Women's Golf preview: Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown
Oct. 23, 2008
UP NEXT: The Texas women's golf team will travel to Boulder City, Nev., on Oct. 27-29 (Monday-Wednesday) for the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown hosted by UNLV. The 54-hole tournament marks the fall finale for the Longhorns and will be contested at the 6,265-yard, par-72 Boulder Creek Golf Club. The teams will play 18 holes each day, with the first and second rounds beginning at 9:30 a.m. Central time in a split-tee format and the final round being contested at 10 a.m. Wednesday morning in a shotgun start.
LIVE SCORING: Fans can follow the Longhorns in action at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown at http://www.golfstat.com.
TEXAS LINEUP: Second-year head coach Martha Richards will send the following lineup to the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown: junior Shannon Fish (Spring, Texas), freshman Nicole Vandermade (Brantford, Ontario), senior Caney Hines (San Antonio, Texas), senior Kelley Louth (Victoria, Texas) and senior Kristin Walla (Aspen, Colo.).
THE FIELD: The Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown boasts an 18-team field that features three top-20 teams and four more ranked among the top-50 in the latest Golfweek national ratings (Oct. 22): BYU, Colorado State, Eastern Washington, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa State, Long Beach State, Louisville (16), Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma State (5), Pepperdine (18), TCU (37), Texas (43), Texas Tech, UC Davis, UNLV (48) and Washington (38).
MOST IMPROVED: Junior Shannon Fish led the Longhorns on the leaderboard at the Stanford Intercollegiate with a 3-over-par 216 to finish tied for 21st place. After struggling through the same event in 2007, Fish found her rhythm early in the week by opening the event with a 1-over 72, and she followed that with an even-par round on day two before carding a 2-over 73 on the final day. Last year, Fish's lowest round of the event was a 7-over 78, and she finished 88th in the field.
IMPRESSIVE DEBUT: Freshman Nicole Vandermade has notched three-top 25 finishes in as many events this fall after tying for 24th place at the Stanford Intercollegiate. The Brantford, Ontario, native was also the top individual for the Longhorns at both the Dick McGuire/Branch Law Firm Classic (T-4th) and the Windy City Classic (21st). Vandermade leads the Longhorns with a 73.6 scoring average through nine rounds of competition.
WHO RETURNS: Texas returns three starters from last season's squad which advanced to the NCAA Championship. Seniors Caney Hines and Kristin Walla along with junior Shannon Fish will lead the Longhorns again this year. Senior Kelley Louth, who missed last season with an injured wrist, is back for a fifth year after being granted a medical hardship waiver.
SUCCESSFUL SUMMER: Seniors Kristin Walla and Kelley Louth along with junior Shannon Fish each had solid individual performances over the summer. Walla defeated five-time Colorado stroke play champion Janet Moore to claim medalist honors at the Colorado Match Play Championship. Fish and Louth were two of the 64 players who advanced to match play at the 108th U.S. Women's Amateur Championship. Louth chipped a 10-foot birdie on her final hole of stroke play to earn the final qualifying spot.
2008 RECAP: Martha Richards is in her second season at the helm of the Texas women's golf program and her 10th season as a collegiate head coach. In her first year in Austin, Richards led The University of Texas women's golf program from a national ranking of No. 85 in the spring prior to her arrival to a tie for 17th place at the 2008 NCAA Championship. The Horns made their first NCAA Championship appearance since 2004 and recorded their best effort at the Big 12 Championship since 2005 with a third-place showing.