Tom Murphy is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 football poll.
UA women headed to Stillwater regional
Emma Lavy hits out of the sand onto the sixth green Monday during the qualifier round for the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers.
FAYETTEVILLE - The No. 4 Arkansas women’s golf team will be close to home when it tees up at the NCAA Central Regional on May 8.
The Razorbacks will compete at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla., and will play as the No. 2 seed behind UCLA in the regional hosted by Oklahoma State, the NCAA announced Monday.
“We pretty much knew how the selection goes and we felt very comfortable that we would probably end up at Oklahoma State,” Arkansas Coach Shauna Estes-Taylor said. “Honestly, I’m excited because regionals falls during the middle of finals, so just being able to travel pretty close to home is really great for our girls, and their ability to finish strong in school and then go over to Karsten Creek on a short trip on a bus is definitely helpful for us.”
Arkansas will be paired with four other SEC schools: No. 3 seed Alabama, No. 5 LSU, No. 7 Florida and No. 11 Mississippi State.
Oklahoma State is the No. 6 seed in the Central Regional, and the other seeds in the top 10 are No. 4 Arizona, No. 8 North Carolina, No. 9 Ohio State and No. 10 Miami.
The top eight teams from each of three regionals will advance to the NCAA Championships on May 20-23 at Tulsa Country Club.
Arkansas will make its 13th NCAA regional appearance after a school-record thirdplace showing in last year’s East Regional at Auburn.
The Razorbacks are coming off a second-place finish to Vanderbilt in the SEC Tournament two weeks ago. Sophomore Gabriela Lopez tied for second behind medalist Simin Feng of Vanderbilt and senior Emily Tubert tied for 10th to pace Arkansas.
“Our goal was to win the SEC championship, and obviously we fell a little bit short, but I think it was a great motivator for this group as we come back and sharpen and get ready to go,” Estes-Taylor said.
Defending NCAA champion Southern Cal is the No. 1 seed in the West Regional, and Duke is No. 1 in the East. Seven SEC teams are seeded among the top 30 teams in the regionals, with No. 2 South Carolina, No. 4 Vanderbilt and No. 8 Auburn in the East joining the big SEC group with the Razorbacks in the Central.
Sports, Pages 19 on 04/29/2014