April 28, 2003
The Baylor Bears women's golf team has earned its fourth straight bid to the NCAA Regionals, the NCAA announced on Monday. Baylor will be one of 21 teams competing for an NCAA Championships berth at the Central Regional, being held at the par 71, 6,762-yard Firethorn Golf Club in Lincoln, Neb. May 8-10.
The Bears and the host Nebraska Huskers are among the 15 teams to earn at-large bids to the Central Regional. The other at-large teams include Big 12 foes Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas A&M and Kansas State. Florida, Tennessee, Purdue, TCU, Michigan State, Arkansas, Indiana and Wisconsin were the other at-large selections to the Central Regional. California (Pac-10), New Mexico (Mountain West), Tulsa (Western Athletic), Kent State (Mid-American), Yale (Ivy) and Southern (Southwestern Athletic) all earned automatic regional bids.
Joining the 21 teams are three individuals. Randi Gauthier of North Texas, Iowa State's Louise Kenney and Elizabeth Burden of Northwestern earned the three individual bids to the Central Regional.
The Bears are coming off one of the most successful regular seasons in Baylor women's golf history. They won three tournaments in the fall and four overall during the 2002-03 campaign as well as placing in the top 5 eight times. The Bear golfers also have claimed 15 individual top 10 finishes including an individual victory by senior Melanie Hagewood at the "Mo"Morial Invitational in March (73-72=145). Hagewood, who became the first Baylor women's golfer to compete at the NCAA Championships by earning an individual invitation last season, also earned Big 12 Golfer of the Month honors for the month of February as well as being named a first-team All-Big 12 selection.
At their most recent tournament, the Bears finished seventh at the Big 12 Championships. Baylor carded rounds of 321-312-313 for a total score of 946 on April 21-23 at the Country Club of Missouri. Hagewood was the top Bear golfer at the conference tournament, tying for ninth place (76-77-73=226).
The Baylor team will be making its third-straight Central Regional appearance and its fourth overall. The Bears finished 12th in 2001 (309-311-334=954) at Purdue's Kampen Course in West Lafayette, Ind., the site of the 2003 NCAA Championships. Last season head coach Sylvia Ferdon led the Bears to East Lansing, Mich. where they took 10th place (309-318-309=936) at Michigan State's Forrest Akres West Golf Course. Teh first ragional appearance for the Bears was in 2000. That year the Bears tied for 18th (309-308-301=918) in the West Regional in Tempe, Ariz.