No. 5 Arkansas leads field at SEC Champs, No. 3 Duke headlines ACC
Fifth-ranked Arkansas is ready to tee it up at the 2014 SEC Championship in Birmingham, Ala., Friday-Sunday.
The Razorbacks enter the tournament as the highest-ranked team in the field this year and are playing the Greystone Golf and Country Club for the second time in as many years this weekend.
“I try not to emphasize much on rankings,” Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor said. “We focus on getting better every day. The team knows we’ve been there before and they know this golf course. We have to treat it like any other tournament and put a plan in place to be successful. We know our best is good enough and that we are prepared. We’re going to go out and lay it all on the line and hope that come Sunday, we will be in a good spot.”
The challenging Founder’s Course at Greystone gave Arkansas some trouble last year when heavy rains and strong winds altered already tough conditions. The course has changed a bit for this season’s tournament.
“I know that they have shortened the golf course a little over 300 yards so it will play a little differently,” Estes-Taylor said. “We really have to have a solid practice round and prepare for the changes.”
Arkansas enters this year’s event with a veteran lineup that includes two seniors and four players who played the course last season.
Seniors Emma Lavy and Emily Tubert lead the charge along with sophomores Gabriela Lopez and Reginia Plasencia. Freshman Summar Roachell rounds out the Razorback lineup.
“We have such a sense of calm with this group,” Estes-Taylor said. “We have great team chemistry and this team travels well together. They have fun on the road and they work hard every day. We are going to get into our “Arkansas Golf” zone and worry about things we can control -- the rest will take care of itself.”
Arkansas opens play at 9:40 a.m. playing with No. 6 South Carolina and No. 8 Alabama.
Third-ranked Duke will head to the ACC Championship from April 17-20, which will be played at the 6,107-yard, par 71 Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C. The Blue Devils move to postseason action finishing no worse than second place in their past six tournaments, including three victories.