May 6, 1997

Texas Tech Ready for NCAA West Regional

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Texas Tech has made a habit of appearing in the NCAA West Regional Women's Golf Championships recently. Head coach Jeff Mitchell's squad has earned a spot in the West Regionals four times in the last five years. Mitchell previously led Tech to the NCAA Regionals in 1993, '94 and '96. Texas Tech made its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Women's Golf Championships last spring, finishing 12th. The Red Raiders will be one of 20 teams competing at the par 72, 6,012-yard Randolph Park North Golf Course. Play will be 18 holes each day Thursday through Saturday (May 8-10). The top 11 teams and two other individuals will advance to the NCAA Women's Golf Championships May 21-24 at the Ohio State University Scarlet Course in Columbus, Ohio. Texas Tech will play a practice round beginning at 8:10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 7.

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 have participated in every event this season. Soliz will be making her third consecutive appearance and fourth this spring.

The NCAA West Regional Women's Golf Championships at the par 71, 6,012-yard Randolph Park North Golf Course. The course is home to the LPGA's Circle K/Welch's Championship and hosted the NCAA Women's West Regional in 1995.

Texas Tech has played in nine tournaments in 1996-97, four in the fall and five this spring. Most recently, the Red Raiders overcame a slow start to finish sixth at the first Big 12 Conference Women's Golf Championships. Sophomore Brooke Lowrance led the way for Tech with a tie for ninth. Lowrance leads the squad with a 78.3 stroke average. She finished second at the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic April 14-15. Senior Tamara Parker has a 79.4 stroke average this year and tied for seventh at OU for her best finish in 1996-97. Sophomore Beth Covington has an 80.3 stroke average to rank third. Junior Kristin Kight has an 81.0 clip, while freshman Alana Soliz has an 82.8 mark.

Texas Tech finished sixth last month in the Big 12 Conference Women's Golf Championships. The Red Raiders overcame a slow start, firing a 328 the first round. Tech bounced back with a 308 and 321 the second and final rounds. Brooke Lowrance tied for ninth, while Tamara Parker tied for 11th. Kristin Kight tied for 16th.

Posting the team's best spring finish, Texas Tech finished second at the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic in Norman, 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).

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.

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 79.4 mark. Parker tied for 11th at the Big 12 Championships. She posted her best performance of the year with a seventh-place finish at the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic with a 19-over 235.

Sophomore Brooke Lowrance leads the way for Texas Tech with a 78.3 stroke average. Lowrance tied for ninth at the Big 12 Conference Championships, firing rounds of 81-79-75=235. 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 six of its nine tournaments this season. She has fired a 73 on two occasions -- Dick McGuire Invitational and the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic. "Brooke, a second-team All-Big 12 Conference player, has provided solid play for us all year," said head coach Jeff Mitchell. "Her second-place finish at Oklahoma and a ninth-place finish at the Big 12 are indications of how she is playing."

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 Championships as well as the NCAA West Regionals. She finished in a tie for 47th at the Big 12 Championships, firing rounds of 84-82-85. Soliz has played in four 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).

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.

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 four times in the last five years -- he also guided Tech to its first-ever NCAA Championship appearance last season. 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.

"The team is obviously excited about the opportunity to qualify for the national championships for the second year in a row. We have beaten all but six of the 19 teams entered in the tournament at some event this year. That gives us confidence that we can compete at that level. It is going to be important that we are mentally prepared to play starting from the first hole. This year, the first round has been our biggest problem. We have played well in later rounds. In this tournament, we cannot dig a hole and expect to be able to get out of it. There are too many quality teams in the field to play catch up. This team has been through a lot this year. We have played great at times and not so great at other times. We have played in a lot of bad weather. I think we are a lot tougher right now because of the adversity. I hope it shows in Tucson."

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 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. The Red Raiders finished second, third, and fourth on two occasions over the past four years.

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.

Texas Tech's NCAA Women's Golf Results

1993 NCAA West Regional Championships

Randolph Park North Golf Course, Tucson, Ariz. Tracy Thomson 73-77-72=222 t39 J.J. Rorie 79-76-75=230 t71 Kimberly Jutt 79-75-79=233 t81 Adelia Metcalf 81-74-81=236 t89 April King 86-75-78=239 t95 Totals 312-300-304=916 15th of 18

1994 NCAA West Regional Championships

The Champions Golf Course, Albuquerque, N.M. Stacey Kolb 74-77-75=226 t29 Tracy Thomson 78-78-79=235 t69 April King 83-76-79=238 t86 Tamara Parker 84-81-79=244 t96 J.J. Rorie 85-89-73=247 t99 Totals 319-312-306=937 17th of 19

1996 NCAA West Regional Championships

The Champions Club, Omaha, Neb. Brooke Lowrance 76-82-77=235 t32 Tamara Parker 80-80-79=239 t43 Tracy Thomson 78-82-82=242 t54 J.J. Rorie 80-81-82=243 t61 Kristin Kight 87-92-76=255 t89 Totals 319-312-306=937 9th of 20

1996 NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championships

The Dunes Course, La Quinta, Calif. Tracy Thomson 80-84-81-75=320 t39 J.J. Rorie 78-80-80-83=321 t42 Brooke Lowrance 81-76-85-81=323 t48 Tamara Parker 82-85-79-78=324 t51 Kristin Kight 83-87-88-86=344 93 Totals 321-325-325-317=1288 12th of 18


Follow us!