Tide Starts Women's NCAA Golf Play

The University of Alabama women's golf team will make its third straight trip to NCAA Regional competition under Voach Mic Potter. The Tide will compete in the Central Regional to be held in Austin, Texas at the University of Texas Golf Course with first round play slated for Thursday. The Tide will start its competition by being paired with UCLA and Purdue and tee off at 9 a.m. CDT.

The NCAA Central Regional features yet another loaded field for the Tide to compete against. Alabama enters the regional as the No. 3 seed in the 21-team competition that includes nine top 25 teams and 16 teams ranked in the Golfweek/Sagarin top 50 polls.

UCLA enters the tournament as the top seed and the No. 2 ranked team in the nation. Other notable entries include No. 6 Purdue and No. 11 Denver. Texas will compete on its home course as the 10 seed while seventh- seeded LSU joins Alabama as the only two SEC schools in the Central Regional.

In SEC Championship play, the Tide carded three straight rounds of 307 for a final score of 921 (+57) good for seventh place in the tournament held at the Tennessee National Golf Club in Loudon, Tenn.

Alabama placed three golfers in the top 20 of the individual standings at the SEC Championship. Kathleen Ekey and Camilla Lennarth tied for 15th place with a three-day total score of 227 (+11). Sarah Sturm took 19th place finishing at 229 for the tournament.

Alabama continues to excel both as individuals and as a team in many of the nation's top statistical categories. Kathleen Ekey has become a mainstay in the Greens in Regulation top 10 where she currently ranks fourth nationally. Helena Blomberg broke into the top 10 in the Putts on Greens in Regulation category this week where she sits at No. 6 in the country.

The Crimson Tide ranks in the top 10 in three team statistics according to golfstat.com. The team ranks fifth in Par 4 scoring, sixth in Greens in Regulation and seventh in Putts on Greens in Regulation.

Since head coach Mic Potter took the reins in 2005, the Crimson Tide has reached the postseason in each of his three years. The selection to compete in the NCAA Central Regional this season is the 10th in school history and the sixth since 2001 for the Tide women.

For Potter, the regional berth marks the 15th 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 inception in 1993.

Last season the Tide finished seventh in the East Regional with a final score of 868 (+4). The finish earned the Tide its third trip to the NCAA Championship in school history and the second consecutive trip under the watch of coach Potter.

Three members of the Alabama women's golf team garnered All-SEC honors as announced by the conference office today. Junior Kathleen Ekey was named to the All-SEC first team while newcomers Courtney Harter and Camilla Lennarth garnered All-Freshman Team accolades.

Ekey instantly made Alabama a national threat after transferring from Furman. The junior is ranked No. 18 in the nation by Golfweek and leads the No. 8 ranked (Golf World) Crimson Tide with a 72.90 scoring average. Ekey has finished in the Top 10 in six of the 10 tournaments she has competed in for the Tide this season.

Harter made a smooth transition from high school to the college game by winning the first tournament she ever played in at UA. Harter took medalist honors at the Wildcat Fall Invitational, finishing with a final score of 213. The freshman fired a 67 in her first ever round with the Tide. Harter has turned in four rounds under par in her freshman campaign.

Lennarth has not only made a seamless transition to college golf but to a foreign country as well. The Stockholm, Sweden native boasts a 74.67 scoring average good for second on the team. Lennarth placed second at the Wildcat Fall Invitational to help lead the Tide to its first team title since the beginning of the 2005-06 season. The newcomer has fired five rounds under par this season.

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