In 2012, the Alabama women’s golf team of Coach Mic Potter won the national championship with a one-stroke win over USC. When the Crimson Tide begins play in the 2016 national championship tournament at the Eugene (Oregon) Country Club Friday, Bama will be paired with Southern Cal, along with UCLA.
No. 1-ranked Alabama and the two Los Angeles teams will tee off at noon PDT (2 p.m. Central time) Friday and at 7:30 a.m. Pacific (9:30 Central) Saturday over the 6,369-yard, par 72 course.
The tournament runs Friday through Wednesday with four rounds of stroke play followed by three rounds of match play for the top eight teams at the conclusion of the stroke play.
A win in the 2016 championships would give Alabama its second national title in five seasons. Alabama won the school's first national championship in women's golf in 2012. The Tide shot a 19-over par 1,171 to edge USC by one shot over 72 holes at the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn. Since 2012, Alabama has finished seventh (2013), ninth (2014) and 14th (2015) in the national championship tournament.
While Alabama is the nation’s top-ranked teams, there is no shortage of ranked teams in the 24-team tournament. The teams qualified in regional tournaments last week. The field includes 17 teams in the top 25, including eight in the top ten -- USC (2), UCLA (3), Florida (4), Duke (5), Georgia (6), Northwestern (7), Oklahoma State (8) and Arizona (10).
The remainder of the field is Arkansas (11), Stanford (12), Washington (13), VIrginia (15), Florida State (16), South Carolina (18), Furman (19), Oregon (20), Tennessee (21), Texas (24), Ohio State (25), Michigan, BYU, Miami (Fla.) and North Carolina.
In addition to seeking a team championship, Alabama senior Emma Talley is the returning individual champion from the 2015 NCAA Tournament. Last year she shot a 3-under par 285 on the 6,468-yard, par-72 Concession Golf Club course in Bradenton, Fla.
Her final round 69 was only the 13th round in the 60s in Alabama NCAA championships history. The win made Talley the first NCAA medalist in Alabama women’s golf history and also made her just the fifth player in U.S. women's golf history to win NCAA Championship and U.S. Amateur (2013) individual honors.
Talley has averaged 72.6 in her 25 rounds this year. Bama’s best scoring has been by freshman Cheyenne Knight, who has averaged 72.54 in 28 rounds. The remainer of the Alabama lineup will be sophomore Lakareber Abe at 72.96, senior Janie Jackson at 73.28, and sophomore Nicole Morales at 74.26.
Nationally, Talley is ranked No. 9, Knight 13th, Abe 19, Jackson 32nd, and Morales 86th.
Alabama won this year’s Southeastern Conference championship.
Alabama’s appearance in Eugene is its 11th consecutive trip to the NCAA championships under Potter and the 12th overall.