It was hardly startling news. The Alabama women’s golf team of Coach Mic Potter is ranked first in the nation. The Crimson Tide is hoting the NCAA Regional at Shoal Creek Club in suburban Birmingham May 5-7.
So it is hardly a surprise that the NCAA announced Monday that Alabama will be the No. 1 seed in the regional over the 6,470-yard, par-72 layout.
The invitation is the 11th straight for the Crimson Tide, which captured the 2012 national championship at thje Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn.
The top-six finishers at the Shoal Creek Regional will advance to the NCAA Championship at the Eugene Country Club on May 20-25 in Eugene, Ore., and join the teams that will advance from the Stanford (Calif.), Bryan (Texas), and Baton Rouge (La.) regionals.
“We weren’t surprised where we wound up since we already knew we were hosting,” Potter said. “It’s a balanced field and the course is in fantastic condition. The greens are fast and firm and I think it’s a course that’s going to separate the field the way it should. I think the best teams are going to advance and the best players are going to excel.”
Since Potter's arrival at The Capstone prior to the 2005-06 season, the Crimson Tide has qualified for the NCAA Regionals each season and advanced to the NCAA Championship 10 consecutive years. The 2016 selection is the program’s 18th NCAA appearance.
For Potter, the regional berth marks the 23rd consecutive appearance by a team under his direction. The Hall of Fame coach has now led a team to a regional bid in each season since the format came into existence in 1993.
The 18-team NCAA Shoal Creek Regional boasts two other Southeastern Conference teams along with the No. 1 Crimson Tide. Joining Alabama in the NCAA Shoal Creek Regional is No. 2-seed Northwestern, No. 3 Oklahoma State, No. 4 California, No. 5 Iowa State, 6. Florida State, 7. Tennessee, 8. Missouri, 9. Purdue, 10. Notre Dame, 11. Vanderbilt, 12. Clemson, 13. Michigan, 14. Middle Tennessee State, 15. New Mexico State, 16. Eastern Kentucky, 17. Oakland (Mich.), and 18. Alabama State.
Alabama finished tied for fourth at the NCAA Raleigh Regional in Raleigh, N.C., last season before posting its sixth straight top-15 finish at the NCAA Championships.