By Jenny Peter
The Stanford women’s golf team is looking to secure its national championship berth at the NCAA West Regional on the Stanford Golf Course today through Saturday.
The Cardinal must finish in the top eight of the 24 teams at its regional to gain passage to the NCAA National Championships, held May 18-21 in Wilmington, N.C. The top two individuals not on an advancing team will also proceed to the championships. The expected top teams at the Cardinal’s regional in order of seeding are n
ationally ranked No. 1 UCLA, Alabama, Pac-10 champion Arizona, Ohio State and Virginia. Stanford has the No. 6 seed and is followed by LSU and California. Other teams joining the Cardinal at its home course are Arkansas, Colorado State, Idaho, Iowa State, Maryland, Oral Roberts, Penn, Portland State, San Francisco, San Jose State, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas State, UC-Davis, UC-Irvine and UNLV.
Other teams were placed by ranking at two other regional sites and will also be fighting to finish in the top eight in order to advance to the NCAA National Championships. Duke is seeded No. 1 at the East Regional, which is hosted by East Carolina at the Ironwood Country Club in Greenville, N.C. Arizona State claimed the top seed at the Central Regional being held at Otter Creek Gold Course in Columbus, Ind. In all, 126 out of 369 players will advance to the championship competition after the three regional tournaments conclude this weekend.
Participants will play 54 holes at the Stanford Golf Course at a par of 71. The event will begin each day at 8 a.m. at holes one and 10. Stanford’s tee time is 9 a.m. from hole 10 on Thursday and 1:30 p.m. from hole one on Friday. Saturday’s tee time is yet to be determined.
“The course is in great shape,” said junior Rebecca Durham. “The greens are rolling nice, the rough is thick and fairways are perfect. It’s going to play tough, but fair.”
Stanford made its last qualified appearance at NCAA Championships in 2007, when the women finished fifth in the nation at Daytona Beach, Fla. The Cardinal fell just short of a national championship berth in 2008 when it finished tied for eighth place and lost in a three-team playoff with UC-Davis and Ohio State. The women finished 14th at last year’s regional, making the team even more eager to prove it is a top team at this year’s event.
“Rankings aside, we are a good team with the home-course advantage,” Durham said. “We play well on the Stanford course and are ready to go low.”
Fans can expect an entertaining event with a lot of good, highly competitive golf.
“These are some of the best teams in the country and the competition will be intense,” Durham said. “How teams play this week determines whether their season continues or not. Everyone wants to go to nationals.”
The event is open to the public. Parking is available on a first come, first served basis at the golf course and near the Stanford stables.