INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The East Carolina women’s golf team is one of 18 teams headed to the Baton Rouge Regional the NCAA Division I Golf Committee announced Monday evening.
The Pirates, who earned their 11th at-large bid in the programs 16-year history, were chosen as the No. 7 seed in the Baton Rouge Regional, which will be played at the University Club in Baton Rouge, La. and hosted by LSU, May 5-7.
“We are very excited to receive a national at-large bid to the 2016 NCAA Women’s Golf Championship,” said ECU Head Coach Kevin Williams. “Being selected to the Baton Rouge Regional is a testament to the hard work and preparation these young ladies have put into accomplishing this goal. Our team, since we missed advancing last year after seven-straight national at-large bids, was determined not to let that happen again this year. Eight national at-large bids in the last nine years is something we are very proud of in our program.
“Assistant Coach Courtney Gunter competed on this golf course a couple of times in her collegiate career so we will lean on her a lot for golf course knowledge,” Williams continued. “It is a golf course she feels fit our team very well. We are excited to be going to Baton Rouge. We will feel at home will all the purple and gold around there”
Four regional tournaments will be conducted May 5-7 to determine the championships field. Regional tournaments are considered preliminary rounds of NCAA championships competition and all national championships policies apply.
A total of 384 participants have been selected for regional competition. Of these players, 132 will advance to the championships finals. Six teams and three individuals will advance from each regional.
The national championships will be May 20-25 at The Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Ore. and hosted by the University of Oregon. The Golf Channel will televise the final three days of the championship live.
The Pirates (123-29-2), in its 16th year of existence, will make their 11th team appearance in the NCAA Regionals dating back to the 2002-03 season, where they garnered a No. 12 seed in the East Regional in Winston-Salem, N.C. finishing tied for 14th. The Pirates were a 15 seed during the 2004-05 campaign in Gainesville, Fla. finishing in 17th.
Former Pirate Adrienne Millican participated in the NCAA Championships as an individual in 2004 placing in a tie for 34th out of 126 golfers, while Lene Krog represented the Pirates at the championships as an individual in 2007 before withdrawing due to an injury after 36 holes.
After claiming its first Conference USA Championship in the spring of 2006, the Pirates earned an automatic bid to the East Regional heading to Greensboro, N.C. as the No. 20 seed and finished tied for 19th. The following year the Pirates returned as a team with a No. 13 ranking in the East Regional where they finished 12th of 24 teams in Athens, Ga.
In 2009, ECU narrowly missed making its first ever NCAA Championship appearance, falling two strokes out of eighth place in Gainesville, Fla. posting a three-day score of 892 (283-313-296), where the Pirates led after the first day of competition.
Back in 2010, the Pirates garnered a 20th seed in the East Regional, which was played in their own back yard at the Ironwood Country Club. ECU finished 12th out of 24 teams shooting a tournament score of 895 (293-305-297).
The Pirates garnered a No. 19 seed in the Central Regional in 2011 where they finished 20th with a tournament score of 945. Three years ago ECU was tabbed as the No. 19 seed in the Central Regional (Columbus, Ohio) finishing 21st out of 224 teams with a three-day total of 967.
In 2013 ECU extended its streak of consecutive team regionals to six when there were tabbed the No. 17 seed in the East Regional, which was played at the Auburn University Club in Auburn, Ala. The Pirates finished 13th out of 24 teams posting a three-day score of 905 – which was their fourth-lowest NCAA total in school history.
The following season, the Pirates made their seventh consecutive regional appearance with a No. 18 seed in the East Regional (Tallahassee, Fla.) where they posted their sixth top-15. At one point, ECU moved into eighth place on the final day with five holes remaining, but tough windy conditions dropped them to 14th with a school-record NCAA Regional score of 886.
Last year, Frida Gustafsson Spang became the third player in program history to earn an individual bid to participate in the NCAA Regionals (East Regional) and made her third-straight appearance in post-season play as a member of the Pirate golf team. The Sweden native carded a three-day score of 226 (76-77-73) to finish tied for 35th at 10-over par.
The selection to the 2015-16 Baton Rouge Regional marks the 14th-straight season where the Pirates will be represented in the NCAA Regional competition.
East Carolina NCAA Team Results
2002-03: NCAA East Regional – t14th out of 24 teams (908)
2004-05: NCAA East Regional – 17th out of 24 teams (929)
2005-06: NCAA East Regional – t19th out of 24 teams (916)
2007-08: NCAA East Regional – 12th out of 24 teams (919)
2008-09: NCAA East Regional – 9th out of 24 teams (892)
2009-10: NCAA East Regional – 12th out of 24 teams (895)
2010-11: NCAA Central Regional – 20th out of 24 teams (945)
2011-12: NCAA Central Regional – 21st out of 24 teams (967)
2012-13: NCAA East Regional – 13th out of 24 teams (905)
2013-14: NCAA East Regional – 14th out of 24 teams (886)
East Carolina NCAA Individual Results (Regionals)
Adrienne Millican (2003-04): NCAA East Regional – t9th out of 108 (222)
Lene Krog (2006-07): NCAA East Regional – t9th out of 108 (212)
Frida Gustafsson Spang (2014-15): NCAA East Regional – t35th out of 96 (226)
East Carolina NCAA Individual Results (Championships)
Adrienne Millican (2003-04): NCAA Championships – t34th out of 126 (295)
Lene Krog (2006-07): NCAA Championships – Withdrew due to injury