Women's Golf Trio Heads to NCAA Central Regional
May 8, 2013
SAN DIEGO - The San Diego State women's golf trio of Emma Henrikson, Paige Spiranac and Christine Wong will travel to the Sooner State this week to compete as individuals at the 2013 NCAA Central Regional Championships, May 9-11, in Norman, Okla. The University of Oklahoma will play host to the three-day, 54-hole tournament, which will be contested on the par-72, 6,298-yard Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club.
SDSU will be represented at regionals for the fourth consecutive year after the Red and Black qualified as a team from 2010 to 2012. Last season, the Aztecs tied for 20th out of 24 schools with a combined score of 59-over 923 at the East Regional in State College, Pa., while Gina Clark was the team's top finisher after tying for 29th out of 126 golfers on Penn State's Blue Course.
Henrikson is slated to tee off Thursday with UNC Greensboro's Fanny Cnops and Lori Beth Adams from UNC Wilmington on the first hole at 8:25 a.m. CT (6:25 PT), while Spiranac and Wong will be grouped with Central Arkansas' Julia Roth on No. 10 at the same time. The two pairings will switch holes for Friday's second round, which gets underway at 12:45 p.m. CT (10:45 a.m. PT), while the final round returns to an 8:25 a.m. CT start on Saturday for the six individuals.
Cnops owns a No. 45 ranking in the latest Golfstat Cup standings, followed by Adams at No. 75 and Roth at No. 77. Henrikson, meanwhile, checks in this week at No. 144, while Wong cracked the poll as well at No. 240. The top-five ranked teams in the Central Regional include No. 3 Duke, No. 4 Oklahoma, No. 9 Florida, No. 15 Arizona State and No. 16 UC Davis.
A native of Malmö, Sweden, Henrikson was named the Mountain West Freshman of the Year after posting a team-best 75.76 stroke average through 29 rounds, which ranks seventh in the conference. In addition, Henrikson captured first-team all-MW accolades after logging seven top-25 finishes on the season, including a third-place effort at the Gold Rush Tournament in February to earn MW Golfer of the Week honors.
Spiranac received first-team all-MW recognition along with Henrikson, logging four top-25 finishes, including two in the top six. The SDSU sophomore and Scottsdale, Ariz., product joined the squad in mid-January and recorded the Aztecs' third-best stroke average of 76.82, which ranks 16th in the conference so far this year. At the inaugural Cal Classic in February, Spiranac registered her highest finish of the season with a fifth-place showing before taking sixth at the MW Championships.
Not to be outdone, Wong will be making her fourth straight NCAA regional appearance after turning in a third-place effort at the MW tournament. The SDSU senior and Richmond, B.C., Canada, native is second on the team and ranks 11th in the conference with a 76.41 stroke average, having amassed five top-20 finishes and three top-10s this season. The 2011-12 MW Women's Golfer of the Year, Wong was an all-conference choice for the fourth consecutive season, landing on the second team during her final campaign as an Aztec.
In 2010, Wong posted her best finish in the first of three regional appearances, tying for 35th after carding a collective 20-over 236 at Otter Creek Golf Club in Columbus, Ind. At that tournament, sophomore Malin Enarsson narrowly missed becoming SDSU's first national championship competitor after Denver's Kimberly Kim captured the final individual berth by a single stroke. A total of 24 teams and six individual competitors comprise this year's Central Regional, as the top eight schools and two individuals from non-qualifying teams will advance to the NCAA Championships, May 21-24, in Athens, Ga.
In addition, the 2012-13 campaign marks the fourth time in school history the Aztecs have qualified individual golfers for regional competition after Lindy Donnelly (1996), Christelle Cuzon (1997) and Heather Rollo (2000) previously accomplished the feat.
SDSU is under the guidance of second-year head coach Leslie Spalding, who arrived on Montezuma Mesa in August 2011 after a four-year stint at Montana State. Spalding played professionally on the LPGA Tour from 1996-2001, recording seven top-10 finishes, including a career-best third-place showing at the 2001 ShopRite LPGA Classic, when she carded a career-low 64 in the final round.
The Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club served as home to the Big 12 Women's Championship in 1998 and 2010, as well as the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championships in 2009. The course, which was designed by native Oklahoman Perry Maxwell and opened in January 1951, underwent extensive renovations in 1996 under the direction of world-renowned architect Robert Cupp.