NORMAN, Okla. -- The No. 19 Oklahoma women’s golf team will play in the 2004 NCAA Regional Championships in Normal, Ill. May 6-8. The Sooners are one of 21 teams that will compete at the 6,500-yard, par-71 University Golf Course.
The Sooners will field the same team that competed in the Big 12 Championships. Team members include Hope Edge, Amparo Gala, Lisa Meldrum, Emily Milberger and Jaclyn Stelzer.
The 54-hole tournament, which is hosted by Illinois State University, will be formatted with 18 holes each day. The 21-team field includes (by seed) No. 1 Vanderbilt, No. 2 New Mexico, No. 3 Arizona, No. 4 Southern California, No. 5 Oklahoma, No. 6 Michigan State, No. 7 Tulsa, No. 8 Missouri, No. 9 TCU, No. 10 Arkansas, No. 11 Texas A&M, No. 12 Kansas State, No. 13 Indiana, No. 14 Southern Methodist, No. 15 Kent State, No. 16 Purdue, No. 17 Northwestern, No. 18 Baylor, No. 19 Notre Dame, No. 20 Princeton and No. 21 Illinois State.
In 2003, OU played in the Central Regional in Lincoln, Neb., but failed to qualify for the NCAA Championships. The Sooners were a No. 8 seed and finished in 10th place with a score of 936, two strokes short of a qualifying score. Meldrum led all Sooners in the regional and finished tied for ninth.
This marks the fourth consecutive year for Edge and Meldrum to compete in the NCAA Regionals. Milberger will make her third straight appearance while Gala will compete in her second regional. Stelzer is playing in her first regional.
Competition begins Thursday, May 6 at 8 a.m. The second round will be held on Friday and the final round on Saturday. The Central Regional is one of three regional sites for the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships. The East Regional will be played in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., and the West Regional will be played in Palo Alto, Calif. The top eight teams and two individuals will advance from each region.
The NCAA Women’s Golf Championships will be held May 18-21 in Opelika, Ala.
OU Places Fourth At Big 12 Championships
The OU women’s golf team finished in fourth place at the 2004 Big 12 Championships with a two-round 607. The third and final round of the tournament was cancelled due to inclement weather.
Texas won the Big 12 Championships held at Pebble Creek Golf Course in College Station, Texas.
Leading the Sooners was senior Lisa Meldrum who tied for fourth place with a 147 (+3). Fellow senior Hope Edge tied for 10th with a 149 (+5), while junior Emily Milberger tied for 25th with a two-round total of 154 (+10). Freshman Jaclyn Stelzer, in her first postseason appearance, shot a 157 (+13) and tied for 39th. One stroke behind Stelzer was sophomore Amparo Gala who tied for 43rd.
For seniors Hope Edge and Lisa Meldrum, the NCAA Central Regional marks familiar territory. This will be the fourth consecutive year the seniors have played in the NCAA Regional. Meldrum has been the leading Sooner for the last three years. Emily Milberger will be making her third appearance while Amparo Gala will be making her second. For freshman Jaclyn Stezler, it will be her first NCAA Regional.
A Year Ago
At the 2003 Central Regional held in Lincoln, Neb., the Sooners were a No. 8 seed but failed to qualify for the championships. The Sooners finished 10th and were two strokes shy of eighth place, which would have resulted in a bid to the NCAA Championships.
Meldrum Named to All-Conference Team
Lisa Meldrum was named a first-team All-Big 12 member, an honor voted on by the leagues’s head coaches. It marks Meldrum’s fourth straight year to receive a conference postseason award. In 2003, she was named a second-team all-conference member and in 2002, she was honored as a first-team member. Meldrum was also named the 2001 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year.
Four members of the OU team were honored by the Big 12 Conference for their success in the classroom and on the golf course. Hope Edge, Emily Milberger and Amparo Gala were named first-team Academic All-Big 12 selections while Lisa Meldrum was honored as a second-team Academic All-Big 12 member.
When senior Lisa Meldrum has finished in the top five, the Sooners have excelled as well. In the seven tournaments that Meldrum placed in the top five individually, OU has finished no worse than sixth and have won the tournament title three times. When Meldrum has finished below the top five, the Sooners have only reached the top five on one occasion.
Golfer of the Month
Each month, the Big 12 Conference names a Big 12 Golfer of the Month and the Sooners have managed to earn two of the last five honors. Senior Lisa Meldrum swiped up the award in September after finishing first and second in the two tournaments OU entered. Sophomore Amparo Gala earned it in February for carding a career-best 220 in the Lady Puerto Rico Classic and earning eigth-place. The Sooners are the only team in the Big 12 to have earned it more than once.