DENTON – The North Texas women’s golf team learned its NCAA Regional fate on Wednesday, when it was announced on the Golf Channel’s NCAA Selection Show that the Mean Green will compete in the Albuquerque Regional on May 9-11, at The Championship Course at UNM in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
“Obviously, we are excited to get back to regionals,” UNT head coach Michael Akers said. “There is a certain fire for us after what we experienced last year. The NCAA added two more regionals in the last few months, and a big reason was due to what transpired at LSU last year. With smaller fields, it should be easier to adjust the tournament in the event of inclement weather.”
The Mean Green, ranked No. 47 in the latest Golfstat poll, earned the 8-seed in the regional, and will be joined by No. 2 Oregon, No. 2 10 Florida, No. 14 Texas, No. 24 Arizona, No. 28 Georgia, No. 31 TCU, No. 37 Louisville, No. 50 Oklahoma, Sam Houston State, Northern Arizona and New Mexico State.
This marks the third time in program history the Mean Green have made it to an NCAA Regional and it after the program’s second consecutive Conference USA championship last week in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, which ended in a dramatic one-shot victory. Last year, the Mean Green earned their first-ever automatic bid and were placed in the Baton Rouge Regional, which was infamously canceled due to what was deemed unplayable conditions after rain hit the area. That led to the top six seeds automatically moving on to the NCAA Championship and UNT’s season seemingly ending unceremoniously. Instead, Barstool Sports put together a tournament at the last minute for all the teams affected by the cancelation, and North Texas won the event in Arizona and received nationwide attention for the victory in the unusual circumstances.
The team will see similar desert conditions in Albuquerque and have a bit of an advantage as first-year assistant coach Emma Edwards played four years at New Mexico and played the course “almost every day.”
“Albuquerque will set up great for our team,” Akers said. “Our trip to Tucson in March should serve us well as the MountainView had altitude and desert-like conditions. Emma played at UNM, so she will certainly have confidence going into her first Regional. Our team is fired up and ready to prepare for the UNM Championship Course.”
The Mean Green should also be back to mostly full strength with the return of junior Emilie Ricaudwho missed The Bruzzy and was playing injured at the Conference USA Championship.
“Emilie should be 100% by regionals, which will certainly help us,” Akers said.
The top four teams from each regional will advance to the NCAA Championship at Grayhawk in Scottsdale, Arizona, on May 20-25. Also, the top two individuals from non-advancing teams will advance to the NCAA Championship as individuals.
Fans can follow the program on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.