BATON ROUGE -- The 108 players assigned to the NCAA East Women’s Regional golf tournament will get a look at the University Club on Wednesday as the teams and individuals play their one practice round prior to the start of competition on Thursday morning.
A total of 21 five-member teams and three individuals will take part in the 54-hole event that runs Thursday through Saturday at the home of the LSU Lady Tigers all looking for a chance to advance to the 2007 Division I Women’s Golf Championships set for the LPGA course in Daytona Beach, Fla., May 22-25.
The Lady Tigers are looking for a repeat of the magic they showed a year ago with the same players in the NCAA Regionals in Brown Summitt, N. C. In that tournament, LSU posted back-to-back rounds of even par to virtually clinch an advancing spot going into the final day. LSU finished second behind Tennessee and advanced back to the championships for the first time since 2001.
On the flip side, this is the third time LSU has hosted a regional since they began in 1993, the second time at the University Club, and neither previous time has LSU advanced past this tournament.
Besides the East Regional in Baton Rouge, there are regionals at the same time in Ann Arbor, Mich., (Central) and at St. George, Utah (West). At all three qualifiers, the goal is to finish in the top eight teams to advance to the championships. Also, the top two individuals who are not part of those eight teams will also advance with a chance to compete for the individual title.
The teams will go off No. 1 for their practice round in seed order with the two-time defending national champs from Duke on the tee at 8:10 a.m. No. 12 seed LSU has a tee time of 10:22 a.m. for its practice round.
Duke will be one of several teams in the regional field that was here in March for the LSU/Cleveland Golf Classic. Duke was a six-shot winner over Vanderbilt (playing in the Central region) and Amanda Blumenherst, the nation’s No. 1 player, set University Club women’s collegiate records in winning the title at nine-under par. Blumenherst was the first women’s player at the U-Club to have it to double figures before bogeying the 18th hole on the final day, shooting rounds of 69-68-70 for a 207.
The former 54-hole record was held by Leigh Anne Hardin of Duke in winning the 2002 NCAA regional at the U-Club along with Jacqui Concolino of Vanderbilt who matched the six-under total at the 2006 LSU/Cleveland event.
The tournament proper begins on Thursday morning as the top 12 seeds will play in the morning wave, with seeds 13-21 competing in the afternoon. The sessions are reversed for Friday’s second round. LSU tees off at 8:10 a.m. on Thursday. Admission for all sessions of the NCAA Regional are free and live scoring for the event will be available at www.golfstat.com.