March 14, 2001
"Our 2000-01 campaign began with the most qualified group of athletes I have ever coached in terms of tournament play and tournament success", head coach Sue Bower comments. " My optimism is at an all-time high because of the senior leadership in co-captains Pam Buff and Bonnie Hanlin and the 12th ranked recruiting class in the nation."
The team returns Pam Buff, Marcela Gonzalez and Kathy Schafer, three players that participated in Tulane's first ever team NCAA Regional appearance. The experience gained from playing in the East Regional hosted by The Ohio State University is a valuable foundation on which the Green Wave golf team can build.
Pam Buff wraps up her four-year Green Wave career in 2001 as one of two senior co-captains on the squad. This All-American and three-time Conference USA Player of the Year looks to play in her fourth consecutive NCAA Regional. She participated in all five fall tournaments and finished the season with an 80.93 stroke average. In 2000, Buff posted three top-10 finishes and was named the Tulane Female Athlete of the Year.
After playing in two tournaments in the fall, Marcela Gonzalez will contribute to the upperclass leadership on this squad. In the spring of 2000, Gonzalez participated in all six tournaments with her best showing at the Conference USA Championship, a tie for 15th. Last season she was named a National Collegiate Golf Association All-Scholar team member.
Kathy Schafer had a strong freshman debut in 2000 capped off by a ninth-place finish in the Conference USA Championship and received All-C-USA Tournament Team honors. In the fall of 2000, Schafer had a team low stroke average of 78.60 and had three top-30 finishes including an 11th place finish in the Franklin Street Trust/Tar Heel Invitational.
The second of the team's co-captains is senior Bonnie Hanlin. She played in four of the five 2000 fall tournaments. Her single round low of 77 in the fall was recorded twice in the first and second rounds of the Lady Paladin Golf Invitational.
The squad is enhanced by the strongest recruiting class, 12th in the nation by Golfstat, in Bower's nine year tenure at Tulane.
Carolin Landmann of Dreieich, Germany, brings considerable talent to the Green Wave as she was the 1999 German Amateur champion. She was also invited by the Spanish Golf Federation to play in the 2000 Sherry Cup and the Spanish Ladies Amateur Championships. She had a solid fall performance as she played in all five of the tournaments and finished in the top-10 at the Auburn Tiger Derby in her collegiate debut.
Mary Jan Fernandez, of Henderson, Nev., was the 14th ranked junior player in the nation according to Golfweek/Sagarin ranking system in 2000. She was also named a Second Team AJGA All-American in 2000. In the fall she participated in four tournaments and posted her best finish in the Memphis Women's Intercollegiate, a tie for ninth. She finished the fall with a 79.00 stroke average.
Rounding out the trio of newcomers is Carrie Farnham of Cincinnati, Ohio. She was a four year starter for the Ursuline Academy golf team, the 1999 Ohio High School state champions. She finished in a tie for seventh in the championship.
The three freshmen, who had solid fall seasons demonstrate the bright future the Tulane women's golf program has in store.
"This team is one of the hungriest I have coached. No team I have been with has worked harder in the off season. They have demonstrated a concerted effort on their short game." Bower said.
Tulane's fall schedule was the most demanding in Green Wave history. The Auburn Tiger Derby Invitational in early September gave TU a quick indication of where they were in relation to the top programs of the East.
"With seven of 12 teams having competed in the NCAA East regional event last spring, we were up against the finest programs the East coast has to offer," Bower said.
The Green Wave suffered a set back when freshman Fernandez came down with the chicken pox and was quarantined for a week. The team remained positive but the field played well and TU finished tied for 10th.
"I was encouraged by Landmann's performance in the third round," Bower said. "In fact, all four of our players shot below 78 in the third round."
A new addition to the fall schedule was the Memphis Women's Intercollegiate in which the Wave finished seventh. The level of competition was less than that of the previous tournament but the elements hindered TU's performance. However, Fernandez's debut shined through the rain and the wind chill factor of 30 degrees. Still fatigued from the chicken pox, Fernandez tied for ninth place, demonstrating her bright future.
The Wave's third tournament of the fall the Franklin Street Trust/ Tar Heel Invitational, showcased No. 1 Duke and numerous top-20 programs. Tulane was paced by a very strong 11th place finish by Schafer.
Despite a 15th place finish, the Lady Paladin Golf Tournament, hosted by Furman, was the highlight of the Wave's fall. The level of play by the Green Wave squad was the most consistent of the fall. Schafer continued a strong campaign with a top-30 finish and was two under until the last two holes in the third round. Her third round score of 73 was one of the lowest on the day.
For the second time in three years the Green Wave headed to Hawaii to participate in the Rainbow Wahine Fall Golf Classic. Tulane's play was solid with an eighth place finish in a strong Pac-10 driven level of play. Landmann (T19) and Fernandez (T25) led the way with top-25 finishes.
A final highlight of the fall was the signing of prep standouts Alexis Wooster, the 2000 Illinois high school champion, and Lindsay Hulwick, the Colorado Amateur Champion in 2000.
Tulane finished the fall season in 62nd according to the Golfstat rankings released in November, partly attributed to inconsistent play.
"We took a gamble by playing four new courses," Bower comments. "This spring we will play three familiar courses in the Green Wave Women's Golf Classic, the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic hosted by Georgia and the LSU/Cleveland Golf Classic in Baton Rouge, La."
Tulane kicks off its spring season hosting the Green Wave Women's Golf Classic on March 5-6. The Classic is scheduled for Lakewood Country Club, a familiar course to the Wave. The tournament will set the season's tone as four of the teams competing are in the top-30 and seven are in the top-50 after the fall ratings.
"This will be an exciting as it is our first ever defense of a tournament title," Bower said. "We have historically played well in this event as the familiarity of Lakewood and the comfort of staying at home has worked in our favor."
Following the season opener Tulane will compete in the South Florida Waterlefe Invitational, the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic, the LSU/Cleveland Golf Classic and then the Conference USA Championships hosted by UAB.
In 2001, the NCAA has expanded its field of play to 63 teams compared to the 48 last season. Along with the expanded field change is an automatic berth for winning the Conference USA Championship.