Baylor Women's Golf Heads to National Championship
Bears making third NCAA Championship appearance in program history
WACO, Texas – Baylor's 18th-ranked women's golf team is headed to the NCAA Division I National Championship for the third time in program history. BU qualified by winning the NCAA San Antonio Regional, claiming the first regional title in school history just two weeks after winning the program's first-ever league championship.
Baylor's only previous NCAA Championship appearances came in 2004 and 2012, when the Bears finished tied for 19th and tied for 16th, respectively. Additionally, Hayley Davis qualified for the 2014 Championship as an individual, and she had the best individual finish in school history with a tie for 10th place.
This season's championship will be played on the par-72, 6,468-yard course at The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Fla. The event features a format change that will see the 24-team field narrowed to the top 15 teams after three rounds of stroke play. Those 15 teams will continue for one additional round of stroke play, and the eight teams with the best 72-hole scores will advance to match play.
Stroke play rounds will be played Friday through Monday, with the nine lowest teams in the standings cut from the field following Sunday's third round. The eight teams advancing to match play will square off in the quarterfinals starting at 6 a.m. CT Tuesday, with the four winning teams staying to play the semifinals beginning at 1:30 p.m. the same day. The championship match play round is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. Wednesday.
Baylor's lineup features senior Davis, freshman Dylan Kim, junior Laura Lonardi and freshmen Giovana Maymon and Lauren Whyte. Baylor players are paired with players from Stanford and Northwestern for the first round. Whyte will be first on the course at 12:06 p.m. CT. She'll be followed in 11-minute intervals by Maymon, Lonardi, Kim and Davis, respectively.
Head coach Jay Goble is in his fourth season at Baylor and has led BU to two of its three NCAA Championship appearances, as well as its only conference and regional titles. He's joined by first-year assistant coach Mary Michael Maggio.
The 24-team field is comprised entirely of teams ranked in the nation's top 50 and features each of the top-14 ranked teams. No. 18 Baylor will compete against No. 24 Alabama, No. 5 Arizona, No. 8 Arkansas, No. 34 California, No. 46 Campbell, No. 4 Duke, No. 6 LSU, No. 39 North Carolina State, No. 14 Northwestern, No. 31 Purdue, No. 2 South Carolina, No. 1 Southern California, No. 13 Stanford, No. 12 Tennessee, No. 9 Texas A&M, No. 27 Texas Tech, No. 23 Tulane, No. 22 UC Davis, No. 3 UCLA, No. 19 UNLV, No. 10 Virginia, No. 11 Wake Forest and No. 7 Washington, as well as 12 individuals from schools that didn't qualify for the Championship.
Live scoring for the tournament is available at www.golfstat.com. Followed @BaylorWGolf on twitter for updates throughout the season.