Rocio Sanchez Lobato tied for 8th at the SEC Championships.
April 30, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. --- The Georgia women's golf team will open NCAA competition as the No. 3 seed in the Central Regional in Columbus, Ohio from May 10-12.
"The No. 3 seed seemed right," head coach Kelley Hester said. "We've been one of the top nine or 10 teams in the country for the better part of the year."
The Bulldogs will be among 24 teams and six individuals competing at the Ohio State Scarlet Course. Additional Regionals will be held simultaneously in State College, Pa., and Erie, Colo.
"Several people have asked me where I wanted to go over the past week and I was hesitant to say," Hester said. "I didn't want to put too many eggs in one basket but in the back of my mind, I was thinking Ohio State. It's the course I'm probably most familiar with since the 2006 NCAAs were there and we played in a Regional there in 2000 when I was an assistant coach. It's also probably the easiest travel of the three."
The top eight teams and the top two individuals who are not members of those teams from each Regional will move on to compete at the NCAA Championships at the Vanderbilt Legends Club on May 22-25.
Southern Cal is the No. 1 seed in Columbus, which features no less than seven Southeastern Conference schools. Auburn is the No. 2 seed, followed by the Bulldogs, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Ohio State, Oregon, N.C. State, Virginia, Florida State, Purdue, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Kentucky, Texas State, South Florida, Notre Dame, Texas-San Antonio, East Carolina, Michigan, UNC Wilmington, Harvard, Butler and Siena.
"The bottom line is if you play well you make it through," Hester said. "We'll focus on what we need to do to do that. They seed the top 18 teams to get a balanced field and it appears to me that it's balanced fairly. This Regional is SEC heavy. That probably reflects on what we already knew…the SEC is tough, especially this year."
Eleven SEC schools received bids to the NCAAs. Alabama, Florida and South Carolina will compete in the East Regional in State College, while LSU will travel to the West Regional in Colorado.
The Bulldogs are ranked among the nation's top 10 teams in all three polls – No. 9 by Golfstat and No. 10 by both Golfweek and Golf World. Georgia's Emilie Burger and Marta Silva Zamora are listed among the top-20 in three individual national rankings as well.
Four-fifths of the Bulldogs' lineup has been constant throughout the 2011-12 campaign. In addition to Burger and Silva Zamora, senior Milena Savich and freshman Rocio Sanchez Lobato have competed in all nine tournaments to date. That quartet has combined for 31 of UGA's 32 par-or-better rounds and all 10 top-10 and 18 top-20 individual finishes.
Georgia has a rich history of success in the national championships, both in the team and individual competitions. The Bulldogs claimed the 2001 NCAA Championship and have posted 25 top-20 and 20 top-10 finishes over the past 33 years. Georgia has produced three individual national champions – Terri Moody in 1981, Cindy Schreyer in 1984 and Vicki Goetze in 1992.