ECU Finishes 20th At NCAA Central Regional
May 8, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The East Carolina women's golf team closed out the 2011 season Saturday afternoon at the NCAA Central Regional carding a final round 314 to finish in 20th place with a 54-hole score of 945 (+81) at the Warren Golf Course.
"This was a very tough golf course and we just didn't play well all week," said head coach Kevin Williams. "I'm very proud of our team, especially our senior class and everything they have done for our program in making four NCAA Regional appearances. Amber (Littman) and Colleen (Estes) will be missed and they epitomize what a student-athlete is all about."
For the Pirates (96-58-2) it was their fourth-straight NCAA Regional appearance, seventh in the programs 11th year of existence and the ninth time ECU has been represented in the NCAA Tournament.
Littman and Estes closed out their collegiate careers becoming the first Pirates to ever appear in four consecutive NCAA Regionals. Littman was the top finisher for the Pirates after carding a final round two-over par 74 to finish tied for 56th at 232 (80-78-74). Estes, who had five consecutive Top-25 placements entering regional play, posted a six-over par 80 claiming a share of 63rd place with a tournament score of 233 (75-78-80).
Rounding out the Pirates roster were Fanny Wolte (80-78-82=240) and Amy Otteson (80=82-78=240) who both finished tied for 89th and redshirt freshman Faith Hardison (80-82-82=244) in a share of 109th place.
The second-ranked and top-seeded UCLA Bruins held off hard-charging LSU and the afternoon wave on Saturday for a coast-to-coast victory by four shots over the Tigers (894, +30). The Bruins finished with a three-day score of 890 (+26). UCLA's Stephanie Kono shared medalist honors with LSU's Megan McChrystal, finishing two-over par (218) for the tournament.
Entering the final round six over par, Kono put together the round of the tournament, finishing four under par (68) on the day. After making the turn at one under (35), the junior caught fire on the back nine with four birdies on the final six holes along with only one bogey.
LSU put together the third-best round of the day at eight over (296) to hold onto second by three shots over Minnesota, who posted an 11-over par final round to end the tournament 33-over par (897). McChrystal got off to a torrid start on the day, birdying five of the opening six holes to help her finish the front nine at 33 (-3). She gave two shots back on the final nine holes to conclude her third round one under (71).
The Golden Gophers, meanwhile, return to the NCAA Championship for the first time since 1989 after their third place finish and the host Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who finished fifth (901, +37) make the 24-team championship field for the first time in the program's 23-year history.
Fourth-place Arkansas ended the tournament with the best team round of the weekend, carding a final round 289 (+1). Emma Lavy led the way for the Razorbacks, matching teammate Emily Tubert's score of 69 (-3) on Friday, with an identical three-under par mark on Saturday.
Ohio State (905, +41), Stanford (908, +44) and Wake Forest (909, +45) rounded out the eight qualifying team in sixth through eighth, respectively. With the race for the eighth spot all tied up between Wake Forest and Duke with only two groups left to finish, the Demon Deacons pulled away for a four-shot decision over the Blue Devils for the final qualifying spot.
Despite not qualifying as a team, Duke's Lindy Duncan earned one of the two individual qualifying bids, finishing the tournament at six over par (222). She ended her tournament with a final round 75 (+3) to secure her spot at the NCAA Championship.
The final individual spot came down to a playoff between Chattanooga's Maria Juliana Loza and Tulane's Maribel Lopez Porras. With the daylight fading away, the Green Wave sophomore needed only one hole to claim her spot at the Championship, carding a par on the par-5 10th hole, while Loza finished with a bogey to conclude her tournament.