April 25, 2011
WACO, Texas – Baylor women’s golf junior Chelsey Cothran was selected Monday as one of six individual participants for the 2011 NCAA West Regional, which will be held May 5-7 in Auburn, Wash. The Lady Bears were not selected for an at-large bid.
Cothran, who is one of 18 individuals invited to play at the three host sites, becomes the first golfer in program history to participant as individual at the NCAA Regional level. Joining Cothran in the West Regional are Kayla Mortellaro (Idaho), Teo Poplawski (Idaho), Amy Anderson (North Dakota State), Brianna Espinoza (Colorado State) and Jessica Hollandsworth (Maryland). Cothran was the last name revealed during Monday’s NCAA Women’s Golf Championship selection conference call.
“I’m really excited to be chosen as an individual,” Cothran said. “I really wish the team could be going, too, which makes for some mixed emotions.
“I didn’t play particularly well at the Big 12 Championship, especially the first day,” Cothran said. “But I’m hoping the (second-round) 69 and (final-round) 75 are good building blocks heading into the Regional.”
In addition to the six individuals, the NCAA West Regional will feature 24 teams: USC, Virginia, Arizona, Georgia, Tennessee, Pepperdine, Iowa State, UC Davis, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington, Tulsa, Denver, San Diego State, BYU, New Mexico, UTSA, Portland State, New Mexico State, San Jose State, Oral Roberts and UTEP. The top eight teams and the top two individuals not a qualifying team will advance to the 2011 NCAA Championship, which will be held May 18-21 at The Traditions Club in Bryan, Texas.
Cothran was a staple in Baylor’s lineup throughout the season, starting all 10 tournaments. The Springdale, Ark., native was the only Lady Bear golfer to have each of her 31 rounds count towards the team score. She also led the team in scoring average (74.35), score vs. par (2.35) and rounds of par or better (eight). She posted top-25 finishes in seven of Baylor’s 10 tournaments, including an 18th-place showing at the Big 12 Championship in Columbia, Mo.
“It’s disappointing for our team that we didn’t get to Regionals,” Ferdon said. “Our spring play wasn’t up to par. Individually, we did some good things and we had our moments, but we weren’t deep enough 1-5 to be competitive.”
She has four career top-10 finishes to her credit, including a second-place finish earlier this month at the Baylor Spring Invitational. In three seasons, she owns 16 top-25 finishes in 29 total tournaments, while sporting a 76.05 career scoring average in 83 rounds.
“Now we have to look at next year,” Ferdon said. “We have an awesome incoming class that will add to our senior leaders, Chelsey and Jaclyn (Jansen). With those pieces, we want to get to back to a level with which we are all happy – making Regionals with the end goal of advancing to the NCAA Championship.”
With Cothran’s selection, Baylor has been represented in NCAA regional competition in 11 of the last 12 seasons, making team appearances 10 times – all under the guidance of 17th-year head coach Sylvia Ferdon. The Lady Bears advanced to the 2004 NCAA Championship in Auburn Ala., finishing tied for 19th.
2011 NCAA WEST REGIONAL INFORMATION
Dates: May 5-7, 2011
Site: Washington National Golf Club (Auburn, Wash.)
Teams (24): USC, Virginia, Arizona, Georgia, Tennessee, Pepperdine, Iowa State, UC Davis, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington, Tulsa, Denver, San Diego State, BYU, New Mexico, UTSA, Portland, New Mexico State, San Jose State, Oral Roberts, UTEP
Individuals (6): Kayla Mortellaro (Idaho), Teo Poplawski (Idaho), Amy Anderson (North Dakota State), Brianna Espinoza (Colorado State), Jessica Hollandsworth (Maryland), Chelsey Cothran (BAYLOR)