Tide Women's Golf Goes For NCAA Title
Alabama's squad heads to the NCAA Championships, which begins Wednesday on a 6,260-yard, par 72 course where the Crimson Tide took a prestigious title earlier this season. The Tide is among the top three seeds as Bama, winner of the NCAA East Regional, makes it sixth straight national championship tournament appearance.
Those six appearances are, not coincidentally, the six seasons that Potter has been head coach of the Tide.
Alabama will open play in the 54-hole tournament Wednesday grouped with USC and UCLA.
Alabama is led by one of the nation's most outstanding freshman golfers, Stephanie Meadow. In her first season at Bama she has won a Bama record three tournaments, including the East Regional, and is ranked fourth in the nation among college women. She has averaged 71.83 strokes per round.
Brooke Pancake, a junior, is averaging 72.13 and is ranked eighth in the nation. She won the Tar Heel Invitational.
Camilla Lennarth, the Tide's lone senior, is 25th in the nation and was All-Southeastern Conference with a 73.26 average. Jennifer Kirby, last year's SEC Freshman of the Year, is averaging 74.20 with three top 10 finishes. Hannah Collier, a freshman walk-on, tied for sixth at the SEC Championships and is averaging 75.11.
In September, Alabama was a winner at The Traditions in the NCAA Fall Preview Tournament with a record-breaking 15-under-par 849. Bama finished third in last year's NCAA Championship Tournament.
Many of Alabama's team and individual records have fallen since Potter arrived at The Capstone. This year, both Meadow and Pancake are on pace to break Lennarth's single-season scoring mark of 72.59 set last year. Meadow boasts a 71.83, which ranks third nationally and second in the SEC, while Pancake is close behind at 72.13. The Tide has won five team titles this season while Meadow and Pancake have combined to win four medalist honors. UA is averaging a school-record 289.67 strokes per round as a team and a 73.48 individually. UA's top four players are all averaging 74.2 or better while Alabama ranks fourth nationally with a drop score of 77.68.
Alabama is ranked No. 3 in the most recent Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index, the May 10 Golfworld/NGCA Coaches' Poll and third in the Golfstat.com NCAA head-to-head rankings. The Crimson Tide also ranks in the top 5 in 21 major statistical categories kept on Golfstat.com. UA is either first or second nationally in par 3 scoring, par 4 scoring, subpar storkes per round, bogeys per round, GIR (greens in regulation), GIR within 15 feet, par 3 GIR, putts on GIR, and sand saves.
Potter has led the Tide to 12 tournament titles, including a school-record five wins this season. The Crimson Tide won the Fall Preview, the Tar Heel Invitational, the Lady Puerto Rico Classic, Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic, and the NCAA East Regional. Under his direction, the Crimson Tide has produced 10 medalists after Stephanie Meadow's record-setting third win of the 2011 season at the NCAA East Regional. Overall, Alabama has competed in 67 tournaments with Potter at the helm and finished in the top five on 40 occasions and top three 31 times. UA has finished in the top three in nine of 10 events this season.
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