Feb. 7, 2014
WACO, Texas -
The Baylor women's golf team opens the 2014 spring season on Sunday in Palos Verdes, Calif., at the 19th-annual Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge, hosted by Ohio State University.
The three-day, 54-hole event, which runs Sunday through Tuesday, is held at the par-71, 6,017-yard Palos Verdes Golf Club. The 16-team field includes the nation's five highest-ranked teams. Baylor will be joined by No. 13 Arizona, No. 7 Arizona State, No. 3 Duke, No. 16 Florida, No. 20 Michigan State, No. 18 North Carolina, Ohio State, No. 5 Oklahoma, No. 9 Oklahoma State, No. 11 Pepperdine, Texas, No. 2 UCLA, No. 1 USC, Wake Forest and No. 4 Washington.
Baylor is competing in the tournament for the second time in program history. Last year, the Lady Bears finished in sixth place, and Hayley Davis finished in a tie for fifth place individually.
"This is a cool tournament that people are lined up to get into," head coach Jay Goble said. "We finished well there last year out of another really strong field, so I feel good about it again. It's a great place to start off our year."
Baylor's lineup for the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge features sophomore Laura Lonardi, junior Hayley Davis, sophomore Natalia Perez, freshman Hadas Libman, and freshman Louise Gateau-Chovelon, who will be making her BU debut after joining the program last month.
"Louise is a really good player and I'm very excited not only to have her in the lineup, but also to have her on the team," Goble said. "She fills a void that we had, and I think Louise is going to be a good player for Baylor for a long time to come."
Twelve of the 16 teams in the tournament are ranked in the top 20, including No. 1 USC, No. 2 UCLA, No. 3 Duke, No. 4 Washington, No. 5 Oklahoma, No. 7 Arizona State, No. 9 Oklahoma State, No. 11 Pepperdine, No. 13 Arizona, No. 16 Florida, No. 18 North Carolina, and No. 20 Michigan State.
"This tournament is the strongest field in women's golf," Goble said. "The top five teams in the country are playing. I feel good that we're going to put our best lineup forward, and I really think we can go out there and beat a couple of those highly-ranked teams and people will see that we're back to where we should be."
Sunday's opening round and Monday's second round are both scheduled for tee times at the first and 10th tees, with times ranging from 10:30 a.m. CT to 12:36 p.m. Tuesday's final round is slated for a 10 a.m. shotgun start.
Live scoring for the tournament will be available on www.GolfStat.com. Follow the official twitter feed of Baylor women's golf, @BaylorWGolf, for updates throughout the season.