For a third consecutive year, the University of Colorado women's golf team has received an invitation to the NCAA Championships. The Buffaloes will compete in the West/Stanford Regional May 5-7 in Stanford, Calif.
CU, ranked No. 34 in the country in the latest GolfStat poll (No. 21 Golfweek), earned a No. 9 seed in the 72-team field and will look to advance to the NCAA Championship Finals for the first time since 2012.
"We're excited for Stanford," Colorado head coach Anne Kellysaid in a statement. "We've been playing in northern California for what seems to be the majority of the spring and we've had experience playing that course a few times so we're excited to go back there."
The Buffaloes' postseason invitation marks the sixth straight year CU has sent either a team or individual to a regional and the sixth time in program history a team has qualified.
Colorado is one of 18 teams scheduled to compete at the Stanford Golf Course in the 54-hole tournament format. A group of six golfers will also compete as individuals. One 18-hole round will be played each of the three days.
The field includes Pac-12 opponents Southern California, the top seed in the regional along with host, Stanford as the No. 3 seed. The University of Arkansas-Fayetteville is the No. 2 seed. The remaining schools, in order of seeding from four to 18 are: Virginia, Nevada, San Diego State, Texas Tech, Ohio State, Colorado, Wake Forest, Michigan, North Carolina, Pepperdine, San Jose State, UC Riverside, Idaho, Richmond and Seton Hall.
The Buffs played the 6,084-yard, par 71 Stanford Golf Course this past February when they opened their spring season in the Peg Barnard Invitational. Colorado shot 295-299—594 or 26-over par during the 36-hole tournament and finished sixth in the 13-team field.
Colorado is coming off a fifth-place finish at the Pac-12 Championships last week. The team recorded the lowest 54-hole score in postseason history and matched a program-best with their top five finish for a second consecutive year. Senior Alexis Keating anchored the team as she earned her second straight fifth-place finish at the conference championships.
"After the tournament at Arizona State, we were disappointed with how we played so we cleaned up some things for the Pac-12 Championships and I think we'll keep building on that," Kelly added. "We're looking forward to getting through finals and getting back on the golf course."
Junior Esther Lee leads the team with a 72.48 stroke average and has played 27 rounds of golf with all of them counting toward team scoring this season. She also has a team-best six top 10 finishes. Keating owns a 74.15 mark and sophomore Brittany Fan has the third best average at 74.63.