The NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship begins Friday, May 17 on a pristine course in northwest Arkansas and a program from the west is once again the favorite. Southern Cal, the 2013 champion, enters the tournament ranked No. 1 in the nation and eager to keep the trophy in the Pacific time zone. The Trojans won seven times this season, including a convincing victory in the Cle Elum Regional.
Here's a rundown of the DI women's golf championship field, and a guide for which teams and golfers to keep an eye on.
The Field: Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Illinois, Indiana, Kent State, Northwestern, Ole Miss, Purdue, San Jose State, Southern California, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas, UCF, UCLA, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Washington, Wake Forest.
FIVE TEAMS TO WATCH
Southern Cal — The Trojans claimed the top three individual spots in their 15-shot regional victory. USC has dominated stroke play tournaments all season but match play can produce unexpected results.
Almost go time for the No. 1 Trojans, opening the NCAA Championships paired with fellow top seeds Texas and Duke with the 9:55a PT start off of 10 at Blessings G.C.— USC Women’s Golf (@USCWomensGolf) May 17, 2019
Below is our lineup for today. Scoring: https://t.co/TtiLH9y73Z #FightOn pic.twitter.com/V7SQpQgymE
Texas — The Longhorns are peaking at the perfect time, winning the Big 12 Championships and the Norman Regional to push their victory count to five on the season. Hailee Cooper is one of the nation’s top freshmen.
Arizona — The Wildcats return four players from last year’s national championship squad and arrive in Fayetteville on form after a second-place finish in the East Lansing Regional.
Arkansas — Course knowledge and a partisan gallery could propel the nation’s 10th-ranked team. Fassi and Benton are a strong 1-2 combo but the bottom half of the lineup might dictate the Razorbacks’ success.
Kent State — The Golden Flashes led the nation with seven stroke play titles this season, including a one-shot victory over the defending national champs in the East Lansing Regional. They’re no strangers to NCAA Match Play either, reaching the top eight the last two years.
FIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH
Jennifer Chang, Southern Cal — No. 3 in Golfstat individual rankings, won Cle Elum Regional with an 11-under total for her second victory of the season.
Maria Fassi, Arkansas — Runner-up in 2019 Augusta National Women’s Amateur aims to cap outstanding career by claiming the national title on the Razorbacks’ home course. SEC champion.
Frida Kinhult, Florida State — A freshman from Sweden and the nation’s top-ranked player. Recorded 12 sub-70 rounds this season, including a final-round 68 in the Auburn Regional.
.@CoachBondFSU and the #fsu golf team begin play in the @NCAAGolf Championship Finals on Friday. Follow live on @Golfstat @FridaKinhult@AmeliaWgolf@amandadgolfhttps://t.co/a4cmsfe3cC pic.twitter.com/IE17RFhDBb— FSU Golf (@FSUGolf) May 16, 2019
Jennifer Kupcho, Wake Forest — 2018 NCAA champion, 2019 Augusta National Women’s Amateur champion, No. 6 in Golfstat rankings.
Andrea Lee, Stanford — No. 2 in Golfstat rankings, finished in top-10 in six of eight starts in 2018-19 season, two-time U.S. Curtis Cup team member.