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Big 12 Women's Golf Championship Starts Friday
April 18, 2013
By Wendell Barnhouse | Correspondent

Nine teams will compete for the 2013 Big 12 Women's Golf Championship starting Friday and concluding Sunday. Iowa State is the host and the 54-hole competition will be held at The Harvester Golf Club in Rhodes, Iowa. The Harvester is a par-72, 6,430-yard course.

Oklahoma is the defending champion, winning the title last season for the first time since 2000. First day pairings for the 2013 Big 12 Women's Golf Championship are determined by the most recent Golfweek/Sagarin team rankings.

Action kicks off on Friday, April 19, with top-seed Oklahoma, No. 2 seeded Texas and No. 3 seed Oklahoma State teeing off at 8:00 a.m. At 8:40 a.m., No. 4 Texas Tech, No. 5 Baylor and No. 6 Iowa State will follow. Seventh-seed TCU will play alongside Kansas and Kansas State beginning at 9:20 a.m.

Teams will consist of five golfers and the lowest four scores per round from the designated five-player team will be used. Scoring shall be stroke play. All nine schools will compete at the par-72, 6,430-yard course during the three-day, 54-hole event.

Here are team-by-team previews:

In his second season as head coach, Jay Goble has led the Lady Bears to top-six finishes in seven of nine tournaments, including a championship in the Hurricane Invitational and three second-place finishes. Baylor is led by sophomore All-American Hayley Davis, who earned her first career win at the Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate and has placed in the top 10 individually in seven of nine tournaments this season.

Iowa State
The Cyclones, ranked 27th nationally by Golfweek, is poised to make its fourth-straight NCAA Regional appearance. Iowa State is hosting the Big 12 Championship for the first time since 2001, and the Cyclones are hoping to utilize a little "home-course" advantage. Iowa State has five players ranked in the Golfweek top-215, led by senior Punpaka Phuntumabamrung, who is ranked 116th nationally and leads the team in stroke average at 74.2.

The Jayhawks won two tournaments in the fall and have eight top-10 finishes this year. Under ninth-year head coach Erin O'Neil, Kansas hopes to keep its momentum as the Jayhawks are coming off a second-place finish at the Indiana Invitational last weekend in Bloomington, Ind. Juniors Thanuttra Boonraksasat and Meghan Potee and freshman Yupaporn Kawinpakorn have been KU's most consistent golfers in 2012-13.

Kansas State
The Wildcats are fielding the lineup of Whitney Pyle, Olivia Eliasson, Gianna Misenhelter,Carly Ragains and Hanna Roos to the Big 12 Championship. That group is making its fourth consecutive tournament start. Pyle, who leads the team in stroke average at 76.14, has recorded three top-20 finishes, two top-10 finishes and one top-five finish this season. Eliasson, a sophomore, has earned three consecutive top-20 finishes. K-State finished eighth at last year's Big 12 Championship, with its best finish coming in 2009 with a fourth-place finish.

The Sooners, third nationally in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, are on track to make a second straight NCAA Championships appearance after claiming three tournament titles this season and finishing in the top five seven times in eight regular season events. OU features reigning NCAA champion Chirapat Jao-Javanil, a junior who boasts at 71.58 scoring average (-0.17 in relation to par) and has finished in the top five in six of eight events (she has claimed two individual titles). In addition to sixth-ranked Jao-Javanil, the defending Big 12 champion Sooners feature 35th-ranked Anne-Catherine Tanguay and 54th-ranked Emily Collins, both also juniors.

Oklahoma State
The Cowgirls have won seven Big 12 titles, including a victory at The Harvester in 2001, and seven individual medalists to its credit. The Cowgirls enter play fresh off their second victory of the year after winning the SMU Dallas Athletic Club Invitational. Freshman Julie Yang earned her first career victory in just her fifth start. OSU's starting five will be led by the 2012 Big 12 Player and Newcomer of the Year in Kelsey Vines. The senior is currently ranked third in the country, while the team checks in at No. 17 in the most recent Golfweek/Sagarin rankings.

The TCU women's golf program will be making its first trip to the Big 12 Championships and is seeking its 18th-consecutive NCAA postseason appearance. The Horned Frogs won the Mountain West championship the last two years. Sanna Nuutinen, the 2012 Mountain West individual champion, has a team-best 74.9 stroke average with Alexandra Bonetti second at 75.3. Bonetti has a top-20 finish in four of the last five tournaments, including two top-10 results.

The Longhorns recorded three top-five finishes this spring and are coming off shooting a season-low 54-hole score of even-par 864 in the PING/ASU Invitational. Seniors Madison Pressel and Desiree Dubreuil have been the top golfers for Texas this season. Dubreuil has been the top finisher for the Longhorns in four events and leads the team with a 74.3 stroke average. Pressel has averaged 74.5. Sophomore Bertine Strauss has been UT's top finisher in two events and is second on the team in stroke average at 74.7.

Texas Tech
After spending most of this season ranked among the top 20 teams in the Golfweek poll, Texas Tech appears primed to make its fourth-straight trip to the postseason under head coach JoJo Robertson. The Lady Raiders are led by senior Kim Kaufman, who spent several weeks earlier this year as the No. 1-ranked golfer according to Golfweek. She is on pace to record the best stroke average in school history as she is averaging 71.6 swings per round entering the Big 12 Championships.

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