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May 7, 1997

Texas Tech Women's Golf Begins Regional Action

Red Raiders Look for Second-Straight NCAA Bid

TUCSON, Ariz. - The Texas Tech University women's golf team aims for a second straight appearance in the NCAA Championships when the Red Raiders begin play on Thursday at the West Regional.

A field of 102 golfers, representing 20 teams and two individuals, will challenge the par 72, 6,012-yard Randolph Park North Golf Course in Tucson. The layout is home to the LPGA's Circle K/Welch's Championship and hosted the NCAA Women's West Regional Championships in 1995.

Play consists of 54 holes with 18 holes scheduled for each day Thursday through Saturday. Tee times begin at 7:30 a.m. on the 1st and 10th tees. The top 11 teams and two other individuals will advance to the NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championships, May 21-24, at Ohio State.

Texas Tech is making its second consecutive appearance in the West Regionals and fourth in the last five years. Last year the Red Raiders earned a first-ever bid to the NCAA Women's Golf Championships, finishing 12th.

"The team is obviously excited about the opportunity to qualify for the national championships for the second year in a row," said Texas Tech head coach Jeff Mitchell. "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."

Mitchell will use the same lineup for the third consecutive tournament. Senior Tamara Parker, junior Kristin Kight, and sophomores Beth Covington and Brooke Lowrance have played in every tournament during the 1996-97 season. Freshman Alana Soliz has played in four events this year.

"We have beaten all but six of the 19 other teams entered in the tournament at some event this year," Mitchell said. "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."

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