BOULDER—The No. 11 University of Colorado golf team has been selected to participate in the 2011 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship. The Buffs were placed into the NCAA West Region as the No. 4 seed, which CU will host at Colorado National Golf Club in Erie, Colo., May 10-12, 2012.
This marks the second consecutive and third overall selection for the Buffaloes, all of which have come in the past four seasons. CU is one of 24 teams who will compete at Colorado National along with six individuals from teams not selected. Each of the three regions (central, east) will send eight teams and two individuals to the NCAA Championships, set for May 22-25, 2012 at the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn., hosted by the Commodores.
The Buffs have played against 20 of the other 23 teams in the West Region this season and are 36-10-1 (.777) against the field. Overall the Buffs are 106-34-1 on the season.
The Buffs will be able to remain at home and play on its own course at Colorado National, although the Buffs have not played competitively on the course in a year-and-a-half, since winning the Heather Farr Memorial Invitational on Oct. 8-9, 2010.
In the program’s 17th season, this is the third time the Buffaloes have advanced as a team, also doing so last season and during the 2008-09 season. The Buffs No. 4 seed is easily the best of the three appearances, along with a No. 16 seed in 2009 and No. 11 in 2011. In 2009, the Buffs finished 19th of 21 teams participating and last year they finished 18th of 24 teams.
Prior to that, Erin Kerr earned a spot at Regional’s twice. As a junior in 2002, she was selected as an individual for the West Regional in Stanford, Calif., where she tied for 15th and was the third individual, missing the cut by just three strokes after carding a 72-79-72—223. The next season, she carded a 77-77-77—231 and finished tied for 48th.
While this is the team’s third appearance, several other CU teams were “on the bubble” so to speak, including the 2009-10 squad that finished the season ranked No. 60. Other years on the brink were the 2000-01 team (ranked No. 72 late in the season), the 2004-05 team (No. 63 final ranking), the 2006-07 team (No. 58 final ranking) and the 2007-08 team (No. 64 final ranking).
The Pac-12 qualified an astonishing 10 of its 11 teams into the 72-team field, and the conference of champions has two of the three top seeds in the tournament, including UCLA (No. 1, west) and USC (No. 1, central). Arizona State is the No. 2 seed in the east and is joined by Arizona (No. 6) and Washington (No. 10). USC is joined by Oregon as the No. 7 seed in the west, while five teams made the east field with California (No. 5), Stanford (No. 14) and Oregon State (No. 18) joining the Buffs an Bruins.
The Buffaloes have enjoyed the most successful season in program history and have shattered most of the team season records on the books. CU’s team stroke average of 75.28 is over a stroke better than last year’s record of 76.31 and the Buffs have won three events this season, a program record, including three or four of the best performances in school history with a second place finish at the Sugar Bowl and wins at the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational, the Clover Cup and the Anuenue Spring Break Challenge.
Individually, the Buffs have five players ranked highly in the latest Golfweek poll, including sophomore Alex Stewart (No. 36), senior Emily Talley (No. 46), senior Jess Wallace (No. 74), sophomore Jenny Coleman (No. 113) and sophomore Kristin Coleman (No. 240). This is the first season CU has had two top 50 and three top 100 players ranked at one time.