Lewis Lady'Backs travel to SEC Championship this weekend

FAYETTEVILLE — The 21st-ranked University of Arkansas women’s golf team travels to Tunica, Miss., for the 2005 Southeastern Conference Championship hosted by Mississippi Friday-Sunday. The SEC Championship features some of the country’s best teams as they tee it up at Tunica National this weekend. "We face three teams in the top 10 and have six in the top 25," said head coach Kelley Hester. "That speaks volumes for the level of competition within the SEC. There’s a lot of parity this year but Auburn and Georgia are the front-runners. The SEC is tough and you could play well and still finish seventh, eighth or ninth. This is the smallest field we face all year but one of the toughest." Auburn enters the week ranked third in the country closely followed by No. 4 Georgia. Tennessee is ranked ninth followed by No. 11 Florida, No. 12 LSU and No. 21 Arkansas. Mississippi State is next at No. 30, ahead of No. 45 South Carolina, No. 53 Vanderbilt, No. 63 Mississippi, No. 78 Kentucky and No. 80 Alabama. "Our season starts right here," continued Hester. "I’ve told our team that the only thing the regular season does is prepare you for the post season. No one will remember us unless we play well now." Redshirt freshman Stacy Lewis leads the team into action this weekend as one of the top players in the conference. Lewis has two wins under her belt and has finished in the top 10 in six of Arkansas’ nine tournaments. She is making her first trip to the league invitational but travels with several veteran players, Juniors Amanda McCurdy and Courtney Mahon along with senior Gena Johnson and junior Lindsey Hinshaw are also competing this weekend. McCurdy has had a quiet year despite playing well all season. Mahon, who struggled early in the season, seems to be playing more consistently in recent rounds as well. Hot Springs, Ark., senior Johnson is having her career best year. Johnson has had four top 25 finishes this year and has been among the top three Lady’Backs in nearly every tournament she’s played in. "We’re playing with confidence right now," said Hester. "We’ve seen just about everyone this year. The SEC is kinda know for teams who can jump and win even when you’re not the top team in the field. It’s a neutral golf course and anything can happen. We’ve had some time off recently to recharge our batteries and we’re ready to go." This year’s SEC Championship takes place at the 7,201-yard, par 72 Tunica National golf course located on Highway 61 North. For more information about Arkansas golf, log on to LADYBACKS.COM.