Lady'Backs announce 2007-08 golf schedule
FAYETTEVILLE — University of Arkansas first-year head coach Shauna Estes announced the 2007-08 Lady Razorback golf schedule with 10 regular season dates today. Estes took over the reigns as the head coach in August and created a challenging schedule for what should be a pretty good Lady Razorback team. "I think our schedule this year is as strong as ever," said Estes. "We’ll get to match up and see where we stand very early in the fall. We have a good mix of SEC and nationally-ranked teams from across the country throughout the fall and it will be a good challenge to see where each player’s game stands. It will give us a chance to evaluate everyone and see what, if any, changes we need to make for the spring." Arkansas opens the year at Kentucky taking part in the Wildcat Fall Invitational Sept. 29-Oct. 1. It’s Arkansas’ first trip to Kentucky since 2002 and only the program’s second ever. The Lady’Backs then face a pair of familiar venues at the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Classic Oct. 12-14, and the Stanford Invitational Oct. 19-21. The Lady’Backs have faced tough fields at the Tennessee-hosted Mercedes-Benz for the passed several seasons and finished a program-best fifth at the Cherokee Country Club in 2005. The coastal trip to Palo Alto, Calif., is also familiar as the team makes the same trek last year. Called the Peg Barnard Invitational in 2006, the name changes this year, but the course remains the same. Arkansas wraps up the fall with the program’s first trip to the UA Ann Rhoads Intercollegiate hosted by Alabama at the North River Yacht Club. "Our spring tournaments keep us up on our toes because each week we’ll face tough fields that will prepare us for the postseason," said Estes. "Luckily, we play at two of the three regional sites early in the spring which helps even more for the postseason. Overall, our schedule will give us the foundation to prepare for the important part of our year – April and May." The spring begins at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic Feb. 24-26, followed by the UCF Invitational March 9-11. The Lady’Backs next travel to the Texas-hosted Betsy Rawls Longhorn Classic March 17-19, and the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic March 21-23, both regional hosts in 2008. The regular season wraps up with a trip to Wake Forest for the Bryan National Collegiate in Brown Summit, N.C., marking another program first. The 12-team Southeastern Conference Championship takes Arkansas back to Tennessee but to a new golf course, Tennessee National, in Louden, Tenn. Arkansas finished ninth at last year’s league championship after headliner Stacy Lewis had to withdraw with an injury. Several young players stepped up and all have a chance to return to this year’s event with another season of experience under their belts. The postseason continues with NCAA Regionals May 8-10, and the NCAA Championship May 20-23. The three regional sites include Georgia, Texas and Sacramento, Calif., with the national meet taking place at New Mexico.