The seventh-ranked University of Florida women’s golf team has been selected to compete at the NCAA West Regional, the NCAA announced Monday. Brigham Young University will host the event from May 10-12 at the Entrada Course at Snow Canyon Country Club in St. George, Utah.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to play at the West Regional,” Florida head coach Jill Briles-Hinton said. “There are a lot of great teams in the field, and we are going to have to play our best in order to advance to the NCAA Championships. Our team doesn’t back away from challenges, and they are just as excited as I am about the chance to show what we can do when we get to Utah.”
Each regional site will host 21 teams and three individuals, all vying for a spot in the NCAA Championships. The top eight teams at each regional, as well the top three individuals not on any of the top eight squads, advance to the national championship tournament.
The Lady Gators will face a highly-decorated field in St. George, as seven of their 20 opponents are ranked in the top 20 of the GolfStat NCAA head-to-head ratings. Pac-10 champion Arizona State, GolfStat’s second-ranked team, heads the field, while Pepperdine, the West Coast Conference champion and the fifth-ranked team in the GolfStat poll, garnered the second seed.
Six regular-season top-fives and a runner-up finish at the SEC Championship earned Florida the third seed at the regional, followed by fourth-seeded Oklahoma State, the 11th-ranked team on GolfStat’s list. No. 15 BYU garnered the fifth seed, followed by No. 13 Stanford in the sixth slot and 18th-ranked Denver, the Sun Belt champions, as the seventh seed. New Mexico, the 17th-ranked team on the GolfStat board, will round out the top-20 presence at the West Regional.
Florida’s regional assignment is the most challenging of the three in terms of ranked teams, as the West Regional’s eight GolfStat top-20 teams tops the East Regional’s six and the Central Regional’s five. The regional field also boasts eight automatic qualifiers, tied with the Central Regional for the highest total.
Briles-Hinton has now guided the Lady Gators to eight NCAA Regional appearances in her nine-year tenure at the helm, though Florida’s selection to the West Regional is a first during her stint. UF has advanced to the NCAA Championships in five of those eight years.
Scoring for the 2007 NCAA West Regional will be done live on the Internet, and can be accessed via http://www.gatorzone.com.
2007 NCAA West Regional Field (conference automatic qualifiers in parenthesis)
1. Arizona State (Pacific-10 Conference)
4. Oklahoma State
7. Denver (Sun Belt Conference)
8. New Mexico
9. UC Irvine (Big West Conference)
10. San Jose State
12. San Francisco
15. Idaho (Western Athletic Conference)
16. Washington State
17. Campbell (Atlantic Sun Conference)
19. Memphis (Conference USA)
20. Sacramento State (Big Sky Conference)
21. Columbia-Barnard (Ivy Group)
1. Kay Hoey, Long Beach State
2. Jennifer Shipley, Fresno State
3. Lehua Wide, New Mexico State