Site: Jerry S. Rawls Course (Lubbock, Texas)
Dates: May 5-7, 2005
Format: 54 Holes, 18 each day
Course Stats: Par 72, 7,100 yards
Host: Texas Tech
2005 Field (21): Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Kent State, Long Island, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, New Mexico, Notre Dame, Purdue, SMU, South Florida, TCU, TEXAS, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Tulsa, Wake Forest
21st (Golfweek/Sagarin Rating)
22nd (NGCA Coaches Poll)
1. Perry Swenson, 75.6*
2. Lisa Ferrero, 74.8*
3. Kelley Louth, 75.6*
4. Mariana Salazar, 77.9*
5. Julia Best, 78.4*
* - 2004-05 Stroke Avg.
Last Year's Regional
Texas competed at the NCAA West Regional in 2004, finishing in a three-way tie for eighth place at 49-over-par (913) with Washington State and Oregon. The Longhorns advanced to their seventh-consecutive NCAA Championship after winning the playoff on the first hole, thanks to birdies by Janice Olivencia and Mariana Salazar. Three Longhorns who will be competing at this year's regional were involved in the 2004 event. Lisa Ferrero finished in a tie for 30th place at nine-over-par, while Salazar tied for 72nd place at 20-over-par and Perry Swenson tied for 84th place at 22-over-par.
Texas and the NCAA Regionals
Since the NCAA started using the regional format in 1993, Texas has appeared in all 12 regional events. The Longhorns have competed in nine West Regionals, including 2004, and three Central Regionals. During that span, UT has recorded 11 top-10 showings and advanced to the NCAA Championship every year except 1997. The Longhorns have finished in the top five six times, including three consecutive top-three finishes from 2001-03 before finishing in a tie for eighth place last season.
Swenson's Last Stand
Senior Perry Swenson is coming off her best finish as a Longhorn, a tie for second place at the Big 12 Championship with teammate Lisa Ferrero. Her previous best was a third-place finish at the Big 12 Championship in 2004. She will try and carry that momentum into her third NCAA Regional. As a freshman, Swenson shot a 25-over-par 241 to finish in a tie for 59th place. After missing the regional in 2003, she came back to shoot a 22-over-par 238 to finish 84th. Her 75.62 scoring average this season is second on the team and is easily the best average of her career. She had steadily lowered her average over her first three years, from a 78.44 as a freshman to a 77.37 as a junior, before lowering it by almost two strokes this season.
Senior Lisa Ferrero enters her fourth NCAA Regional after playing a crucial role in helping the Longhorns advance to the NCAA Championship the past three seasons. As a freshman, she posted UT's third-best score, a 17-over-par 233, to help the Longhorns tie for second place. She came back as a sophomore and finished as the low Longhorn with a seven-over-par 223, placing seventh overall. Last year, she finished in a tie for 30th place with a nine-over-par 225. The second-team All-Big 12 honoree is coming off her best finish as a Longhorn, a tie for second at the Big 12 Championship, and she currently leads the Longhorns in scoring average at 74.8, the lowest of her four-year career. Her previous best was a 75.7 as a freshman, which ranks her fourth on the freshman scoring list (as of 1982-83). She went on to post averages of 76.5 and 76.2 as a sophomore and junior, respectively.
Making Her Mark
Freshman Kelley Louth has made her presence felt during her short time in Austin. The Victoria, Texas native was named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and earned second-team All-Big 12 honors after recording three Top-10 finishes this year. She currently ranks third on the team in scoring average at 75.62, which is the third-best UT freshman mark since 1983.
Senior Mariana Salazar missed all of the fall season due to a foot injury, but she has rapidly improved throughout the spring. She tied for 61st place in her first two tournaments of the season, but posted a 16-over-par 232 at the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational to tie for 18th place in her third tournament. From there, she notched her best performance as a Longhorn at the PING/ASU Invitational with a nine-over-par 225 and then went on to finish in a tie for eighth at the Big 12 Championship. Her 77.93 scoring average is her lowest since transferring from San Jose State after her freshman season.
Sophomore Julia Best came to Austin from Bulverde, Texas in search of success both on the golf course and in the classroom. She has already played in three more tournaments than she did during her freshman season and her scoring average has dropped by four strokes from 82.42 to 78.42. She recorded her best finish as a Longhorn at the recent Big 12 Championship. Her 19-over-par 235 tied her for 26th place and came just one tournament after she posted a 13-over-par 229 at the PING/ASU Invitational. In the meantime, Best is doing well enough in her elementary education curriculum to earn second-team Academic All-Big 12 honors.