May 7, 2013
NCAA Central Regional Page
NORMAN, Okla. - After staging a comeback three weeks ago to win the Southland Conference Tournament, the Lamar women's golf team earned the right to continue its season this week at its first NCAA Regional appearance since 1995.
The Lady Cardinals will open play Thursday morning at the Central Regional which will be played over three days at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club. Lamar will be one of 24 teams competing on the par-72, 6,298-yard layout for the right to advance to the national tournament.
The Central Regional is one of three sites that will host tournaments this week. Each regional will feature 24 teams and six individuals with the top eight teams and the top two individuals not on those teams advancing to the NCAA Championship set for May 21-24 at the University of Georgia Golf Course.
No. 3 ranked Duke is the top seed in the Central Regional, with host and fourth ranked Oklahoma seeded second. Lamar, which will be grouped with Mississippi State and Wisconsin in the opening round, is ranked 87th in the country and is the 21st seed at the regional.
Lamar is making its third-ever trip to a NCAA Regional. The Lady Cardinals' first trip came in 1993 with an 18th place finish in Tucson, Ariz. Lamar returned to Tucson in 1995 and placed 16th. Lamar's last trip to the national tournament came in 1991 when it placed eighth at the Ohio State Scarlet Course.
The Lady Cardinals last action was the comeback victory at Frisco Lakes Golf Club which was Lamar's fourth Southland Conference title and first since 2006. Lamar began the final round four shots behind Central Arkansas before closing with a team score of 300 to defeat Oral Roberts and Sam Houston State by seven shots.
Lamar will be led by a pair of First-Team All-Southland Conference selections in senior Julie Aime and sophomore Nghi Ngo. Aime, who won her third individual title this year and led the team with a 74.9 scoring average, earned all-conference honors for the third time in her career.
"I can't believe I'm actually going to the regionals for my senior year," said Aime. "I was expecting to do well at conference, but after we were trailing early, my hopes were down. After we came back, it was very emotional.
"It's going to be a hard field, but I'm really excited about it. I have no idea about the course and we'll be underdogs so we're putting no pressure on ourselves. We're going to try and do our best and just see where that leaves us."
Ngo tied for fifth in Frisco and earned her first career win this year. A native of Vietnam, Ngo finished her second season as a Lady Cardinal with a 75.5 scoring average and eight top 10 finishes on the season.
Junior Katelyn McDougal, redshirt junior Lauren Van Gerven and freshman Taylor Stocktonwill round out the Lamar lineup this week. McDougal led the Lady Cardinals with a fourth place finish at the conference tournament and brings a 77.7 scoring average into regional action.
Stockton is averaging 78.1 strokes per round in her first season and is coming off an 11th place finish at the Southland Tournament. Van Gerven averages 80.2 strokes per round.
The Lady Cardinals are enjoying one of their best seasons in recent memory. Not only did Lamar win the conference tournament, but it also earned tournament titles at the ORU Shootout, the Le Triomphe Collegiate Invitational and the Islander Classic.
"We have good coaching here," said McDougal. "The men's teams have always been pretty dominant and the girls have always been behind, but we have shined through."