All-SEC Senior Looking For A Big Finish

Auburn, Ala.--When her teammates needed her to deliver, senior Diana Ramage came through in the clutch, producing one of the best rounds of her impressive college career.

With a five-under-par final day round of 67, the Auburn standout led her Tigers to the championship of the NCAA Women's Golf Central Region tournament. Next Ramage and the Tigers advance to the NCAA Championship event with the momentum of a strong finish at the regional in Lubbock, Tex., that was preceded by the SEC Tournament title.

Ramage was the only golfer in the 21-team field to finish the regional tournament under par. The former Fayette County, Ga., High star was a seven-shot winner over runnerup Louise Stahle of Arizona State. Auburn coach Kim Evans says that Ramage's clutch performance is one of the best rounds shot in Auburn women's golf history.

"Diana had a 64 in Destin (SEC/ACC Challenge) and this one was five-under-par (67) to clinch the win at the NCAA regional for both team and individual titles so I would say it is about the biggest round that we have ever had."

Ramage has been a strong player for Auburn, starting with her first season at AU when she was named SEC Freshman of the Year. She is a three-time all-conference selection. Ramage agrees with Evans that her day three 67 in Lubbock was one of her best rounds as an Auburn golfer.

"I was pleased with the way I played," the senior says. "The greens were tough and I saw pin placements in places I had never seen them before. They were on hills and the greens were very hard. You really had to work to stop the ball. It was pretty open off the tee, but it was a tricky course, particularly with the wind."

Ramage plans to play professionally starting this summer.

Going into the final round, Auburn was in a four-way tie for first place with Missouri, Baylor and Texas A&M. Ramage's strong round pushed the Tigers to a lead of seven shots over runnerup Texas A&M.

Ramage, a fifth-year senior who took a medical hardship redshirt last season while battling a wrist injury, is by far the most experienced player on the Auburn team. Last season she was trying to recover from her injury and was sidelined as Auburn saw its streak of nine straight trips to the NCAA Championships end at the regional tournament.

She says that the victory at this year's regional at the 7,072-yard Jerry Rawls Course in Lubbock, on the heels of a win at the SEC Championship, gives the Tigers plenty of momentum going into the NCAA Championship.

"It sure does," says Ramage, who will graduate this month with a degree in hotel and restaurant management. "We are going to hop on and ride the pony hard because we won our last two tournaments. It is going to be hard at nationals, but I am really proud of the girls. We have a pretty young team. They are just stepping it up at the right time."

The Tigers, who have been ranked among the nation's top teams throughout the season, will compete May 17-20 at the Sunriver resort in Bend, Oregon at the NCAA Women's Golf Championship.

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