April 30, 2012
Notre Dame, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s golf team will make its fifth consecutive appearance, seventh in program history, in the NCAA regional golf tournament as the Irish were selected Monday night as part of the 24-team field that will play in Columbus, Ohio, Thursday, May 10 through Saturday, May 12. The 54-hole NCAA Central Regional will be played at the Ohio State Golf Club’s par-72, 6,264-yard Scarlet Course.
Notre Dame played in the 2009 Central Regional that was played at Ohio State’s Scarlet Course and finished 16th overall. Current senior co-captain Becca Huffer (Denver, Colo.) is the lone member of this year’s team to play that year. As a freshman in 2009, she was Notre Dame’s top finisher as she tied for 27th with a 14-over par 230 total.
The Irish were seeded 17th in the Central Regional that includes many of the nation’s top teams along with six individuals from program’s that did not qualify for the tournament. The top eight teams and top two individuals from each region will advance to the NCAA Championships May 22-25 at the Vanderbilt Legends Course in Franklin, Tenn. The East Regional will be played at Penn State’s Course in State College, Pa., while the West Regional will be contested at the Colorado National Golf Club in Erie, Colo.
The Central Regional features eight squads currently ranked in the top 25 of the current Golfstat rankings and 17 teams, including Notre Dame (No. 50), ranked in the top 50.
Leading the way is top seed Southern California (No. 3), followed by second seeded Auburn, the SEC champion, as the Tigers are ranked fourth in the nation. Third seed Georgia is currently ranked ninth overall while fourth seed Vanderbilt is 10th. Tennessee, the five-seed, is ranked 15th by Golfstat while the host school – Ohio State – is seeded sixth and ranked 16th in the nation.
Seventh seed Oregon is 21st nationally and North Carolina State, the eighth seed, has a national ranking of 22nd. No. 9 seed Virginia is 28th and No. 10 Florida State is ranked 29th overall.
The second group of 10 teams consists of No. 11 seed Purdue (34th), No. 12 seed Arkansas (35th), Mississippi (39th), Kentucky (41st), Texas State (46th), South Florida (47th), Notre Dame (50th), Texas-San Antonio (52nd), East Carolina (57th) and Michigan (61st).
The final four teams are all conference tournament champions – No. 21 UNC-Wilmington (CAA, ranked 90th), No. 22 Harvard (Ivy League, 97th), No. 23 Butler (Horizon, 151st) and Siena (MAAC, 204).
The six individuals who will compete in the Central Regional are: Madelena Shiels of Nebraska, Alex Buelow of Stetson, Rika Park of Miami (Fla.), Brittany Henderson of Coastal Carolina, Letica Ras-Anderica of Miami (Fla.) and Gabriella Wahl of East Tennessee State.
Notre Dame and South Florida were the lone BIG EAST programs to make the NCAA Tournament. The Bulls defeated the Irish by one stroke to win the BIG EAST Championship on April 24th.
Last year, the Irish were seeded ninth in the Central Regional that was held at the Warren Golf Course and finished fifth in the region, their best finish ever and advanced to the NCAA Championships for the first time in the program’s history, finishing 22nd overall at Bryan, Texas.