The Kentucky women’s golf team is headed back to the NCAA Regionals for the sixth time in seven seasons under head coach Golda Johansson Borst. The Wildcats were part of the 72-team NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championships field announced Thursday morning on the Golf Channel.
UK will participate in the Columbus Regional at the Scarlet Course at Ohio State University Golf Club in Columbus, Ohio, May 8-10. Kentucky has made the tournament for the 21st time in program history.
“We are excited about our NCAA Regional bid,” Borst said. “The girls have fought hard all year to have this opportunity and now we have a chance to do something very special. We will have to play some solid golf to advance but we are playing against a lot of familiar teams and I think that will work to our advantage. The Scarlet Course will be a great test for us and should separate the better teams. We’re looking forward to getting back to work.”
UK is one of five Southeastern Conferences teams in the 18-team Columbus Regional and one of nine SEC teams overall to make NCAA Regionals, a sign of the league’s strength. The SEC captured two of the four No. 1 seeds with Alabama going to the Athens Regional and Florida heading up the Columbus Regional.
The Columbus Regional boasts five conference championship – including SEC champion Florida – and six teams ranked in the top 25 of Golfstat’s rankings.
The NCAA Regionals are made up of 28 automatic qualifiers and 44 at-large bids. With a strong bounce-back season after being left out of the field in 2015-16, the Wildcats snagged one of the at-large bids.
The Wildcats boast four top-five finishes in its nine stroke-play tournament format events, plus a win over Louisville in the Battle of the Bluegrass. UK has individual titles from junior Isabelle Johansson (Minnesota Invitational) and freshman Sarah Shipley (East & West Match Play Challenge individual bracket winner). The Wildcats also shot three rounds of under par as team this season – including a school record 277 (11-under par) in the final round of the Ron Moore Women’s Intercollegiate – and are in the running for the best team stroke average in program history.
Needing a strong showing at the SEC Championship to secure a spot in the NCAA Regionals field, UK fired its best-ever 54-hole score at the annual league tourney.
The NCAA Women’s Golf Championship is made up of four regionals that consist of 18 teams and six individuals each. The three other 2017 regional sites include the Albuquerque Regional, the Lubbock Regional and the Athens Regional.
The four regional sites are preliminary rounds of the NCAA Championships. The low six teams and the low three individuals not on those teams (for a total of 24 teams and 12 individuals) will advance to the national championships, to be held May 19-24 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois.
UK’s best NCAA Regional finish under Borst was seventh place at the 2015 South Bend Regional, where the Wildcats just barely missed on qualifying for the NCAA Championships. The Wildcats will be looking to make their first NCAA Championships appearance since 1992 and the their sixth in school history.
For the latest on the Kentucky women’s golf team, follow the team on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, as well as on the web at UKathletics.com.
‑ GO CATS –
Associate Director of Media Relations
Men’s Basketball and Women’s Golf