Women’s Golf Receives Bid to NCAA Championship for Second-Straight Year
St. Louis, Mo., May 2, 2011 – The Washington University in St. Louis women's golf team will make its second-consecutive appearance in the NCAA Division III Championship, as announced by the NCAA Committee. The Bears earned an at-large bid to the NCAA championship, which will be played on Tuesday-Friday, May 10-13, at the Mission Inn Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.
“We are thrilled to be invited to play in the NCAA Championship,” said third-year head coach Sean Curtis. “I told them this is like any other tournament we have played in all year. We have to have the mindset that we will play our game and stick to what has worked throughout the year.”
Washington University, in its third season as a varsity sport and ranked No. 5 in the Golf World/National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) women's coaches' poll, placed in the top-five in nine of 10 tournaments they competed in. The Bears won the Maryville Fall Warm-Up Classic on Sept. 2, the Illinois College Spring Invitational on April 3 and the Millikin University Spring Classic on April 15.
The junior season of the program has brought overwhelming success with the Bears posting a record of 109-4 against Division III schools, while shooting a 329.24 stroke average per round as a team. Washington University finished the regular season ranked No. 5 in the NCAA Division III head-to-head rankings.
Sophomore Hannah Buck and freshman Andrea Hibbert lead a group of five golfers who will compete in the NCAA Championship. Buck has fired an 80 or lower in 11 of 17 rounds, which is tops on the team and ranks sixth in NCAA Division III with a 79.12 stroke average. Hibbert has carded 17 rounds at 85 or lower, and ranks 28th in Division III with an 81.24 average.
Sophomore Melanie Walsh (84.88) and freshmen Allyson Chee (85.18) and Marcy Koonce (86.35) round out the starting lineup for Washington University. Junior Katie Homa (88.81) will also travel with the team and serve as an alternate.
“We are really excited to be able to compete in the NCAA Championship for the second-straight year,” said Buck. “Last year we were just excited to be in the tournament, and this year we are looking to go down to Florida and compete.”
Last season, the Bears placed 19th out of 20 teams at the NCAA Championship after firing a four-day total of 1,459 (352-374-363-370). Buck earned NGCA second-team All-America and first-team all-Central honors after finishing 21st at the NCAA Championship.
“We have experience from competing in last year’s NCAA Championship and what the expectations are, and I think this will help us in the long run,” Curtis added.
The championship will consist of both team and individual competition conducted concurrently. The tournament consists of 72 holes of play over four days of competition. In the team competition, the low four scores from each team for each day will count in the team's total score.
In 2010, Methodist University won its 13th-consecutive and 23rd overall NCAA Division III Women's Golf Championship with a combined score of 1,282 at the Mission Inn Resort. The Monarchs have won the championship in 23 of the tournament’s 25 years. Runner-up honors went to Gustavus Adolphus College (1,301), while the University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire finished third with a score of 1,307. Jessica Urban of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point earned medalist honors by edging Methodist’s Paige Caldwell by one shot.