Oklahoma women’s golf opens the NCAA postseason on Monday at its home course. The Sooners are one of 18 teams competing in the NCAA Norman Regional, held at the par-72, 6,367-yard Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club in Norman.
Teams finishing in the top six of the three-day, 54-hole tournament will advance to the 2019 NCAA Championships in Fayetteville, Ark.
“We’re excited to be playing in the postseason but even more so because we’re at home,” said OU head coach Veronique Drouin-Luttrell. “This tournament is really different in a sense that every event we’ve played in doesn’t matter now, you have to play strong. We have to keep doing what we’ve been preaching to the team and focus and play our own game.”
Ranked No. 18 in the WGCA Coaches’ Poll, the Sooners will tee off of hole No. 10 beginning at 7:30 a.m. CT on Monday. Live scoring will be available on Golfstat.com and admission is free.
Entering competition as the region’s fifth seed, the Sooners will be joined in Norman by Texas, Wake Forest, Florida, Arizona State, TCU, Pepperdine, Purdue, Ole Miss, Texas Tech, Mississippi State, Virginia Tech, North Carolina State, Texas A&M, UTSA, UNCW, Sam Houston State and Farleigh Dickinson.
Six additional golfers were selected to compete in the field as individuals: Michaela Fletcher (Memphis), Lauren Cox (North Texas), Brigitte Dunne (SMU), Lianna Bailey (Oklahoma State), Han-Hsuan Yu (Oklahoma State) and Lorena Tseng (Tulsa).
Oklahoma is competing in an NCAA Regional for the eighth time in the past nine seasons. A top-six finish would give the Sooners their fifth NCAA Championships appearance since 2012.
The Sooners will utilize a young lineup with four underclassmen in its five-golfer lineup. Sophomore Kaitlin Milligan and freshman Libby Winans have been leading the Sooners throughout the season with a combined 10 finishes in the top-10.
Both Milligan (72.14) and Winans (72.41) have a chance at finishing the season with one of the best stroke averages in school history. OU senior Julienne Soo tied the program record last season with a 72.27 (also owned by Chirapat Jao-Javani).
Located just minutes from the heart of the University of Oklahoma campus, Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club is hosting a women’s NCAA Regional for the first time since 2013. The course hosted a men’s NCAA Regional last season and will do so again in 2020.
- Libby Winans:
On pace to finish the season with the lowest stroke average ever recorded by an OU freshman (72.41)…Led the Sooners with a sixth-place finish in the Big 12 Championship, the highest finish in the tournament by an OU freshman since 2015…Named to the Big 12 All-Tournament Team…Earned her first tournament win at the Clover Cup shooting a 214 (-2)…Tied for fifth in the Moon Golf Invitational to earn her second best collegiate finish scoring a 211 (-5)…Back-to-back top-ten finishes at the Schooner Fall Classic and Magnolia Invitational…Carded a 206 (-7) and finishing tied for seventh at the Schooner Fall Classic…Won the 2018 Texas 6A State Championship while also capturing district and regional crowns at Plano East High School…Advanced to the match play portion of the 2018 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship and the round of 32 in the 2018 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship.
- Kaitlin Milligan:
On pace to own the lowest season stroke average in program history (72.14)…Strung together eight straight top-20 finishes from Sept. 30 through March 31, including five in the top 10…Her 102 birdies are the fourth most in the country, second among major-conference golfers…Ranked in the top 40 nationally of the Golfstat rankings…Tied for seventh at the Westbrook Invitational and 20th at the Moon Golf Invitational…Tied for 12th at the Battle at the Beach to earn her fourth top-20 finish of the fall … Tied for 10th at the Jim West Invitational, picking up her with third straight top-10 finish…Carded a 2-under 142 to tie for sixth at the 36-hole Magnolia Invitational…Tied for fifth in the Schooner Fall Classic, posting a 205 (-8) and finishing her last two rounds with a 66 (-5) and 68 (-3)…Competed in every event her freshman season…Her 117 birdies were the second most in the 2017-18 by a Division I freshman and ranked in the top 20 among all DI golfers…Owns the program and Big 12 record for lowest round, firing a 62 (-10) in the first round of the 2018 Westbrook Invitational.
- Julienne Soo:
Participated in the first Augusta National Women’s Amateur last month…A 2018 Golfweek All-America Team Honorable Mention…Finished her junior season with a program-record stroke average of 72.27…Her 51 career par-or-better rounds are the third most in OU history…Five career top-five finishes…Tied for 13th at the Moon Golf Invitational to tie for 13th and collect her third top-20 finish of the season…Tied for sixth at the Battle at the Beach to pick up her 14th top-10 finish…Tied for seventh at the Jim West Invitational…Posted a 69 and 67 at the Jim West for a total of 17 career round in the 60’s…Closed out the Schooner Fall Classic with a 6-under 66, tying her career 18-hole low…Qualified for stage 1 of Q-School…Claimed 19th place in the 2018 NCAA Championships – the second-highest finish by a Big 12 golfer in the field…Named to the All-Big 12 Team in 2017 and 2018.
- Mikhaela Fortuna:
Boasts three top-20 finishes in her rookie season…Tied for 16th at the Westbrook Invitational…Competed as an individual at the Schooner Fall Classic and posted two rounds in the 60s, finishing in a tie for 14th place…Captured second place in the 2018 Philippine Ladies Open…Making her fifth straight start in the Sooner lineup.
- Sydney Youngblood:
Her second appearance in the Sooner lineup this spring…Carded a career-low 64 (-7) at the Schooner Fall Classic…Competed in all postseason events in 2018, including the NCAA Championships…Finished in 24th place at last year’s NCAA Regional, shooting a 219 (+3) in Austin, Texas.
For Oklahoma State, freshmen Lianna Bailey and Han-Hsuan Yu will tee off at 9:10 a.m. on Monday from the 10th tee. Live scoring for the NCAA Regionals can be found at GolfStat.com and updates will be posted to the Cowgirl Golf Twitter handle throughout the day.
“We’re very grateful to be able to represent OSU as individuals,” said Lianna Bailey. “It’s so close that it feels like we’re playing at home even though the event is in Norman.”
Cowgirl golfers have been a part of all 27 NCAA Regionals since the inception of the regional format in 1993. Bailey and Yu will be the first OSU golfers to participate as individuals at an NCAA Regional, and are hoping to become the ninth and 10th Cowgirls to play in the NCAA Championships as an individual.
For Tulsa, Tseng will tee-off at 9:15 a.m. paired with Yu and Bailey.
Tseng is the first Tulsa individual golfer to make the regional since the 2012-13 campaign when Shu-Yin Liu and Kristina Merkle made regional appearances.
The freshman sensation has 71.9 stroke average in 30 rounds, while turning in 10 sub-70 rounds as well as 16 rounds of even-par or below this season. Tseng has placed among the top-15 in eight of 10 tournaments, including seven top-10 finishes.