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April 18, 1997

Lady Raiders at Big 12 Conference Golf Championship

Big 12 Conference
Women's Golf Championship

  • Date: Sunday-Tuesday, April 20-22, 1997
  • Site: Alvamar Golf Club, Lawrence, Kansas
  • Host: University of Kansas
  • Par: 72
  • Yardage: 6,130 yards
  • Format: 54 holes, 18 holes each day Sunday through Tuesday
  • Field: Baylor, Colorado, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Texas Tech, ranked 36th in the Rolex Rankings (April 9), and the other 11 Big 12 Conference women's golf teams hope to claim the 1997 Golf Championship. "The inaugural event will be hosted by the University of Kansas at the par 72, 6,130-yard Alvamar Golf Club in Lawrence, Kan. The competition will begin at 8:00 a.m. every day. Practice rounds are slated to begin at 1:15 p.m. on Saturday, April 19. Eighteen holes will be played each day, Sunday through Tuesday. For the rounds played on Sunday and Monday, the tournament will begin at the first tee. For the final round on Tuesday, play will begin from the first and tenth tees. The Red Raiders are coming off a second-place finish -- their best of the spring -- at the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic in Norman, Okla. Tech lost by three shots to tournament host Oklahoma. Lowrance also finished second with a 10-over-par 226. She trailed Oklahoma medalist Isabelle Blais (224) by two.

TEXAS TECH LINEUP: Texas Tech's five-player lineup will include senior Tamara Parker of Frisco, Texas, junior Kristin Kight of Odessa, Texas, sophomores Beth Covington of Sonora, Texas and Brooke Lowrance of Snyder, Texas, and freshman Alana Soliz of Lubbock, Texas. Parker, Kight, Covington, and Lowrance -- Tech's top four golfers -- have participated in every event coming in to the Big 12 Conference Championship.

THE COURSE: The first Big 12 Conference Championship will be hosted by the Alvamar Golf Club, featuring a par 72, 6,130-yard layout. Alvamar is considered one of the toughest public golf courses in the Midwest. Golf Digest ranks the course in its Top 50 public golf courses in the country.

ABOUT TEXAS TECH: The Red Raiders have competed in eight events in 1996-97, four each in the fall and spring. Tech has posted three top-five finishes and seven in the top 10. Texas Tech came out of the shoot fast in 1996-97, winning Nebraska's Chip'N Club Invitational in September. The Red Raiders' fall performance included an eighth-place finish in the Big 12 Preview. This spring, Tech finished second at the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic, tied for fifth at the Pioneer Electronic Bruin Classic, seventh in the Duke Spring Invitational and ninth in the LSU-Fairwood Invitational. Sophomore Brooke Lowrance owns the best stroke average on the squad at 78.3 per round. Senior Tamara Parker is second at 79.5, sophomore Beth Covington is third at 79.8 and junior Kristin Kight is fifth at 81.1. Freshman Alana Soliz has a 82.6 stroke average in three events.

RED RAIDERS PLAY WELL AT OKLAHOMA: Posting the team's best spring finish, Texas Tech finished second at the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic in Norman last week, losing by three shots to host Oklahoma. Sophomore Brooke Lowrance led the way for Tech, firing a 10-over-par 226. Senior Tamara Parker finished seventh at 19-over (235), while junior Kristin Kight tied for 10th (236). Sophomore Beth Covington tied for 17th (240), while junior Amy Marsh tied for 27th (244). Freshman Alana Soliz, playing as an individual, tied for 24th (243).

GOOD TIMING: With the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic, four of Texas Tech's golfers posted their best finish of the 1996-97 season. Brooke Lowrance finished second, Tamara Parker tied for seventh, Kristin Kight tied for 10th and Alana Soliz tied for 24th.

PARKER WRAPPING UP STELLAR CAREER: Senior Tamara Parker, who has played in every Texas Tech event since arriving in Lubbock, is concluding an outstanding career. "She has exemplified what hard work, determination and dedication can do for a student athlete," said Texas Tech head coach Jeff Mitchell. "It will be hard to say good-bye to her. She has also been a strong voice to the team. Her contributions go far beyond that of scores at tournaments." Parker owns the second-best stroke average on the team with a 79.5 mark. She is coming off her best performance of the year with a seventh-place finish at the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic with a 19-over 235.

LOWRANCE LEADING THE WAY: Sophomore Brooke Lowrance leads the way for Texas Tech with a 78.3 stroke average. She finished second at the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic with a 10-over-par 226. She lost medalist honors by two shots to Oklahoma's Isabelle Blais. Lowrance has led Texas Tech in five of its eight tournament this season. She has fired a 73 on two occasions -- Dick McGuire Invitational and the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic. "Brooke Lowrance is playing very well right now," Mitchell said. She is coming off a very solid performance in Oklahoma. Her second-place finish was a definite boost. She has been playing well all season, but this was a breakthrough week for her."

