April 13, 2014
BEAUMONT, Texas -
The Lamar Lady Cardinals golf team opens the 13th annual Southland Conference Championships looking to defend their crown as tournament play begins Tuesday at the 6,258-yard, par 72 High Meadow Ranch Golf Club in Magnolia, Texas. It marks the first time in Southland women's golf history that the championships have been held at High Meadow Ranch. The three-round tournament will begin Tuesday and run through Thursday.
Only the second time in conference history that the championships are begin held on a truly neutral course, the Lady Cardinals enter the week as the Southland's most dominant team having won a league best four tournament titles. Lamar is also looking to repeat as league champions for the second time in school history (2005 and 2006).
"We have a very young team and for a lot of these players it will be their first conference tournament so there is some concern in they will respond especially early on," said head coach Brian White. "Despite our overall youth, this is one of the, if not the deepest team we've ever fielded on the women's side. They understand there is a target on their back. We have to play well for 54 holes."
Lamar enters the Southland Championships with the highest Golfstat ranking among all league schools. As a team, LU has recorded a 301.7 stroke average in 29 rounds of golf this season. The Lady Cardinals have been dominant throughout the season having recorded top-five finishes in all but one tournament, including three team titles. In addition to the team performances, the Lady Cardinals nearly made a clean sweep of the Southland monthly awards winning all but one.
The heart of Lamar's success during the 2013-14 season has come from its underclassmen. Despite her freshman status, freshman Wenny Chang leads Lamar, and the Southland Conference, with a 74.90 stroke average. Chang has carded seven top-10 finishes during her rookie season, including five top-five finishes, to go along with the individual medalist honor at the Harold Funston Invitational in September.
A two-time SLC Golfer of the Month, Chang is joined at the top of the Lamar ladder by classmate Bertille DuPont
and sophomore Taylor Stockton
. Both having won SLC Golfer of the Month honors this season, Stockton is second on the team with a 75.7 stroke average, while Dupont is the reigning Southland Golfer of the Month.
The Lady Cards strength isn't just at the top of its lineup. LU enters Tuesday's first day of competition with a ton of depth. Junior Nghi Ngo has posted the team's fourth-best stroke average but is a returning first-team All-SLC selection from last season.
The tournament is slated to begin at 8 a.m. Tuesday. The Lady Cardinals will be in the last group to tee off beginning at 10 a.m. on the first tee. Lamar will be paired with Houston Baptist and Oral Roberts.
All three rounds of the tournament can be followed by clicking here.