April 14, 2012
BLANCO, Texas - The Lamar University women's golf team will be looking for its fourth Southland Conference team title when the 2012 Southland Conference Tournament tees off Monday at Vaaler Creek Golf Club.
If the Lady Cardinals are going to win their league-best fourth title, they are going to have to do so without defending individual champion Stine Pedersen. Pedersen capped her senior season by winning medalist honors on the third playoff hole at last year's event from Corpus Christi Country Club.
This will be the 11th women's golf championship hosted by the Southland Conference, and Lamar is joined by Texas State and Sam Houston State as schools that have captured three team titles.
The 54-hole tournament will be played over three days on the par-72, 6,299-yard layout. Tee times will begin at 8 a.m. Monday morning, with Lamar's first golfer starting at 9:20. The Lady Cardinals will be paired with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the first round of the eight-team tournament.
UTSA returns all five golfers from last year's championship team. The Roadrunners finished with a seven stroke victory over the Lady Cardinals, with Lamar outdistancing third place Texas State by 18 strokes. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi was fourth last year, followed by Sam Houston State, Central Arkansas, McNeese State and Stephen F. Austin.
As a team, Lamar has a pair of tournament victories this season. The Lady Cards won the Ladyjack Crown Classic on March 6 and the HBU Husky Invitational in their last tournament on Apr. 3. Lamar has also finished in the top five at four other tournaments this season.
Lamar, which won team titles in 2003, 2005 and 2006, will be led by junior Julie Aime. Aime, who tied for 10th at last year's event, is averaging a team-best 76.0 strokes per round. A native of Cannes, France, Aime has four top 10 finishes this year, including her second individual title after winning the Ladyjack Crown Classic.
Freshman Nghi Ngo
has had a solid first year for the Lady Cardinals and is currently second in scoring average at 77.6. Ngo, who will be playing in her first conference championship, has five top 15 finishes this year including a fourth place showing at the HBU Husky Invitational.
Sophomore Katelyn McDougal is just behind Ngo with a 77.9 scoring average. McDougal tied for 23rd in her first Southland Tournament and is coming off a tie for 12th at Houston Baptist. The Richmond, Texas, native has six top 15 finishes this year which includes a personal best tie for second at the season opening Chris Banister Gamecock Classic.
Senior Sarah Nicholas will be playing in her final Southland Conference Tournament for Lamar after tying for 18th at last year's event. Nicholas, who has a pair of top five finishes this year, is coming off a tie for 7th at Houston Baptist to bring her scoring average down to 78.8 strokes per round.
Redshirt sophomore Lauren Van Gerven will be the Lady Cardinals' fifth golfer at this year's conference tournament. Van Gerven sat out last year, but tied for 24th at the SLC Tournament as a freshman after posting rounds of 77-77-80.