FRESHMAN MAKES IMPACT: Lubbock freshman Alana Soliz is making an impact as a freshman. She earned the fifth spot on Tech's travel squad for the Big 12 Conference championship. Soliz has played in three tournaments, including the Big 12 Preview last fall, where she competed as an individual (t56th). She tied for 44th at the Pioneer Electronic Bruin Classic. Soliz also competed as an individual at the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic, posting a season-best tie for 24th with a 243 (80-79-84).

CONSISTENCY: Texas Tech has utilized a consistent lineup this season with four golfers playing in every event. That lineup includes senior Tamara Parker, junior Kristin Kight and sophomores Beth Covington and Brooke Lowrance.

HEAD COACH JEFF MITCHELL: Texas Tech graduate Jeff Mitchell, a former PGA touring professional, is in his seventh season at Texas Tech and has led the Red Raider women's golf program to new heights. Before Mitchell came to Texas Tech, the women's golf team had never been to an NCAA Regional. Not only has Mitchell coached them to a berth in the regionals -- a feat the Red Raiders have attained three times in the last four years -- he also has guided Tech to its first-ever NCAA Championship appearance. The Red Raiders finished 12th in the NCAAs last spring. Mitchell was an All-Southwest Conference golfer at Tech from 1974 to 1976, lettering three years. He is only the second women's golf coach in the program's history since 1975.

HEAD COACH JEFF MITCHELL'S COMMENTS: "This is significant in the Big 12 -- the inaugural championship. For Texas Tech, this is an opportunity to continue our season. A solid finish this week will insure our selection to the NCAA West Regionals in Tucson, Arizona. It is important for us to finish in the top four or five in this tournament. We have beaten all of the Big 12 teams, except Texas A&M. If we play well, we can beat them as well. Knowing that we have beaten all of these teams during the year is giving us a great deal of confidence going in. Kristin Kight and Beth Covington have made a lot of progress this year and are becoming a reliable supporting cast. And, Alana Soliz is coming into her own. She has learned a great deal in a short time. This tournament is on a demanding golf course and is as close to a neutral site as we could have hoped for. This should give us a great opportunity to compete at the top of the conference."

BIG 12 FALL PREVIEW: Texas Tech struggled the first round, but bounced back to finish eighth at the Big 12 Preview last fall. Tech fired rounds of 323-310-317=950 at the par 72 Pebble Creek Country Club in College Station, Texas. The Red Raiders finished 41 shots back from tournament champ Nebraska, which claimed an easy 18-shot win over second-place Texas A&M. A total of 12 shots separated the six teams from third-place finisher Missouri to eighth-place Texas Tech. Brooke Lowrance, who overcame a slow start to finish 74-75, tied for 15th (233). Tamara Parker (238) tied for 25th, while Beth Covington (240) tied for 32nd. Amy Marsh (242) and Kristin Kight (251) finished 55th.

FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT: Although losing senior Tamara Parker will be substantial, Texas Tech can look forward to a promising future. Five of Tech's top six golfers will return next season, including four golfers who will participate in the upcoming Big 12 Championship -- junior Kristin Kight, sophomores Beth Covington and Brooke Lowrance and freshman Alana Soliz.

TECH FOURTH AT FINAL SWC CHAMPIONSHIP: Texas Tech struggled in the first and final rounds and concluded the final Southwest Conference Championship in fourth place last spring. Tracy Thomson and Brooke Lowrance led the Red Raiders with a 236, tying for 10th. J.J. Rorie tied for 14th at 237, including a second-round 73. Tamara Parker (241) tied for 21st and Kristin Kight (244) tied for 24th.

1.  Texas       305-297-305=907
2.  Texas A&M   308-310-307=925
3.  SMU         318-300-321=939
4.  Texas Tech  318-308-318=944
5.  TCU         309-319-317=945
6.  Baylor      335-316-327=978 

IMPROVEMENT: Tech head coach Jeff Mitchell is in his seventh season as head women's golf coach. Before his arrival, the Red Raiders had never finished better than fifth in the Southwest Conference Championships. Since becoming the head coach, the Red Raiders finished second, third, and fourth on two occasions over the past four years.

TECH IN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS: Texas Tech hopes to win its first-ever conference championship when the Red Raiders travel to Lawrence. Tech finished second in the 1994 Southwest Conference Women's Golf Championship, posting the program's best performance ever.

TECH WINS CHIP'N CLUB INVITATIONAL: Tech claimed its only tournament win of the season in the fall opener at the Chip'N Club Invitational at Nebraska last September. The Red Raiders successfully defended their 1995 title at the Chip'N Club. Texas Tech posted a three-round 944, beating host Nebraska by four shots. Sophomore Beth Covington, with rounds of 79-80-74 for a 20-over-par 233, tied for second to lead the Red Raiders. Sophomore Brooke Lowrance (236) tied for eighth. Junior Amy Marsh (237) placed 10th, junior Kristin Kight (243) finished in a tie for 17th and senior Tamara Parker (249) tied for 29th.

CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS: Results will be available via Fax-on-Demand no later than 7:00 p.m. CDT Sunday and Monday. Results will hopefully be posted earlier on Tuesday after the final round. To retrieve results, dial (770) 399-3066 from the handset of your fax. Enter request number 1212# to access the Big 12 Conference. Results will be available under document number 2183.

Big 12 Preview       
Oct. 7-8, 1996  College Station, Texas      
Pebble Beach Country Club
Par 72, 6,130       
Texas Tech 8th of 12 (950)
Brooke Lowrance 84-74-75=233    t15
Tamara Parker   77-81-80=238    t25
Beth Covington  83-77-80=240    t32
Amy Marsh       79-78-85=242    t41
Kristin Kight   86-83-82=251     55
Alana Soliz*    89-83-80=252    t56
* -- Individual
Totals  323-310-317=950 8th
Name            Ht. Cl. Exp. Hometown/High School                Notes
Beth Covington  5-4 So. 1L   Sonora, Texas/Sonora                Hopes to regain success of last fall        
Kristin Kight   5-7 Jr. 2L   Odessa, Texas/Permian               Posted her best finish this year at last week
Brooke Lowrance 5-3 So. 1L   Snyder, Texas/Snyder                Owns team's best stroke aveage; finished second last week
Tamara Parker   5-9 Sr. 3L   Frisco, Texas/San Antonio Churchill Played in every event in four years at Texas Tech
Alana Soliz     5-4 Fr. HS   Lubbock,Texas/Coronado              Rookie makes fast progress; tied for 24th at Norman
Head Coach:  Jeff Mitchell (Seventh Season)

Notes and Quotes

Sparked by the performance last week at Oklahoma, the Texas Tech University women's golf team aims for a first-ever conference title when the Red Raiders begin play on Sunday at the 1997 Big 12 Conference Women's Golf Championship.

The inaugural event will be hosted by the University of Kansas on the par 72, 6,130-yard Alvamar (AL-vuh-mar) Golf Club course. The 54-hole event gets under way on Sunday at 8:00 a.m. All 12 conference schools will participate. The second round is slated for Monday with the final-round 18 holes scheduled for Tuesday.

"This is a significant in the Big 12 - the inaugural championship," Texas Tech women's golf coach Jeff Mitchell said. "For Texas Tech, it is an opportunity to continue our season. A solid finish this week will insure our selection to the NCAA West Regional Championship. It is important for us to finish in the top four or five in this tournament."

The golf course, ranked by Golf Digest, as one of the Top 50 public courses, will be a difficult challenge, Mitchell said.

"This tournament is on a demanding golf course," Mitchell said, "and is close to a neutral site as we could have hoped for. This should give us a great opportunity to compete at the top of the conference."

Texas Tech finished second last week at the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic at Norman, Okla. It was the squad's best finish since winning the Chip'N Club Invitational at Nebraska during the fall.

"We have beaten all of the Big 12 teams this season except A&M," Mitchell said. "If we play well, we can beat them as well. Knowing that we have beaten all of these teams during the year is giving us a great deal of confidence going in."

Texas Tech features four golfers who have played in every event this season - senior Tamara Parker, junior Kristin Kight, and sophomores Beth Covington and Brooke Lowrance. Freshman Alana Soliz also earned a spot on the traveling squad for the conference tourney.

Lowrance, who posted her best performance last week in Oklahoma with a second-place finish, leads the squad with a 78.3 stroke average.

"Brooke Lowrance is playing very well right now," Mitchell said. "She is coming off a very solid performance in Oklahoma. Her second-place finish was a definite boost. She has been playing well all season, but this was a breakthrough week for her."

Parker is wrapping up a stellar career at Texas Tech, where she has competed in every event since her arrival. She also had her best tournament of the season at Norman, posting a seventh-place finish. Parker ranks second on the team with a 79.5 stroke average.

"Tamara Parker continues her consistent play," Mitchell said. "She has exemplified what hard work, determination and dedication can do for a student-athlete. It will be hard to say good-bye to her after we compete in regionals and nationals. She has also been a strong voice to the team. Her contributions go far beyond that of scores at tournaments."

Mitchell is also counting on Covington, Kight and Soliz for a solid conference championship.

"Kristin Kight and Beth Covington have made a lot of progress this year and are becoming a reliable supporting cast," Mitchell said. "And, Alana Soliz is coming into her own. She has learned a great deal in a short time. Her future is bright."

Before Mitchell's arrival as head coach in 1990-91, Tech had never finished higher than fifth in the Southwest Conference. Over the last four years, Tech finished second, third, and fourth twice, including last season in the final SWC Women's Golf Championship.

Media Note: Results can be obtained each day via FAX-ON-DEMAND. Dial (770) 399-3066. To access the Big 12, dial 1212#. The results will be listed under document number 2183. The telephone number at the Alvamar Golf Club is (913) 842-1907.

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