One day after learning her team’s postseason plans, Georgia Regents golf coach Kory Thompson was busy booking plane tickets.
The Jaguar women will travel next week to Cle Elum, Wash., for the NCAA Division I’s West Regional. The 54-hole event runs May 8-10 at Tumble Creek Club at Suncadia Resort.
Georgia Regents is seeded 10th in the 24-team regional.
The Jaguars have to finish in the top eight to advance to the NCAA Championships for the first time in the program’s history.
“We’re playing to win,” said Thompson, the Jaguars’ third-year coach. “All we can do is go out there and play our own golf.”
Georgia Regents hasn’t seen any tournament action since April 6. Since then, team members have continued to work on their games – Thompson said the players have averaged between 67 and 73 in recent rounds – and finish up their classwork.
“They’re not slacking off,” she said. “They’re hungry to get out there.”
Georgia Regents returns to the regionals for the second time in three years, missing postseason play in 2013. The Jaguars have finished fifth or better in eight of nine full-field events this season. The team placed second twice at the Lady Paladin Invitational and Lady Puerto Rico Classic and posted their worst finish (sixth) at their home event in March.
Georgia Regents saved its best for the last regular season tournament.
At the University of Mississippi’s Rebel Intercollegiate, the Jaguars opened with the low round at 286. Despite shooting over par the final two rounds, Georgia Regents held on for a three-shot victory over Kennesaw State.
“I’m super proud of the entire team,” Thompson said. “We finally got a win at Ole Miss. It’s good momentum leading into regionals.”
Senior Casey Kennedy leads the team with a 74.21 stroke average, with seven top-20 finishes.
Jessica Haigwood leads the talented freshman trio, with a 74.72 average and a win at the Rebel Intercollegiate. Just behind Haigwood is Eunice Yi (74.83) and Josefine Nyqvist (75.07).