Lewis sets record as seniors close careers
Jump to agate COLUMBUS, Ohio – University of Arkansas sophomore golfer Stacy Lewis’ hands were shaking as she lined up her 10-foot putt on the 18th green at the 2006 NCAA Championship on the Scarlet Course at The Ohio State Friday. Lewis had just snapped her streak of six birdies in a row and now faced a 10-foot putt. To make the putt more interesting, the bad weather that had threatened all day awoke in time to add a driving rain and blustery winds to the mix. But The Woodlands, Texas, native came through capping off the day two-putting for par carding a Lady Razorback and Scarlet Course record 66 to finish the tournament. Lewis ended the day at six-under on the par-72, 6,203-yard course. Lewis finished the four-day event with a 294 (76-76-76-66). “All of the putts I had been missing the first few days went in today,” said Lewis after the round. “I think I missed just two greens. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before. I just wanted to finish on a good note and this is the best I’ve played all year. I hit a lot of good approach shots and the greens were a lot softer today.” “Stacy played so well,” said Arkansas head coach Kelley Hester. “Stacy had a really frustrating week. But she held her composure and was patient. That benefited her in the end.” Lewis’ 66 betters the previous record of 67, also held by Lewis, and set as she won last year’s Southeastern Conference Championship individual title. Almost lost in the excitement was the conclusion of the careers of three Lady Razorback seniors. Amanda McCurdy, Courtney Mahon and Lindsey Hinshaw, along with senior Sarah Trew who did not travel this week, closed the door on their careers as collegiate golfers. McCurdy, an El Dorado, Ark., native, counted a 301 (75-77-73-76) with a final round 76 Friday. Hinshaw posted a 308 (76-83-74-75) and Mahon had a 316 (74-83-78-81) for Arkansas. Sophomore Ashley Medders rounded out the Arkansas scores with a 304 (74-77-75-78). “I couldn’t imagine that four people could accomplish and more than these seniors did in three or four years,” said Hester. “They have had a tremendous impact on our program and the future of our program. They have set a really high standard for Arkansas women’s golf.” “It’s just amazing to be here,” said McCurdy after her round. “It was amazing to have a teammate (Lewis) shoot what she did and know that she’s coming back. That’s so great for our program. It’s been a ride. My career’s been up and down and I think I have yet to play my best golf. This has been one big learning experience and I’m grateful for everything.” Lewis paced Arkansas with the program’s best-ever individual finish at the NCAA Championship tying for ninth place. McCurdy finished tied for 38th, Medders tied for 53rd, Hinshaw tied for 75th and Mahon finished tied for 105th. Arkansas finished the championship 10th overall in the field of 24, improving one spot from last year’s tie for 11th place in the program’s first NCAA appearance. The Lady’Backs posted a final round 295 for a 1205 (299-313-298-295) and were just two strokes behind No. 7 Purdue who was ninth with a 1203. Top-ranked Duke blistered the field finishing the four-day marathon with a plus-15 1167. Fifth-ranked Southern California was second, 10 strokes off the lead with a 117 followed by No. 8 Pepperdine who was another 10 strokes back at 1187. Number three Arizona State finished fourth with a 1195, No. 11 California was fifth with 1200, No. 6 Georgia mounted an impressive comeback to tie with No. 23 Washington and No. 16 Florida for sixth place with a 1202. The race was close from top to bottom. Second-ranked UCLA finished 11th overall with 1207 followed by No. 4 Auburn with 1208, No. 9 Tennessee and No. 19 Stanford tied for 13th with 1209 and No. 13 Wake Forest was 15th with 1211. No. 31 Florida State was 16th with 1213, followed by No. 20 Arizona with 1216, No. 17 Oklahoma State with 1217, No. 12 Texas A&M with 1219 and No. 42 Nebraska finished 20th with a 1221. Number 21 Kent State (1229), No. 14 UNLV (1230), No. 29 LSU (1232) and No. 33 Alabama (1248) rounded out the field. Arkansas entered the day tied for 13th in the field of 24 teams. As the Lady’Backs teed off at 7:50 a.m. Central, conditions were overcast with the threat of rain in the air. But the weather remained calm with cool temperatures and almost no wind until the players got through the turn. A light rain fell hard and fast at the mid-way point of the round and teams broke out the umbrellas. The spring shower quickly passed and temperatures quickly climbed as it got sunny and very humid. Three Lady’Backs were in and had signed their scorecards when the rain returned. Medders and her group had hit their tee shot off of 18 and McCurdy’s group, one hole behind, had as well when the sirens sounded. Teams, volunteers and fans evacuated the course as lightening could be seen in the distance. A 56-minute rain delay followed before teams resumed play.