Tulane's 19th-ranked Golfers Begin NCAA East Regional Play on Thursday

Tulane will open regional play this Thursday at Auburn, Ala.

Tulane will open regional play this Thursday at Auburn, Ala.

May 8, 2013

Tulane NCAA East Regional Guide

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NEW ORLEANS - Tulane's 19th-ranked golfers will make the program's 10th NCAA Regional appearance, all since 2000, when the team opens postseason play at the NCAA East Regional, Thursday-Saturday, May 9-11, at the Auburn University Club in Auburn, Ala.

Tulane, the regional's No. 7 seed, will join golfers from No. 8 seed Texas and No. 9 seed Notre Dame for the first two rounds and the groups will tee off from the first hole on Thursday at 7:30 a.m. and will begin from the 10th hole at 11:50 a.m. on Friday.

The top eight teams and two individuals from each of the three regional sites will advance to the NCAA Championships. The 2013 NCAA National Championships will be held May 21-24 at the UGA Golf Course in Athens, Ga., and will be hosted by the University of Georgia.

Live scoring and results will be available each day on www.GolfStat.com. Fans can also check the official website of Tulane Athletics: www.TulaneGreenWave.com and Twitter (@GreenWaveWGolf) for daily recaps, while video and photos from the second and final round will also be available.

"We had a solid week and a half of practice and everyone is playing well," Tulane head coach Andrew Pratt said. "We will take the same approach this week as we have to every tournament this season and that's to play one shot at a time and control our emotions. We need to play our game this week and not get caught up in the moment.

"This team has played well all year and the way they have played is good enough to win this championship. Our goal is to once again put ourselves in position to be in the last group on the final day and give ourselves a chance to win."

Tulane is making its ninth appearance in the NCAA East Region field. The Wave also played in the NCAA East Region last season and posted a 12th place finish. In 10 trips to regional play, the Wave has made just one appearance outside the NCAA East Region, which was the Central Region in 2011.

The Green Wave has advanced out of regional play to the NCAA Championships on three occasions, including 2005 (6th), 2009 (5th) and 2010 (6th), all from the NCAA East Region.

Tulane's line-up is loaded with five golfers who have registered at least four rounds under par this season and each has posted a Top-10 finish this year. Leading the way will be senior Maribel Lopez Porras, a 2013 All-Conference USA first team selection, who leads the squad with a 73.52 stroke average and has one tournament win this season, while sophomore Gemma Dryburgh has two first place finishes and was a second-team All C-USA performer.

The freshmen trio of Silvia Garces, Madison Opfer and Emily Penttila has played a huge role in the Wave's success this season. Garces has played in every tournament, while Opfer was named to the All C-USA second team. Penttila ranks second on the team with a 73.92 scoring average and was a first team All C-USA selection.

The Green Wave has posted top five finishes in all five spring events and in seven of nine tournaments this season.

The NCAA East Region features 24 teams and six individuals and includes eight Top-25 squads and 17 total schools are ranked among the nation's Top-50. Tulane is joined in the NCAA East Region by Conference USA members UCF and East Carolina, future C-USA member FIU and a pair of individuals from Tulsa.

Of the 24 teams in the NCAA East Regional, Tulane has faced off against 15 of the squads in tournament action this past season. The only schools the Wave hasn't seen this season are Notre Dame, Northwestern, Penn State, FIU, East Tennessee State, James Madison, Eastern Kentucky and Alabama State.

The Auburn University Club is a par 72, 6,259-yard course that was designed by Bill Bergin in 1999. Tulane last played on the course in the fall of 2008 during the inaugural season for the re-instated program and recorded an eighth-place finish at The Derby.

NCAA East Regional Participants:
1. Alabama (SEC)
2. Arkansas
4. North Carolina
5. Virginia
6. Oklahoma State (Big 12)
7. Tulane (Conference USA)
8. Texas
9. Notre Dame (Big East)
10. Northwestern (Big Ten)
11. Tennessee
12. Kentucky
13. Texas State
14. Auburn
15. UCF
16. Penn State
17. East Carolina
18. FIU (Sun Belt)
19. Ole Miss
20. East Tennessee State (Atlantic Sun)
21. Tennessee-Chattanooga (Southern)
22. James Madison (Colonial Athletic Association)
23. Eastern Kentucky (Ohio Valley)
24. Alabama State (Southwestern Athletic)

1. Natalie Wille, Augusta State
2. Kelly Shon, Princeton
3. Casey Kennedy, Augusta State
4. Isabel Southard, Boston College
5. Shu-Yin Liu, Tulsa
6. Kristina Merkle, Tulsa

Conference automatic qualifiers are indicated in parenthesis next to the institution