Tide Travels to Texas in Search of First National Title
The Alabama Crimson Tide venture to the state of Texas for the 2011 NCAA Women's Golf Championship on May 18-21 at the Traditions Club in Bryan, Texas. The par 72 course measures 6,260 yards for this year's championship and is hosted by Texas A&M. Alabama won the NCAA East Regional to qualify for its sixth straight NCAA Championship appearance. The Tide is among the top-three seeds and will open play in a threesome with Southern California and UCLA during the first two rounds.
Crimson Tide Making Sixth Straight Visit to NCAA Championship
The Alabama women's golf team is making its sixth straight appearance in the NCAA Championship under the direction of head coach Mic Potter and their seventh overall. Alabama also competed in seven AIAW Nationals from 1975-81. The Tide finished third at the 2010 NCAA Championship, five shots off Purdue's winning score. The Crimson Tide is ranked third in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index and third in the NGCA Coaches' Poll. Three Tide golfers bring a wealth of NCAA Championship experience into the Tradition Club with senior Camilla Lennarth making her fourth appearance, junior Brooke Pancake teeing it up for the third time and sophomore Jennifer Kirby making her second trip to nationals. It is the second visit of the season to the Traditions Club for the Tide who visited back in September and won the Fall Preview with a 15-under-par total of 849. UA had three players finish in the top 10 with Lennarth and Pancake tied for fourth at 5-under 211 and Kirby tied for ninth at 4-under 212.
Alabama Cleans Up in SEC Postseason Awards
Alabama followed up its second-place finish at the Southeastern Conference Championship with a bevy of postseason awards handed out by the league. Crimson Tide head coach Mic Potter was named the league's Coach of the Year for the third time (second straight), while Stephanie Meadow was selected as the co-SEC Freshman of the Year and Brooke Pancake was tabbed as the conference's Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive year. The Tide also had four All-SEC selections with junior Brooke Pancake, freshman Stephanie Meadow and senior Camilla Lennarth garnering first-team accolades while Jennifer Kirby earned second-team honors. Lennarth becomes the first UA golfer to earn first-team All-SEC honors three times.
Freshman Stephanie Meadow Turning Heads
True freshman Stephanie Meadow gives Alabama its fourth straight SEC Freshman of the Year candidate and its second winner — joining Jennifer Kirby who won last year. In 10 tournaments as a true freshman, Meadow has logged seven top-20 finishes, six top-five showings and three victories. She ranks fourth in the Golfweek/Sagarian Performance Index and leads the team with a school-record 71.83 average. Meadow's wins came at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic where she shot a 4-under-par 212, the Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate with a 5-under-par 211 and the NCAA East Regional where she carded a 9-under 207. Meadow was selected twice as the SEC Women Golfer of the Week and Golfweek National Player of the Week after her first two wins. The three wins are a single-season school record while also tying the career mark for wins. She has led UA in scoring in all six events this spring and not finished lower than fourth.
Alabama's starting lineup for the 2011 SEC Championships has three foreign born players in the starting lineup. The American's are Chattanooga, Tenn., native Brooke Pancake and Birmingham's Hannah Collier. The Crimson Tide start Swedish player Camilla Lennarth (Stockholm, Sweden), Canadian Jennifer Kirby (Paris, Ontario, Canada) and Stephanie Meadow who hails from Jordanstown, Northern Ireland.
Many of Alabama's team and individual records have fallen since Mic Potter arrived at the Capstone. But the pure numbers posted by the Crimson Tide squad in 2010-11 are impressive. Both Stephanie Meadow and Brooke Pancake are on pace to break Camilla Lennarth's single-season scoring mark of 72.59 set last year. Meadow boasts a 71.83, which ranks third nationally and second in the SEC, while Pancake is close behind at 72.13. The Tide has won five team titles this season while Meadow and Pancake have combined to win four medalist honors. UA is averaging a school-record 289.67 strokes per round as a team and a 73.48 individually. UA's top four players are all averaging 74.2 or better while Alabama ranks fourth nationally with a drop score of 77.68.
Alabama is ranked No. 3 in the most recent Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index, the May 10 Golfworld/NGCA Coaches' Poll and third in the Golfstat.com NCAA head-to-head rankings. The Crimson Tide also ranks in the top 5 in 21 major statistical categories kept on Golfstat.com. UA is either first or second nationally in par 3 scoring, par 4 scoring, subpar storkes per round, ham and egg, bogeys per round, greens in regulation, GIR within 15 feet, par 3 GIR, putts on GIR and sand saves.
Four Alabama golfers are ranked in the top 50 of the Golfweek/Sagarin Player Index. True Freshmen Stephanie Meadow leads the way at No. 4 with junior Brooke Pancake at No. 8 and senior Camilla Lennarth at No. 24 while sophomore Jennifer Kirby comes in at No. 54 in the country.
Pancake leads the nation in first-round score (70.80), is second in fewest three-putt holes (.40), third in putts on GIR (1.803)fifth in par 3 scoring (3.00), sixth in par 4 scoring (4.04), seventh in birdies (93), 12th in subpar stokes per round (3.10) and 15th in greens in regulation (GIR).
Meadow ranks fourth in par 3 scoring (2.99), ninth in par 4 scoring (4.05), third in pars per round (12.57), third in fewest bogeys per round (2.33), 10th in greens in regulation (.713), fourth in GIR on par 3s (.764), fewest three-putt holes per round (.70) and sixth in total short game (.635).
Lennarth is ranked fourth in low round scores (65), 23rd in birdies (86), 13th in fewest bogeys per round (2.90), seventh in GIR within 15 feet (.367) and 10th in par-3 GIR (.732).
Crimson Tide under Potter
Alabama head coach Mic Potter is in his sixth season at the helm of the Crimson Tide program. He has led the Tide to 12 tournament titles, including a school-record five wins this season. The Crimson Tide won the Fall Preview, the Tar Heel Invitational, the Lady Puerto Rico Classic, Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic and the NCAA East Regional. Under his direction, the Crimson Tide has produced 10 medalists after Stephanie Meadow's record-setting third win of the 2011 season at the NCAA East Regional. Overall, Alabama has competed in 67 tournaments with Potter at the helm and finished in the top five on 40 occasions and top three 31 times. UA has finished in the top three in nine of 10 events this season and has a school-record five tournament titles for the 2010-2011 season.