Sanchez Lobato To Represent UGA At NCAAs
May 21, 2012
Sanchez Lobato To Represent UGA At NCAA Championships
Freshman Rocio Sanchez Lobato will carry the battleflag for the Georgia Bulldogs into the NCAA Women's Golf Championships at Vanderbilt's Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn., on May 22-25.
Sanchez Lobato advanced as one of two individuals from the Regional by tying for 10th. The Marbella, Spain, native notched her second straight top-10 of the postseason after tying for eighth at the SEC Championships.
Georgia, which spent virtually the entire season ranked among the nation's top-10, failed to qualify for the team field for the NCAAs after the third-seeded Bulldogs tied for 10th at the Central Regional in Columbus, Ohio.
"It's obviously a surprise that we didn't advance as a team and also a bit surprising that `Ro' is our individual who did," head coach Kelley Hester said. "Both Emilie Burger and Marta Silva Zamora had great seasons, but `Ro' had a very strong year as well. She's played very well over the past month and shown she's capable of playing as well as anyone in the country."
Sanchez Lobato will tee of at 8:28 a.m. CT with Margarita Ramos of Arizona and Gabby Dominguez of Texas Tech in Tuesday's opening round. For the remaining three rounds, individuals will be paired according to their place on the leaderboard. All six individuals will play in the afternoon on Wednesday and Friday and in the morning wave on Thursday.
Georgia's Individual History At The National Championships
All told, Georgia golfers have posted 21 top-10 and 36 top-20 individual finishes at the national championships. Terri Moody (1981), Cindy Schreyer (1984) and Vicki Goetze (1992) headline that ledger with a trio of individual national titles.
UGA's tally of three individual crowns ranks third nationally behind Arizona State (five) and Arizona (four). Duke, Southern Cal, Texas and Tulsa also have produced three national medalists.
Hester's History With Individuals
Kelley Hester has brought an individual golfer to the NCAA Championships on three prior occasions.
In 2007, Hester's final season at Arkansas before returning to her alma mater in Athens, Lady Razorback Stacy Lewis won medalist honors at the NCAAs in Daytona, Fla.
In each of the past two years, Marta Silva Zamora represented UGA on an individual basis. She tied for 33rd in Wilmington, N.C., in 2010 and for fourth a year ago in College Station, Texas, to wrap up consensus National Player of the Year honors.
Trio Earns SEC Accolades
Emilie Burger, Rocio Sanchez Lobato and Marta Silva Zamora earned Southeastern Conference postseason honors announced by the league on May 4.
Burger and Silva Zamora were tabbed first-team All-SEC, while Sanchez Lobato was named to the All-Freshman squad. In the process, Silva Zamora became just the seventh four-time first-team All-SEC performer in women's golf. She is the third Georgia golfer to do so, joining Shauna Estes (1997-00) and Whitney Wade (2004-07).
"Emilie, Marta and Ro all have had very solid seasons and this recognition is well deserved," Kelley Hester said. "With each of them, I still think they may have their best golf this season ahead of them in the postseason."
Sanchez Lobato has three top-10 finishes, including back-to-back top-10s at the SEC Championships (t-8th) and NCAA Central Regional (t-10th).
"Rocio has exceeded our expectations," Hester said. "I knew she was very talented but the transition can be tougher on international kids. She stepped in and immediately filled a void."
We'll See You Next May In Athens
A tradition four decades in the making will return of women's college golf next spring when the NCAA Championships return to the University of Georgia Golf Course on May 21-24.
The UGA layout also hosted the NCAAs in 1983 and 1993, as well as the 1981 AIAW Championships. In addition, the course hosts the Liz Murphey Collegeiate Classic, one of the oldest women's intercollegiate events in any sport. The 40th annual LMCC was held this spring. The 2012-13 edition of the Liz will serve as the Fall Preview on Sept. 5-7.
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