Women's Golf preview: NCAA Championship
WHAT: After placing seventh at the NCAA Central Regional Championships last weekend as the No. 10 regional seed, Texas will make its first team appearance at the NCAA Women's Golf Championship since 2004. The Longhorns tied for sixth at the 2004 NCAA nationals.
WHERE: UNM Championship Golf Course - Albuquerque, N.M. (6,424-yard, par 72 course)
WHEN: The tournament field will play 18 holes each day from Tuesday, May 20 through Friday, May 23. Texas will tee off from the 10th tee on Tuesday at 9:10 a.m. Central and at 1:20 p.m. Central from the first tee on Wednesday.
Daily ticket prices are $8 for adults and $5 for juniors. Full event packages are $25 for adults and $15 for juniors.
TEXAS TO MAKE FIRST NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS APPEARANCE SINCE 2004
The University of Texas women's golf team advanced to the NCAA Championships, as the Longhorns placed seventh with a 35-over 899 at the NCAA Central Regional Championship on Saturday, May 10.
Fish sank a dramatic birdie four on the par-five 518 finishing hole for the Longhorns and ended the day with a four-over par 76. Senior Julia Best also went four-over on the day.
In 2005 and 2006, UT sent one individual to the nationals, with current senior Julia Best competing in 2006 as an individual.
In the final individual standings, Fish and Hines were in a tie for 22nd, shooting seven-over par 223's for the tourney.
Senior Ashley Rollins, who was +3 after the first two rounds to lead the Longhorns, had a seven-over 79 in the final round, which placed her in a tie for 35th overall (+10, 226).
Best tied for 55th (+15, 231) while junior Kristin Walla tied for 64th with a 17-over 233.
HORNS HEAD INTO FIRST NCAA POSTSEASON UNDER RICHARDS
The Horns took third in the 15-team Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational from March 17-19 in Austin before placing fourth at the 15-team Indiana Invitational on April 7 and 8 in Carmel, Ind. Within the last month, Texas also has added dual-match victories against Texas State and Baylor in a pair of one-day, 18-hole events.
Richards took over the helm of the Longhorns' program last summer after leading the Vanderbilt program to national prominence during her seven seasons in Nashville. Richards took the Commodores to the NCAA Championships four times, capped by a fifth-place showing in 2004.
Richards and the Horns began the season in impressive fashion last September at the Cougar Classic in Charleston, S.C., where Texas' 54-hole stroke total of 875 tied for the lowest 54-hole tournament score in school history.
Texas placed third overall to register its best tournament showing since the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic (April 9-10, 2006), when UT placed third.
The Cougar Classic also marked the first time Texas shot three sub-300 rounds in the same tournament since the Stanford Pepsi Intercollegiate in the fall of 2004.
ROLLINS LEADS HORNS WIRE-TO-WIRE, EARNS ALL-BIG 12 HONORS
An Austin native, Rollins spent two-and-a-half years as a member of the New Mexico golf program, earning All-Mountain West Conference honors both years while being named a NGCA Scholar-Athlete as a sophomore. She left the program in the spring of 2006 and did not play collegiate golf last year. She joined the UT program last fall.
Rollins holds the UNM Championship Golf Course record with a 65 carded during a qualifying round in September of 2005.
Rollins earned a unanimous selection to the 2008 All-Big 12 Women's Golf team from the league's head coaches on Friday, May 2 after posting the Longhorns' top individual finish in each of UT's eight regular-season tournaments.
Rollins tallied a team-leading 74.61 scoring average and posted the Longhorns' top individual finish of the season, a third-place showing at the Central District Invitational in February, resulting in her selection as the Big 12 Women's Golfer of the Month.
Rollins, who played the opening two rounds of the 2007 U.S. Women's Open, helped Texas at the season-opening Cougar Classic by tying for eighth place.
In addition to the aforementioned third-place showing at the Central District Invitational, Rollins helped Texas to third place at its Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational by tying for seventh place overall.
Rollins notched her fourth top-10 finish of the season on April 8 at the Indiana Invitational, where she tied for fifth place and led Texas to a fourth-place team finish.
FISH FINISHING STRONG
Fish teamed with junior Caney Hines to tie for 22nd place at the NCAA Central Regional after landing the top Longhorn finish at the Big 12 Championship for a second consecutive year.
Fish fired a seven-over 79 in the final round to tie for sixth overall at the Big 12 Championship with a 19-over 235. Last season, as a first-semester freshman, Fish tied for 11th place at the 2007 Big 12 Championship in Waco.
BEST RETURNS TO NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP
The Bulverde, Texas, native made her first NCAA postseason appearance in 2005, when she placed 96th at the NCAA Central Regional Championship.
Best returned to NCAA competition in 2006 and advanced to the NCAA Championships as an individual by tying for 13th place overall at the NCAA Central Regional.
Best joined Texas-Ex Devan Andersen at the 2006 NCAA Championship and tied for 83rd place after shooting a 22-over 310 over 72 holes.
TEXAS TAKES THIRD AT BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP
Texas saved its finest round for last, firing a 30-over 318 in the final round to end the event in third with a 94-over 958. Host Oklahoma State won the 54-hole event with a 48-over 912, and Texas A&M took second at 75-over par.
SIX LONGHORNS NAMED TO ACADEMIC ALL-BIG 12 TEAM
First-team members have maintained a 3.20 minimum grade-point average, either cumulatively or in each of the past two semesters, while second-team members maintained a minimum 3.0 grade-point average.
All nominees, except for seniors, must have participated in 60 percent of her team's scheduled matches. Freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first years of academic residence at their respective schools.