The Missouri women’s golf team did something this weekend that no team had done in school history – qualify for the NCAA tournament.
Led by a strong opening round, the Tigers battled their way through tough conditions to finish third Saturday at the NCAA Central Regional Championships in Lubbock, Texas. Auburn won the tournament, and Texas A&M finished second. The top eight in the 21-team field qualified for the NCAA tournament in Sun River, Ore., on May 17-20.
“It was pretty emotional,” coach Stephanie Cooper said. “There wasn’t an award banquet or anything like that, so we missed out on that kind of thing, but we are still very happy with what we did.”
The Tigers, who finished 12th in the regional and were 13th two seasons ago, had a strong team effort. Although they didn’t have any individuals finish better than 20th, they were the only team to have four players in the top 30. Seniors Maria Ohlsson and Mindy Bullard finished in a tie for 20th.
“Mindy played awesome for us,” Cooper said. “She is a senior and really was focused for this tournament.”
Juniors Kelli Strubinger and Denise Knabel finished tied for 28th.
The Tigers were tied for second after the first round. They shot 22 strokes worse in the second round but still moved up to tie for first because the 35 mph winds caused trouble for everybody.