown State.
Six teams in the regional are ranked in the top 25 and 12 are ranked in the top 50. UK enters the regional ranked 54th.
The Wildcats are playing their best golf of the season entering the South Bend Regional after they finished sixth at the Bryan National Collegiate and 11th at the 2015 SEC Championship.
Damerau carded her best 54-hole score of the year in Birmingham, Ala., with a 218 and finished the SEC Championship in a tie for 12th place, her first top-20 finish of the year and the best of the 2014-15 season. Mills owns a team-best 74.0 stroke average with a team-high nine even- or under-par rounds and six top-20 finishes. Harris has two top-20 finishes. As a team, the Wildcats have four top-10 finishes on the season.
Harris and Damerau will each make their third consecutive appearance in the NCAA regionals while Mills will make her second.
The 54-hole tournament will begin Thursday morning with 18 holes and conclude on Saturday with the final 18 holes. As always, fans can follow along with live scoring at golfstat.com.
The NCAA Women's Golf Championship is made up of four regionals -- a change from the previous three-regional format -- that consist of 18 teams and six individuals each. The three other 2015 regional sites include the St. George Regional at Entrada at Snow Canyon Country Club in St. Georgia, Utah, the San Antonio Regional at Briggs Ranch Golf Club in San Antonio, Texas, and the Raleigh Regional at the Lonnie Poole Golf Course in Raleigh, N.C.
The four regional sites are preliminary rounds of the NCAA Championship. Six teams and three individuals from each regional will advance to the championship's finals, to be held May 22-27 at the Concession Golf Club in Bradenton.
In UK's previous NCAA Regional experience under Borst, the Wildcats placed 19th at the 2014 East Regional, 12th in the 2013 East Regional, 17th at the 2012 Central Regional and 20th in the 2011 East Regional.
2015 NCAA Championship -- South Bend Regional
South Bend, Ind.
Warren Golf Course
- Oklahoma State
- Wake Forest
- UC Davis
- Notre Dame
- Kent State
- San Jose State
- North Carolina
- Eastern Kentucky
- Youngstown State