Lewis third; Lady'Backs 20th in preseason poll

FAYETTEVILLE — University of Arkansas junior golfer Stacy Lewis is ranked third in the GolfWorld preseason poll released this September. Lewis, a Woodlands, Texas, native, has had a record-setting career at Arkansas with two seasons still remaining. Currently the number one ranked amateur, Lewis’ collegiate career includes medalist honors as a freshman at the Southeastern Conference Championship, back-to-back SEC first-team selections and a pair of National Golf Coaches Association for Women all-America honors. "I think that Stacy had a stand out freshman year," said Arkansas head coach Kelley Hester. "Her stroke average was again really good last year but she lacked a couple of the tournament wins. This summer established her as one of the top amateur players and one of the top collegiate players in country. I think it’s about right. She’d like to be number one on that list and that’s one of her goals for the year." Lewis is playing at the 11th World University Games this week in Torino, Italy, and returns home to travel to the Lady Razorbacks’ opener at the Mason Rudolph Championship hosted by Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn., next weekend. As a team, the Lady Razorbacks check in at No. 20 and are one of seven SEC teams in the top 25. Arkansas finished a program best 10th at last year’s NCAA Championship highlighted by a ninth place finish from Lewis. But the Lady Razorbacks graduated four players, three of whom were regulars in the traveling five. Gone are Amanda McCurdy, Courtney Mahon, Lindsey Hinshaw and Sarah Trew, leaving behind a young team with no seniors for Hester this year. "I think that it’s about right too," Hester said of the team poll. "We have so many question marks with half of the squad being freshmen. If we develop the way we can, we’ll improve on that. Any time a program returns just two players who traveled to nationals you know you’re going to have to have players develop fast and play to their potential. Overall very pleased with the ranking. We in a "rebuilding" year and to still be in the top 20 is a testament to how far the program has come." The Lady Razorbacks face a challenging 11-event regular season in 2006-07 beginning with the Mason Rudolph Championship Sept. 15-17. Arkansas travels to the NCAA Preview Meet Sept. 22-24, followed by the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Classic as the coast-to-coast road stand continues in October. For the Lady’Backs complete schedule or more information about the team, log on to LADYBACKS.COM.