May 16, 2010
NORMAN, Okla. - University of Oklahoma women's golfer Ellen Mueller will compete individually at the 2010 NCAA Championships May 18-21 (Tuesday through Friday) in Wilmington, N.C. The 72-hole tournament, hosted by the University of North Carolina Wilmington, will be played at the 6,368 -yard, par-72 Country Club of Landfall.
Mueller qualified for nationals by finishing in a tie for seventh place at the NCAA West Regional (May 6-8) in Stanford, Calif., with a three-round score of 219 (+6). "Competing in the national championship was one of my goals at the beginning of the year, but I did not focus on it," said Mueller. "All season I worked on playing solid, consistent golf which allowed me to be in this position."
Mueller finished the West Regional first round with a 76 (+5) and in a tie for 47th place. She gradually fought back over the remaining two rounds, shooting a 72 (+1) Friday and a 71 (E) Saturday. In order to advance to the NCAA Championships, Mueller had to finish among the top two individuals among the regional's 16 non-advancing teams and the other two individual regional qualifiers.
"I didn't feel much pressure at regionals to make it to nationals," the junior said. "I knew if I could put three solid rounds together I would have a chance to qualify."
|NCAA Golf Championships Info.|
Mueller, who was recently named to the 2009-10 All-Big 12 Team, holds a 74.34 season stroke average, a program best. She has finished in the top 25 of each tournament during the 2009-10 season, and six of her 13 tournament appearances resulted in top-10 finishes.
This will mark her first appearance in the NCAA Championships. The four-round tournament will feature 24 teams and six individual qualifiers. "The Country Club of Landfall is one of the premiere college courses in the nation," said OU head coach Veronique Drouin. "This week's challenge will be around and on the greens. The greens are rolling pretty fast and will continue to speed up throughout the week."
This marks the second straight year a Sooner has advanced to nationals as an individual. Kendall Dye finished in 52nd place last year in Owings Mills, Md. Mueller will be grouped Tuesday and Wednesday with fellow individual competitors Rosalyn Kim of Texas Tech and Nina Muehl of East Tennessee State. The group will tee off at 7:55 a.m. CT Tuesday on hole No. 10.