WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – First year Williams College women's golf coach Tomas Adalsteinsson has extended the impressive string of NCAA Tournament appearances to eight. This year marks the 10th time in 11 years that the Ephs have advanced to the NCAA Championships.
Adalsteinsson's Ephs have been named to the 2017 NCAA Tournament field next week at Bay Oaks Country Club in Houston, Texas. Twenty-two teams and six individuals will compete next Tuesday through Friday in Houston.
Bay Oaks Country Club hosted the 2016 NCAA DIII Women's Golf Championships and is a private club established in, which is located on the southern edges of the City of Houston. Bay Oaks Country Club offers an 18-hole championship golf course with a beautiful and challenging array of holes that blend both traditional and links-style holes throughout.
Bay Oaks Course Rating: 75.3 Course Slope: 135 Tournament Yardage: 5,871
In their 10 previous trips to the NCAA Championships the Ephs have never finished outside of the top 10.
The past five years the Ephs have finished fifth or better. In 2014 Williams placed third and the 2015 Ephs captured the NCAA title. The Ephs are tourney-tested.
"The team's scoring average for this year is the lowest we have seen in our program (310.19) and it's also the second lowest scoring average among DIII women's golf programs," noted Adalsteinsson. "We have been playing great golf all year, but we feel like we could have started some tournaments a little better and therefore left some shots out there."
"All the players have worked really hard on their golf game, in the weight room, and in the classroom to make sure that we are ready for this week," Adalsteinsson added. "We set a 36-hole team score school record this fall shooting 601, and this spring we have carded 300 twice. Two years ago our 18-hole team scoring record was 300, so we are seeing some great improvement. We are excited to see what we can do with an experienced team heading to Bay Oaks Country Club."
Adalsteinsson's 2017 Eph tourney team is ranked second nationally by Golfstat and they are seeded first in the East and second overall behind George Fox University (Newberg, Ore.). The Eph team will be comprised of the five players who helped Williams finish fifth last year and three of those players also played on the Ephs' 2015 NCAA title team. Five golfers compete for each team each round and the top four scores each day are used to tabulate the team total.
Seniors Sophie Kitchen and Tracey Kim along with junior Phoebe Mattana were key players in the Ephs winning their first NCAA title in 2015. That trio also played in last year's NCAA Tournament that was also played at Bay Oaks Country Club. Junior Liz Gudas and sophomore Cordelia Chan fill out the Eph lineup and they also played in Houston last year when the traditional four-day tourney was shortened to three days due to persistent thunderstorms.
Chan earned Honorable Mention honors last spring with a 10th place individual finish, while Sophie Kitchen and Phoebe Mattana earned Honorable Mention All-America honors in 2016 and this year Liz Gudas was named the NESCAC Golfer of the Year.
The four-day NCAA Championship Tournament will begin Tues., May 9 and conclude on Fri., May 12. Following 54 holes of competition the field will be cut to 15 teams and the top six individuals not on one of the remaining teams for the final round.
The Ephs will tee off at 12:55 p.m. (CST) on Tues.; from the 10th tee and on Wednesday the Ephs will tee off beginning at 7:45 a.m. (CST) on the first tee.
Every three holes, players will record their scores with scoring assistants so results may be updated in real time at www.ncaa.com.