Carolina Women's Golf
Upcoming Tournament: NCAA Championships
When: Friday-Wednesday, May 19-24, 2017
Site: Sugar Grove, Ill.
Course: Rich Harvest Farms (Par 72 – 6,343 yards)
Tar Heel Rankings: Golfweek #28, Golfstat #35, Seeded 21st of 24
The North Carolina women's golf team is taking part in its 16th NCAA Division 1 Women's Golf Championships on Friday.
The tournament will be played over the next six days. The first three days, all competitors will play 54 holes of stroke play. Following day three, the top 15 teams will advance for one more round of stroke play that determines the individual national champion. After the fourth round, the top eight teams will compete in match play, seeded according to their finish. The quarterfinals and semi-finals will be played on Tuesday with the finals being played on Wednesday.
For the Tar Heels, this is the second straight year qualifying for the Championships, and fourth time under head coach Jan Mann. Last year, the team finished 14th after four rounds of stroke play. Junior Lexi Harkins finished tied for 46th, senior Leslie Cloots finished tied for 59th, sophomore Kelly Whaley finished tied for 61st, and junior Bryana Nguyen finished tied for 79th.
Carolina is coming off a miraculous comeback at the NCAA Athens Regional, where the team trailed the last advancing teams by 11 shots with three teams in the way heading into the last round. Carolina shot an incredible 1-under par round as a team, highlighted by four birdies on their last hole of the day to complete the comeback.
For senior Leslie Cloots, this will be her last tournament as a Tar Heel. As of the Athens Regional, Cloots is in the midst of her third straight season leading the team in stroke average. Her season average of 73.40 strokes per round is currently good for the second best season average in Carolina history, behind only Casey Grice's 73.27 in 2012-13.
This will be freshman Brynn Walker's first NCAA Championship event. Walker has put together a stellar freshman campaign with a 75.15 stroke average so far on the season. As it stands, that number is good enough for fourth in Tar Heel freshman history, trailing Allie White (73.78), Catherine O'Donnell (74.03), and Casey Grice (74.32).
Carolina will tee off tomorrow morning at 8:36 a.m. EDT from hole No. 10 alongside Texas Tech and Pepperdine. On Saturday Carolina will go off No. 1 at 1:06 p.m. EDT.
The Golf Channel will have record setting coverage of the tournament this week. The network estimates they will air 30 hours of live coverage, beginning with the final round of stroke play from 4-8 p.m. EDT on Monday. They will also air the quarterfinals of match play (11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.), the semifinals (4-8 p.m.), and the finals 4-8 p.m.
Tar Heel fans interested in attending can purchase tickets through Rich Harvest Farms. Otherwise, stay tuned to Golfstat for live scoring and to @uncwomensgolf on Twitter for in-round coverage.
2017 NCAA Championships Field (Ordered by seed)
Stanford, Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Southern California, Arizona State, Duke, Furman, South Carolina, Northwestern, Miami (FL.), Kent State, Texas, Baylor, California, Purdue, Ohio State, Michigan, Texas Tech, Pepperdine, North Carolina, Clemson, Oregon, Michigan State
Tar Heel Lineup
1. Leslie Cloots, senior, Antwerp, Belgium
2. Bryana Nguyen, junior, Columbia, Md.
3. Kelly Whaley, sophomore, Farmington, Conn.
4. Lexi Harkins, junior, Crystal Lake, Ill.
5. Brynn Walker, freshman, St. David's, Pa.