May 6, 2009
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Sophomore Miki Ueoka will compete this week at the Division I NCAA West Regional in Tempe, Ariz. Ueoka is the first-ever Santa Clara women's golfer to qualify for Regional play. She will tee-off on Thursday, May 7 at 7 a.m. at the ASU Karsten Golf Course.
"Qualifying for Regional has been a goal of Miki's ever since she became a Bronco," said women's head coach Polly Schulze. "To have it happen in her second year on campus is awesome. I have no doubt that Miki can compete on a national level and it will be fun to see how she stacks up in the West Region."
"For me as her coach, I am thrilled to be able to be with her in postseason," Schulze continued. "Anything that happens beyond Regional would be icing on the cake for me. She has already succeeded and anything beyond this is a bonus. I feel very relaxed going in to this event as I completely trust Miki in her ability to mentally handle this next level of competition. This kind of atmosphere is where Miki shines and I look forward to experiencing it with her."
The ASU Karsten Golf Course is laid out over 6,230 yards and boasts a par of 72. Individually, Ueoka is joined by Chelsea Stelzmiller and Alice Kim of UC Davis. Representing the team pool are Arizona State, USC, Louisiana State, Pepperdine, Arkansas, San Jose State, Arizona, California, UC Irvine, San Francisco, UNLV, TCU, Texas A&M, Oregon, Long Beach State, Colorado, Texas, Baylor, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Northern Arizona and Oral Roberts.
They will play 18 holes each of the three days. Only eight of the 21 teams from the West Regional qualify for Nationals. Ueoka has to finish as one of the top two individuals from all of the other 13 teams that don't advance. Last year, the two individual medalists were Therese Koelbaek of UNLV and Alison Walshe of Arizona who each fired a blistering 66(-6).
A two-time All-WCC first team honoree, Ueoka had a big-time comeback at the WCC Championships. She was tied for 21st at the end of the first round and finished tied for second overall by the end of the tournament to help earn the Broncos a third place finish. It was the highest finish by a Bronco female in WCC Tournament history. The Lihue, Hawaii native was named WCC Player of the Month for February and March after winning back-to-back individual titles. She won three individual titles this season. Her first was at the Boise State Invitational in October, her second came at the Fresno State Golf Classic in February and her third was at the Sacramento State Invitational in March. Her rounds of 68 and 69 at the Fresno State Golf Classic are the lowest two rounds ever recorded by a Bronco women's golfer.
Three regional tournaments will be conducted across the nation on May 7-9 to determine the final championship field. A round of 18 will be played on each day. A total of 324 participants have been selected for each regional competition. There are three regions: West, East, and Central. Of these players, 126 will advance to the championship finals. Eight teams and two individuals will advance from each region. The championship finals will be held on May 19-22 at the Caves Valley Golf Club in Maryland and is hosted by Georgetown.
Live stats will be available on www.golfstat.com