April 25, 2011
The No. 5 California Women's Golf team earned its 12th consecutive NCAA Regional bid on Monday, April 25, when they were announced as part of the 24-team field competing at the LPGA International Legends Course in Daytona Beach, Fla. May 5-7.
The NCAA post-season tournament consists of the NCAA Regionals, played at three different sites. The low eight teams and the low two individuals, not on those teams, will advance to the NCAA Championships at the Traditions Club, in College Station, Texas, May 18-21, 2011.
California is the three-seed in the East Regional. The teams competing there will be (in order of seeding): Alabama, Purdue, California, Arizona State, Auburn, Michigan State, North Carolina, Vanderbilt, Florida, Florida State, Colorado, TCU, Louisville, Mississippi, Texas Tech, FIU, Coastal Carolina, Augusta State, Yale, Kentucky, Stetson, North Carolina Wilmington, Fairleigh Dickinson, and Alabama State.
Three, 54-hole regional competitions will be conducted to determine the participants at the national championships final site. Twenty-four teams and six individuals, not on those teams, will compete at each regional site. The low eight teams and the low two individuals, not on those teams, will advance to the finals at the Traditions Club, in College Station, Texas, May 18-21, 2011.
"Today is a really exciting day commencing post season," said head coach Nancy McDaniel. "This team has really worked hard to put themselves in a strong position going into NCAA regionals. We feel like Daytona will be another fun challenge on route to the NCAA Championship."
The Bears moved up two places in the Golfweek poll, climbing back to No. 5, after their strong finish at the Pac-10 Championships. The Bears finished in fourth at the Pac-10, shooting an 880 (+16).
The Bears head into the NCAA Regionals after a very successful season. The Bears won three tournaments, taking the Edean Ihlanfeldt in Washington in October, and then earned back-to-back victories in the Peg Barnard Invitational and the Juli Inkster Spartan Invitational, the first time Cal won back-to-back tournaments since 2003 when they won the team title at the Pac-10 Championships and then the NCAA Central Regional.
For the first time in program history, the Bears had four players earn individual medalist honors in tournaments. Senior Pia Halbig started it off for the Bears with her first career win at the Mason Rudolph in Tennessee in September. Junior Emily Childs also had a fall victory, winning the Edean Ihlandfelt (alongside the team's title). Childs went on to earn medalist honors in Cal's two spring team victories as well, the Peg Barnard and the Juli Inkster. It is the first time in Cal program history that a player has won back-to-back medalist honors. Childs is also the first Cal player to win three tournaments in her career. Four other players (Sarah Huarte, Anne Walker, Vikki Laing, and Shannon Yocum) had twice won individual medalist honors but Childs became the first to win three tournaments as a Bear.
Cal saw other records broken by players this season as well. Junior Joanne Lee broke her own record of lowest round, shooting a six-under 65 in the first round of the Pac-10 SEC Challenge. The previous record, a five-under 67, was held by Lee and four other players, including Halbig who shot a 67 en route to winning the Mason Rudolph.
Even Cal's number five golfer got into the record books, sinking a hole-in-one in the final round of the Pac-10 Championships. Freshman Nicola Roessler holed the par-three 16th hole.
The Bears had three players earn All-Pac-10 honors. Emily Childs, Pia Halbig, and Joanne Lee were all named to the Pac-10 second team. It was the second time Lee earned second team honors. Halbig earned first-team honors as a sophomore in 2009 and second-team honors as a freshman in 2008.
The Bears are trying to make it back to the NCAA National Championships for the first time since 2006. Cal has been to the National Championships six times (2001-06).