May 9, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. -- -
Head coach Caroline O'Connor has emphasized to her team the importance of playing their best golf in late April and May when the stakes are the highest.
For Stanford, that time is now as the Cardinal begins play at the NCAA West Regional on Thursday at the Colorado National Golf Course in Erie. The top eight teams in the 24-team field will advance to the NCAA Championships, set for May 22-25 at the Vanderbilt Legends Course in Franklin, Tenn.
Stanford is joined in the regional field by (in order of seeding) UCLA, LSU, North Carolina, Colorado, California, Baylor, Pepperdine, UC Davis, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Tulsa, TCU, Iowa State, Denver, UNLV, New Mexico, Oregon State, Illinois, Kennesaw State, San Jose State, Missouri State, Northern Colorado and Jackson State.
Kayla Mortellaro (Idaho), Ally McDonald (Mississippi State), Amy Anderson (North Dakota State), Maggie Yuah (BYU), Brianna Espinoza (Colorado State) and Demi Mak (New Mexico State) will be competing for two spots in the NCAA Championship field, as well.
Teams will tee-off at 7:30 a.m. and 12 noon off Nos. 1 and 10 tees all three days.
With five of the nation's top 11 teams in the field, including top-ranked UCLA, No. 6 LSU, No. 7 North Carolina, No. 9 California and No. 1 Colorado, 19 teams will seemingly be battling for the final three spots to secure a ticket to Franklin.
Stanford tied for eighth place at the Pac-12 Championships, where junior Sally Watson and freshman Mariko Tumangan tied for 12th place.
Watson was five-under par for her last two rounds after opening with an 83 in blustery conditions. She has five top-10 finishes of the year, highlighted by a win at the WSU Cougar Cup in September.
Watson and Tumangan are expected to be joined in the lineup by Kristina Wong, Marissa Mar and Sydney Burlison.