The Road to Grayhawk: NCAA Women’s Regional Championship Preview

The road to Grayhawk clearly defined its lanes today with the announcement of the course for the 2022 NCAA Division I NCAA Women’s Golf Championships. Seventy-two teams, along with 36 individuals not associated with qualifying teams, will begin play in six regional sites across the country on Monday, May 9. Each region will be contested over three days and 54 holes, with the top four teams and two weak individuals qualifying for the national championships at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., May 20-25.

Stanford clinched the No. 1 seed overall while Oregon, South Carolina, Wake Forest, San Jose State and Oklahoma State also clinched the top seeds. Oregon (Albuquerque Regional) and San Jose State (Ann Arbor Regional) are the only two top seeds not playing on their home courses.

Here’s a look at the course for the NCAA Women’s Division I Golf Championships.

Stanford Regional; Stanford Golf Course; May 9-11; Stanford, California.

The teams: 1.Stanford; 2. Southern California; 3. LSU (Southeastern Conference); 4.Texas Tech; 5. Kentucky; 6. State of Iowa; 7. Northwest; 8.Purdue; 9. UNLV; 10. Cal Poly (Big West Conference); 11. Princeton (Ivy League); 12. Sacred Heart (Northeast Conference)

People: 1. Riana Mission, San Francisco; 2. Jennifer Koga, Sacramento State; 3. Kirsten Baete, Nebraska; 4. Victoria Galey, Nevada; 5. Leah John, Nevada; 6. Siripatsorn Patchana, Grand Canyon (Western Athletic Conference)

What to look for: With the world’s top three female amateurs in LSU’s Ingrid Lindblad, Stanford’s Rose Zhang and Rachel Heck, two former U.S. amateur champions (Zhang; Jensen Castle, Ky.) and LSU’s ANWA runner-up Latanna Stone, there’s no shortage of Stanford Regional of individual star power. The first three seeds are very strong. Stanford came through the doors quickly to start the season, winning each of its first four tournaments, but has only won once since. Heck missed the Pac-12 championships due to illness and his status for regionals is uncertain. With or without Heck, the Cardinal will be tough to beat on his home run. USC, led by freshman sensation Amari Avery, Cindy Kou and Brianna Navarrosa, is also very familiar with the Stanford golf course. The interesting battle will be for the fourth and last place. 4-seeded Texas Tech had a streak of streak this year but picked up a big win at MountainView Intercollegiate, where they finished ahead of San Jose State and Oklahoma State. The Red Raiders will be pushed by Kentucky, Iowa State and Northwstern.

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Franklin Regional; Vanderbilt Legends Club; May 9-11; Franklin, Tennessee.

The teams: 1. Wake Forest (Atlantic Coast Conference); 2. Alabama; 3.Texas A&M; 4. Duke; 5. State of Oregon; 6.Vanderbilt; 7.BYU; 8. Kent State (Mid-American Conference); 9.UTSA; 10. Augusta (Southland Conference); 11. Boston University (Patriotic League); 12. Austin Peay (Ohio Valley Conference)

People: 1. Will Hasegawa, ETSU; 2. Mikayla Bardwell, Tennessee; 3. Tara Bettle, UNCG; 4. Dorota Zalewska, Chattanooga (Southern Conference); 5. Hollie Muse, ETSU; 6. Payton Carter, Murray State (Ohio Valley Conference)

What to look for: With five wins on the season, including the ACC Championship, Wake Forest is a solid No. 1 seed. Duke, one of the nation’s most successful programs under Dan Brooks, lost its best player to Gina Kim to off the LPGA Tour mid-season, but Phoebe Brinker and Erica Shepherd finished 1-2 at the ACC Championships. The dark horse in this region could be the Oregon State Beavers, who had a strong showing at the Pac-12 Championships last week, tying for second place with Stanford.

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Albuquerque Regional; The championship course at UNM; May 9-11; Albuquerque, New Mexico

The teams: 1. Oregon (Pac-12 Conference); 2. Florida; 3. Texas (Big 12 conference); 4.Arizona; 5. Georgia; 6.TCU; 7. Louisville; 8. North Texas (USA Conference); 9.Oklahoma; 10. State of Sam Houston; 11. Northern Arizona (Big Sky conference); 12. New Mexico State (Western Athletic Conference)

People: 1. Patricia Mackova, Maryland; 2. Sara Kjellker, State of San Diego; 3. Bernice Olivarez Ilas, San Diego State; 4. Napat Lertsadwattana, New Mexico; 5. Lauren Lehigh, New Mexico; 6. Pluem Yongyuan, So. Utah

What to look for: It’s amazing the progress Oregon has made in such a short time under head coach Derek Radley. The Ducks, who hadn’t won a tag team title in five years this season, have won four games this season, including their first Pac-12 championship last week at Eugene Country Club. The Ducks also travel well, as two of their wins have come in the Southeast at the Mason Rudolph Invitational (Nashville, Tennessee) and the Florida State Matchup (Tallahassee, Fla.). Florida made it to the SEC Championship Game where they fell to LSU and Texas is coming off a victory at the Big 12 Championships last week. There should be a lot of tension surrounding the team that takes fourth and final place.

