Cowgirls Begin Quest for NCAA Title

The Oklahoma State women's golf team, ranked seventh in the nation, begins play in the NCAA Championships on Tuesday at the Meadows Course at Sunriver Resort in Sunriver, Ore. The four-day, 72-hole tournament will conclude on Friday.

Oklahoma State Golfers
1. Annie Thurman-Young, Sr., 73.10
2. Karin Sjodin, Jr., 73.81
3. Mallorie Underwood, So., 76.10
4. Candie Herrera, So., 77.89
5. Ali Griffin, So., 79.62

Cowgirls advance to NCAA Championships
Oklahoma State's Cowgirl golf team will travel to Sunriver, Ore., to compete as one of 24 teams in the NCAA Championships, May 17-20. OSU finished fifth at the NCAA West Regional in Las Cruces, N.M. The Cowgirls will tee off at 9:10 a.m. from the No. 1 tee on Tuesday, May 17, and will be paired with Virginia and Tulsa. On Wed., May 18, OSU will start off from the No. 10 tee at 1:20 p.m. The tournament will be played on the Meadows Course at Sunriver Resort, a 6,312-yard, par 71 course, and will consist of 18 holes played each day for a total of 72 holes.

Oklahoma State at the NCAA Championships
The Cowgirls are competing in their fifth-consecutive NCAA Championships as a team, and making their 14th appearance overall. OSU's inaugural appearance was in the first-ever NCAA Women's Golf Championships in 1982, when the Cowgirls finished third. Oklahoma State has nine top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships, and five top-five finishes, including three in the last four years. OSU's best performance at the NCAA Championships came last year in Opelika, Ala., when the Cowgirls finished as runnerup to UCLA. OSU has two third-place finishes, which incidentally both occurred on the Stanford Golf Course, first in 1982 and then again in 1989. The Cowgirls have finished fifth in two of the last four tournaments, first in 2001 at the Mission Inn Golf & Tennis Resort, and then at the 2003 Championships in West Lafayette, Ind., at Purdue's Kampen Golf Course. Last year, Karin Sjödin had the highest finish by a Cowgirl individual at the NCAA Championships as she finished second. It marked just the seventh time in school history that a Cowgirl had finished in the top-10 individually.

OSU vs. the Field
Oklahoma State is 113-37 overall this season, and 34-31 vs. the competition in the NCAA Championships. OSU has not beaten Duke (0-4), Florida (0-2), Furman (0-2), Tulane (0-2) or Virginia (0-1), but is undefeated against Stanford (5-0), Texas A&M (4-0), Missouri (2-0), Purdue (2-0), Michigan State (1-0) and UC-Irvine (1-0). Oklahoma State has a losing record vs. Tennessee (1-4), Pepperdine (1-3), UCLA (1-3) and Washington (1-2). However, the Cowgirls lone wins against both Tennessee and UCLA came at the NCAA Fall Preview on the Meadows Course, and their victories over Pepperdine and Washington came in Seattle, Wash.

More on Thurman-Young's Performance
Annie Thurman-Young became the first golfer in the league to win back-to-back individual titles since the late 1980s, when Oklahoma State's Eva Dahloff garnered medalist honors in 1987, '88 and 1989 in the Big Eight days. Thurman-Young is just the third women's golfer to earn back-to-back titles in Big Eight/Big 12 history, the others being the aforementioned Dahloff and former Cowgirl Alicia Ogrin in 1978 and '79. Thurman-Young is the sixth golfer in league history to win multiple individual titles. The others are all Cowgirls: Ogrin (1978-79), Val Skinner (1980, 82), Robin Hood (1984, 86), Dahloff (1987-88-89), and Maria Bodén (1999, 2001). OSU has had the individual medalist 21 times in the sports' 30 years of league championship play.

McGraw Named Big 12 Coach of the Year
In his first year at the helm of the Cowgirl Golf program, Coach Mike McGraw was named the Big 12 Conference's Coach of the Year in a vote of the league coaches. It is the first time a Cowgirl coach has received the honor since 1999, when Ann Pitts garnered the accolade. Pitts won the award in both 1998 and 1999. In McGraw's first season, the Cowgirls have won two tournaments and finished in the top three on four occasions. OSU has been ranked in the top-10 nationally all season long.

Cowgirls Rank High Nationally
Based on the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Ratings Index, the Cowgirls rank among the best in the nation individually. Annie Thurman-Young and Karin Sjödin rank fourth and sixth, respectively, in the national rankings. Mallorie Underwood ranks 81st nationally, while Candie Herrera is No. 217 and Ali Griffin ranks 357th nationally.

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