April 7, 2012
CONWAY - The Coastal Carolina women's golf program will pursue its second consecutive Big South Conference Championship and sixth overall starting Monday (April 9) at The Patriot Golf Club in Ninety-Six, S.C. The three-day, 54-hole event, which is hosted by Gardner-Webb, commences on Monday with 18 holes followed by a round each on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Last season the Chants cruised to an 18-stroke victory over runner-up Gardner-Webb at the Big South Championship to claim the program's fifth conference title and second in three years under the direction of head coach Katie Quinney. The championship win also provided an automatic berth to the NCAA East Regional where the Chants placed fourth and qualified for the program's first NCAA Championship.
The Chanticleers enter the championship as the No. 2 seed based on their current Golfweek national ranking of 64 (ranked 63rd by Golfstat). Despite holding the league's second highest rating (No. 1 seed Campbell ranks 58th) the Chants have, by far, played the most difficult schedule (ranked 29th nationally by Golfweek) of any Big South team this season. Each of Coastal's nine events ranks in the top 50 of Golfweek's strength of tournament ranking. Additionally, five of those tournaments rank inside Golfweek's top 20.
Below is a breakdown of Coastal Carolina's 2011-12 schedule with the Golfweek Ranking of the event out of 176 tournaments this season and where CCU finished with the number of ranked teams:
- Texas A&M Mo'morial - 17th (finished 10th of 11; Golfstat ranking not available for this tournament)
- Golfweek Conference Challenge - 26th (finished t-9th of 18; 12 ranked among the Golfstat top 50)
- Lady Tar Heel Intercollegiate - 8th (finished 17th of 18; 9 ranked among the Golfstat top 50)
- Susie Maxwell Classic - 25th (finished 12th of 17; 6 ranked among the Golfstat top 50)
- UCF Invitational - 22nd (finished t-14th of 18; 7 ranked among the Golfstat top 50)
- Central District Invitational - 12th (finished 10th of 15; 11 ranked among the Golfstat top 50)
- Darius Ruck Intercollegiate - 7th (finished 14th of 15; 12 ranked among the Golfstat top 50)
- Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational - 50th (finished 4th of 14; 4 ranked among the Golfstat top 50)
- The Battle at Rancho Bernardo - 11th (finished t-13th of 16; 12 ranked among the Golfstat top 50)
This spring the Chants have been co-led by juniors Brittany Henderson and Jessica Alexander. Henderson enters the championship as the conference's top ranked individual with a 191 ranking by Golfweek. The Smiths Falls, Ontario, native has recorded three top 20, two top 10, and a top five finish this season on her way to pacing Coastal in three of five events this spring. Henderson owns a 75.92 scoring average, which ranks third in the conference, and has carded a career-high five par or better rounds.
Alexander, the 2011 Big South Golfer of the Year and defending Championship Individual Medalist, was Coastal's top finisher at the rain-shortened Darius Rucker Intercollegiate and Battle at Rancho Bernardo. This season Alexander ranks eighth in the Big South with a 76.64 scoring average, while carding one top 10 finish.
Also playing well this season is 2011 All-Big South selection Kaitlin Higginbotham. Higginbotham was the Chants' top finisher in each event during the fall and owns Coastal's low round of the year as she fired a 69 in the first round of the Golfweek Conference Challenge. The lone Chanticleer senior has one top 20 finish on the year and a pair of rounds of par or better. Her 76.24 scoring average is good for sixth in the Big South.
Newcomer Frida Castillo and transfer Eugenia Guerra will make their Big South Championship debuts on Monday. Castillo currently ranks 16th in the conference with a 78.24 scoring average. Guerra, who sat out most of the spring season recovering from an injury, has played in four events as a Chanticleer, recording a low round score of 77 in the first round at the Susie Maxwell Classic.
The Big South Women's Golf Awards Banquet will be held Monday, April 9 at 7 p.m. The 2012 annual award winners, the All-Academic Team and half of the All-Conference team (based on regular-season performance) will be announced at that time, while the remaining All-Conference performers will be determined by their finish in the Conference Championship.
Fans can follow the action throughout the tournament online via GolfStat's "Live Scoring" feature.
2012 Big South Women's Golf Championship Schedule of Events
Date Time (ET) Event Sunday, April 8 12 p.m. Practice Round Monday, April 9 8 a.m. First round 8-8:36 a.m. #9 Holy Cross, Presbyterian College 8:45-9:21 a.m. #7 Radford, #8 High Point 9:30-10:10 a.m. #4 Gardner-Webb, #5 Bucknell, #6 Winthrop 10:20-11:00 a.m. #1 Campbell, #2 Coastal Carolina, #3 Charleston Southern
Tuesday, April 10 8:00 a.m. Second Round Wednesday, April 11 8:00 a.m. Final Round