No. 31 Tulane Golfers to Open Play at NCAA East Regional on Thursday

TULANEGREENWAVE.COM Tulane golfers will begin NCAA East Regional play on Thursday morning in Tallahassee, Fla.
Tulane golfers will begin NCAA East Regional play on Thursday morning in Tallahassee, Fla.

May 7, 2014

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NEW ORLEANS - Tulane's 31st-ranked (Golfweek) golf team will begin its bid for a return trip to the national championships when it opens NCAA East Regional play, this Thursday-Saturday, May 8-10, at the Southwood Golf Club in Tallahassee, Fla. The event is hosted by Florida State University.

The Green Wave will join golfers from Florida State and Kentucky during the morning session and the groups will begin at 6:45 a.m. CST from the 10th tee box.

Tulane is coming off its best performance of the year at the 2014 Conference USA Championships, where it not only claimed the league title, but received its most balanced effort of the season from its line-up with eight individual rounds of par or better in a 10-stroke victory.

"We have put in a really good week of practice during our exam week and we made sure the team had a good balance of exam preparation and practice time and I believe we are ready to compete and play well," Tulane head coach Lorne Don said. "We will take the same approach to regionals as we do for any other tournament. We have a good game plan for each of our golfers and we want to attack the course when we can and put ourselves into position to win."

"If we can play consistently like we have talked about all spring, I think we will find ourselves at the top of the leaderboard on Saturday. This is a very experienced and confident group that knows what it takes to compete in postseason play," Don added.

The Green Wave is making its 11th NCAA Regional appearance, including its 10th in the NCAA East Region field. The Wave also played in the NCAA East Region last season and re-wrote the school record book with its best overall finish in regional action, a runner-up performance, and the team produced the best 54-hole total in school history with a 12-under 852 total at the Auburn University Club in Auburn, Ala.

Tulane's five-player line-up is a very seasoned group with four of five players participating in NCAA East Regional play a year ago. Each of TU's players in the line-up this week earned All C-USA honors this season, including sophomore Emily Penttila, who is the 2014 C-USA Golfer of the Year and all-league first team selection. Penttila leads the team with a 72.78 scoring average on the year.

Junior Gemma Dryburgh joined Penttila on the first team, but added a more impressive feat to her resume on Tuesday with her selection to the 2014 Great Britain & Ireland Curtis Cup team. Dryburgh ranks second on the squad with a 73.33 average and was the C-USA individual runner-up.

Sophomore Silvia Garces ranks third on the team with a 73.73 average, while classmate Madison Opfer sports a 73.85 average. Both players were named to the All C-USA second team.

Freshman Belen Goicoechea was a third team all-league pick and she has produced a 75.00 average during her rookie season, but has improved to 74.44 during the spring.

The NCAA East Regional features 24 teams and six individual,s and includes nine Top-25 squads and 18 total schools are ranked among the nation's Top-50.

The NCAA East Regional field includes No. 3 Duke, No. 4 Stanford, No. 9 South Carolina, No. 10 Pepperdine, No. 13 Vanderbilt, No. 16 UCF, No. 21 Auburn, No. 23 Virginia, No. 24 Kentucky, No. 30 North Carolina State, No. 29 Florida State, No. 31 Tulane, No. 36 Louisville, No. 39 Baylor, No. 45 Campbell, No. 47 East Carolina, No. 49 Georgia, No. 50 East Tennessee State, Alabama State, College of Charleston, Murray State, Seton Hall, Texas State and Troy.

The top eight teams and two individuals from each of the three regional sites will advance to the NCAA Championships, May 20-23, at the Tulsa Country Club in Tulsa, Okla., and will be co-hosted by the University of Tulsa and the Tulsa Sports Commission.