May 11, 2013
2013 NCAA East Regional
Dates: Thursday, May 9-Saturday, May 11
Course: Auburn University Golf Club • Auburn, Ala.
Length: 6,259 yards (Par-72)
NU Result: 6th/24 teams • 292-298-284=874 (+10)
Up Next: 2013 NCAA Championships • May 21-24 • University of Georgia Golf Course • Athens, Ga.
NCAA East Regional Results
AUBURN, Ala. – Northwestern saved its best for last, playing a phenomenal final 18 holes at the 2013 NCAA East Regional to finish sixth and clinch a trip to the 2013 NCAA Championships. The Wildcats entered Saturday’s final round in 10th place and posted the best round of the day out of the 24-team field, tying a program record in the process, with a 4-under 284. With the top eight teams advancing from each regional, NU earns just its second trip to the NCAA Championships in program history and first under 2013 Big Ten Coach of the Year, Emily Fletcher.
“These girls rocked it today, they were amazing,” Fletcher said. “They just had such a calm and confidence about them right from the get-go this morning. Obviously what Elizabeth (Szokol) went out and did was amazing, shooting 4-under. Everybody hung in there all day today and they were ready to go. We talked about still having our best round in front of us after the first two days. We felt like we could still go out there and have our best round of the tournament today and I’m just super excited for the team. Everybody contributed; Lauren (Weaver) stepped up, Hana (Lee), Kaitlin (Park) and how about Suchaya (Tangkamolprasert) with a 2-under par tournament. The team is very excited and we’re ready to come back to Atlanta next week.”
NU last qualified for the NCAA Championships in 2000 with the team placing second at regionals. This year, the Wildcats finished sixth with a 10-over 874, which matches the second-lowest tournament score in NU history. All five Wildcat regional competitors had stellar third rounds as two players finished under par, one was even, another finished 1-over and one was 2-over on the final 18.
Freshman Elizabeth Szokol (Winnetka, Ill./New Trier) had the best round of the day on Saturday, setting a new career-low with a 4-under 68. Beginning on hole No. 10, the first-time NCAA participant birdied holes 11 and 16 to finish 2-under on the back nine and added birdies on holes three and nine to card her first round in the 60’s. Szokol had a bogey-free round and finished the tournament with a career-low score of 3-over 219 (75-76-68).
Another freshman, Suchaya Tangkamolprasert (Bangkok, Thailand/Bromsgrove International), also posted career numbers at NCAA’s, carding a 1-under 215 (71-73-71) for the tournament. She again matched her career-low for 18 holes on Saturday with a 1-under 71. Tangkamolprastert had four birdies to offset three bogeys and had 11 pars to lead NU in the team standings (T-15) for the second time this season.
Senior Lauren Weaver (Scottsdale, Ariz./Cactus Shadows) has competed at regionals all four years at Northwestern and will now have the chance to finish her Wildcat career at the 2013 NCAA Championships. Weaver finished the tournament at 6-over 222 after posting a 2-over 74 on Saturday (73-75 in first two rounds).
Sophomore Hana Lee (Hacienda Heights, Calif./Wilson) finished one stroke behind Weaver at 7-over 223 and her best round of the tournament Saturday, carding an even 72. The First-Team All-Big Ten honoree was 3-over by the time she reached the third hole, but finished the round strong with birdies on holes four, six and seven, to go along with three pars.
Big Ten Freshman of the Year Kaitlin Park (Tustin, Calif./Beckman) finished the tournament one behind Lee at 8-over 224. Park improved her score each day and had her best tally of the tournament Saturday at 1-over 73.
The 10th-seeded Wildcats finished ahead of No. 3 seed UCLA (seventh place, +11) and No. 14 seed Auburn (eight place, +13). Top-seeded Alabama won the 24-team regional with a 20-under 844.
Northwestern will now prepare for the 2013 NCAA Championships, which run May 21-24, at the University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Ga.
2013 NCAA East Regional
Northwestern – 6th/24 teams • 292-298-284=874 (+10)
T15 - Suchaya Tangkamolprasert – 71-73-71=215 (-1)
32 - Elizabeth Szokol – 75-76-68=219 (+3)
T39 - Lauren Weaver – 73-75-74=222 (+6)
T44 - Hana Lee – 73-78-72=223 (+7)
T51 - Kaitlin Park – 77-74-73=224 (+8)
Top Eight Advancing Teams (Score) (Golfstat.com ranking)
1. Alabama (844, -20) (No. 2)
2. Tulane (852, -12) (No. 20)
T3. Arkansas (864, E) (No. 5)
T3. Oklahoma State (864, E) (No. 17)
5. Texas (871, +7) (No. 23)
6. Northwestern (874, +10) (No. 29)
7. UCLA (875, +11) (No. 8)
8. Auburn (877, +13) (No. 42)
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