Senior Maribel Lopez Porras is the first Tulane golfer to play in three NCAA Championships, including twice with the team (2013, 2010) and once as an individual in 2011.
May 20, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - Tulane's 14th-ranked golf team begins its 72-hole march toward the national championship on Tuesday at 11:58 a.m. CST when it opens NCAA Championship play at the University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Ga.
The University of Georgia is the host site of this year's national championships and the four-day event will run Tuesday-Friday, May 21-24, and features 24 teams and six individuals. The top eight teams from each regional and two individuals not on the qualifying teams will compete in the NCAA finals. All participants will compete throughout the entire 72 holes of championship competition.
Tulane will join golfers from Oklahoma and Purdue for the first two rounds. Each team posted a second place finish in their respective region and the groups will begin the opening round from the first tee on Tuesday and from the 10th tee for Wednesday's second round, beginning at 7:25 a.m. (CST).
Live results from the entire championship, as well as live streaming of holes 17 and 18 during the final two rounds of competition, can be found online at NCAA.com. Additionally, highlights and a recap of play will be provided after competition concludes on Thursday and Friday, May 23-24.
Fans can also check the official website of Tulane Athletics: TulaneGreenWave.com for daily recaps, video and photos from each round, or follow the team for live updates on Twitter: @GreenWaveWGolf.
"Playing the national championships was one of our goals when we started the season, so obviously we are excited to be here," Tulane head coach Andrew Pratt said. "This week, we will continue the same routine that got us here. We want to play our game and remain extremely focused and determined. One of our biggest tests this week for the team is to just control our emotions. We have two practice rounds and four rounds of golf so it's a long week and the longest event we will play this year.
"We are playing solid golf right now and this week will come down to hitting good approach shots into the green and continue to putt well. That will be huge for us on this course. Once again our goal will be to play in the last group during the final round as we have done in every tournament this spring," Pratt added.
Tulane has once again advanced to the pinnacle of women's collegiate golf as the Green Wave is making its fourth all-time appearance in the NCAA Championships field, including its third in the last five years.
Tulane is making its fourth appearance in the NCAA Championships field and its first since back-to-back trips in 2009 and 2010. TU made its first appearance in 2005 and finished 15th, the best effort at the event. The Wave posted a 20th place finish in 2009 and an 18th place effort in its last appearance in 2010.
Tulane, champions of Conference USA, joins a field of 24 at the 2013 NCAA Championships. Along with the Green Wave, this year's Championships participants include Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Duke, Florida, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Northwestern, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Purdue, San Jose State, South Carolina, Stanford, Texas, UC Davis, UCLA, USC, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin.
The Green Wave notched a runner-up finish in the NCAA East Regional, which was the school's best finish in 10 regional appearances. Tulane shot a school 54-hole record 12-under 852 total at the regional.
TU has finished among the top five teams in all six spring tournaments and eight out of 10 events this spring, and its golfers have played in the last group on the final day in all six spring tournaments.
The Green Wave enters the NCAA Championships with four golfers ranked among the nation's Top-100 players by GolfWeek.com, including freshman Emily Penttila: #48; senior Maribel Lopez Porras: #55; freshman Madison Opfer: #84; sophomore Gemma Dryburgh: #87.
Porras leads the team with a 73.38 scoring average, the best single-season effort in school history, while Penttila currently holds the best average by a freshman in the TU annals with a 73.55 average, and Opfer is third with a 74.17 average. Dryburgh is fourth with a 74.31 average, while Garces rounds out the line-up with a 76.03 average.
TU's five golfers in the line-up for the NCAA Championships each own a Top-5 finish this season and all five have at least four rounds of par or better this season.
The University of Georgia Golf Course will host the 24-team, six individual 2013 NCAA Championships field. The par-72, 6,372-yard course was designed by Robert Trent Jones and opened in 1968.
Alabama is the defending champion after capturing its first-ever national title in women's golf with a 1-stroke win over runner-up USC, while Chirapat Jao-Javanil of Oklahoma won the individual title at the Vanderbilt Legends Course in Franklin, Tenn.