OU to host Norman Regional, OSU’s Bailey, YU, Tulsa’s Tseng to participate
NORMAN – For the eighth time in the past nine seasons, Oklahoma will compete in the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships. The Sooners were selected as an at-large bid and will open the postseason as a No. 5 seed on their home course in Norman.
One of four NCAA Regional hosts, Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club will host the 18-team Norman Regional on May 6-8. The top six schools in the 54-hole tournament will advance to the finals, played May 17-22 at The Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Ark. The top three top-finishing individuals on a non-advancing team from each region will also advance to Fayetteville.
“We’re exciting to be moving into the postseason,” said OU head coach Veronique Drouin-Luttrell. “Making it to regionals is a big deal and is even more special that we have the opportunity to host it in Norman this year. We are focused on the process of getting better each day and are ready for the opportunity to compete again.”
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 enters the Norman Regional coming off a third place finish at the Big 12 Championship, its fifth top-three showing of the season. The Sooners are ranked No. 18 in the Women’s Golf Coaches Association Coaches Poll and No. 21 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings.
The Sooners aim to qualify for the finals of the NCAA Championships for the fifth time since 2012.
Admission to the Norman Regional is free.
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.
The Cowgirls are coming off the Big 12 Championship, where Bailey tied for 14th and Yu tied for 23rd at the Golf Club of Oklahoma. Bailey and Yu check in at No. 142 and No. 178 in the GolfStat national rankings, respectively.
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 in10 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.
Tseng burst onto the scene by finishing in fourth-place and leading Tulsa to the team title in her first collegiate event, the season-opening Hobble Creek Fall Classic.
Tseng began her rookie year by finishing among the top-10 in Tulsa’s first four tournaments, stating out the season with a fourth-place performance at the Hobble Creek Fall Classic. During that span of events, she also captured medalist honors at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown. Tseng carded rounds of 69-69-65 to tie a school record with a 13-under par 203 score at the Las Vegas event. She became the first Tulsa freshman since Kristina Merkle (2009-10) to place among the top-5 in her first two collegiate events, thus becoming just the fifth player in the tradition-rich Tulsa golf history to finish among the top-5 in their first two collegiate events.
She became just the second golfer in American Athletic Conference history to sweep the league’s Golfer of the Month honor in the fall campaign, winning the award in back-to-back months, September and October.