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Ann Arbor Regional; University of Michigan Golf Course; May 9-11; Ann Arbour, Mich.

The teams: 1. San Jose State (Mountain West Conference); 2. Virginia; 3. Michigan (Big Ten conference); 4.Arkansas; 5.FCU; 6.Virginia Tech; 7. North Carolina; 8. Washington; 9. State of Ohio; 10. Pepperdine; 11. Xavier (Great East); 12. Oakland (Horizon League)

People: 1. Jana Melichova, ODU; 2. Aine Donegan, Indiana; 3. Chloe Schiavone, Notre Dame; 4. Ragnhildur Kristinsdottir, Eastern Kentucky; 5. Jasmine Ly, Northern Illinois (Mid-American Conference); 6. Katherine Lemke, Creighton (Big East Conference)

What to look for: San Jose State has been one of the most consistent teams in the nation this year as the Spartans have finished no lower than fifth in the team standings in their nine all-around events this season, collecting four victories along the way. In three of their wins, the Spartans beat No. 1 Stanford (twice) and No. 2 Oregon en route to the tag team title. Michigan, which will play on its home course, is riding a wave of playoff momentum after winning its first Big 10 championship last week. The Wolverines are very strong at the top of the roster with Big 10 Player of the Year Ashley Lau and first-team selections Monet Chun, the individual Big 10 champion, and Hailey Borja. Arkansas hasn’t been the same team since losing Brooke Matthews to the LPGA Tour mid-season and will have to push back up to five schools if they want to hold on to fourth place. The dark horse in this region could be the Washington Huskies, who had strong first two rounds at the Pac-12 Championships before stumbling on the final day.

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Stillwater Regional; Karsten Creek Golf Club; May 9-11; Stillwater, Okla.

The teams: 1. State of Oklahoma; 2. State of Arizona; 3. Baylor; 4. Auburn; 5. State of Michigan; 6.Clemson; 7. Campbell (Greater Southern Conference); 8. Furman (Southern Conference); 9. NC status; 10. California; 11. Tulane (American Athletics Conference); 12. Illinois State (Missouri Valley Conference)

People: 1. Lilly Thomas, Tulsa; 2. Kiana Oshiro, Oral Roberts; 3. Sarah Bell, Oral Roberts; 4. Ellen Nicholas, Incarnate Word (Southland Conference); 5. Kennedy Pedigo, SMU (American Athletic Conference); 6. Kristen Giles, Drake (Missouri Valley Conference)

What to look for: Oklahoma State has been one of the most resilient teams in the nation. After losing their top two players in Caley McGinity and Isabella Fierro at the mid-season transfer gate, the Cowgirls marched to clinch a seed. Playing on its home course at Karsten Creek Golf Club will be a huge advantage for OSU. With seniors Alexandra Forsterling and Alessandra Fanali both picking up late-season wins, the Sun Devils have plenty of experience at the top of their roster. Baylor, led by Gurleen Kaur, just finished second in the Big 12 Championships last week. Auburn will be pushed by Michigan State and Clemson for fourth place.

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Tallahassee Regional; Seminole Legacy Golf Club; May 9-11; Tallahassee, Florida.

The teams: 1. South Carolina; 2.UCLA; 3. State of Florida; 4. Ole Miss; 5. Ill.; 6. State of Mississippi; 7. Miami (Florida); 8. Denver (The Summit League); 9. North Florida (Atlantic Sun Conference); 10. College of Charleston (Colonial Athletic Association); 11. Georgia Southern (Sun Belt Conference); 12. Quinnipiac (Atlantic Metro Athletic Conference)

People: 1. Letizia Bagnoli, Florida Atlantic (USA Conference); 2. Melanie Green, South Florida; 3. Olivia Schmidt, Arkansas State; 4. Berta Sanchez Sabe, Jacksonville State; 5. Alizee Vidal, Kennesaw State (Atlantic Sun Conference); 6. Victoria Schroedl, Fairleigh Dickinson (Northeast Conference)

What to look for: Despite revamping its entire team a year ago, South Carolina has won five times during the regular season. UCLA, led by Emma Spitz, will have to endure a cross-country trip and play on unfamiliar ground at the Seminole Legacy Golf Club. Florida State won its first-ever NCAA Regional Championship last year when it won the title at Louisville Regional, is a solid third seed on its home course while Ole Miss will look to find the same magic that carried him to the national championship last year.