Senior Rachel Newren was an individual competitor at the 2006 NCAA Championships (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
DAYTONA BEACH -- The 15th-ranked BYU women's golf team is headed to Daytona Beach, Florida where they will play the 2007 NCAA Championships on May 22-25 at the LPGA National Resort.
This year marks the second year the Cougars have made it to the finals in the last three years. Before 2005, the last time the Cougars had a chance to play against the top-ranked teams in the nation was 20 years earlier in 1985.
"It's a dreamed-of opportunity to be at Nationals with your team," said junior Juli Erekson, "I'm just excited to be able to have this experience."
However, it is no surprise the Cougars are one of the 24 teams competing for the National Championship; their 2006-07 season has been their most successful season to date, with two team wins, one individual win and all but one broken program record. The upcoming competition week will be the perfect setting for BYU to beat their best finish yet at the finals. They placed 14th in 1985.
"We are excited to be here," said head coach Sue Nyhus, "We are excited to tee it up against the best in the country and show what we can do."
Three regional tournaments (East, Central and West) determined the championship field from May 10-12, the top eighth teams and two individuals advanced to the finals. The Cougars endured the 54-hole qualification, and earned one of the coveted spots at the West Regional for the right to play at the final and most important women's college golf event of the season: the 2007 NCAA Championships. BYU's fifth place finish in the West Regional two weeks ago was their best regional finish in school history.
BYU is led by senior All-American Rachel Newren, who was the 2007 Mountain West Conference Golfer of the Year. She leads her team with a 72.8 stroke average and is ranked No. 15 individually by Golfstat.com. Newren holds nearly every BYU women's golf record and will end her career in the national championship. At the 2007 NCAA West Regional, Newren finished in third place. She has finished in the top 20 in 29 different tournaments during her four-year career.
Fans can follow the tournament live on the internet at www.golfstat.com.
BYU GOLF QUICK FACTS
2007 MWC Finish: 2nd
2007 NCAA W. Reg Finish: 5th
Head Coach: Sue Nyhus, 6th year
Assistant Coach: Dave DeSantis, 5th year
Last NCAA Championship Appearance: 2005, finished 24th
06-07 Team Stroke Averages
Rachel Newren, Sr. 72.8
Juli Erekson, Jr. 75.4
Danielle von Arnim Sr. 76.1
Daphne Vines Fr. 76.5
Ashley Childers Jr. 78.1
06-07 Team Top Five Finishes (9)
1st UNLV Spring Invitational 3/07
1st BYU Dixie Classic 4/07
2nd Dick McGuire Invitational 9/06
2nd Ron Moore Invitational 9/06
2nd TaylorMade Aztec Fall Classic 10/06
2nd MWC Championship 4/07
3rd Donnis Thompson Invitational 3/07
4th Arizona Wildcat Invitational 2/07
5th NCAA West Regional 5/07
BYU in the National Rankings
No. 13 Golfstat Head-to-Head Rankings
No. 16 Golfweek Team Rankings