The Road to Grayhawk: Previewing the NCAA Women's Regionals
27 Apr 2022
by Jim Young of

see also: NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship, La Costa Resort and Spa - Champions Course

The Road to Grayhawk clearly defined its lanes today with the announcement of the field for the 2022 NCAA Division I NCAA Women's Golf Championships.

Seventy-two teams, along with 36 individuals not associated with qualifying teams, will begin play at six regional sites throughout the country on Monday, May 9. Each regional will be contested over three days and 54-holes, with the top four teams and the two low individuals advancing to the National Championships at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona from May 20-25.

Stanford landed the No. 1 overall seed while Oregon, South Carolina, Wake Forest, San Jose State and Oklahoma State also landed top seeds. Oregon (Albuquerque Regional) and San Jose State (Ann Arbor Regional) are the only two top seeds not playing on its home courses.

Here's a look at the field for the NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championships.

Stanford Regional; Stanford Golf Course; May 9-11; Stanford, Calif.

The Teams: 1. Stanford; 2. Southern California; 3. LSU (Southeastern Conference); 4. Texas Tech; 5. Kentucky; 6. Iowa State; 7. Northwestern; 8. Purdue; 9. UNLV; 10. Cal Poly (Big West Conference); 11. Princeton (Ivy League); 12. Sacred Heart (Northeast Conference)

Individuals: 1. Riana Mission, San Francisco; 2. Jennifer Koga, Sacramento State; 3. Kirsten Baete, Nebraska; 4. Victoria Gailey, Nevada; 5. Leah John, Nevada; 6. Siripatsorn Patchana, Grand Canyon (Western Athletic Conference)

What to look for: With the three top female amateurs in the world in Ingrid Lindblad of LSU, Rose Zhang and Rachel Heck of Stanford, two former U.S. Women's Amateur Champions (Zhang; Jensen Castle, Kentucky) and ANWA runner-up Latanna Stone of LSU, the Stanford Regional doesn't lack for individual star power.

The top three seeds are very solid. Stanford broke out of the gates fast to start the season, winning each of its first four tournaments but has only won once since. Heck missed the Pac-12 Championships due to illness and her status for regionals is uncertain. With or without Heck, the Cardinal will be tough to beat on its home course. USC, led by freshman sensation Amari Avery, Cindy Kou and Brianna Navarrosa is also very familiar with Stanford Golf Course. The interesting battle will be for the fourth and final spot. No. 4 seed Texas Tech has been streaky this year but had a big win at the MountainView Intercollegiate, where they finished ahead of San Jose State and Oklahoma State. The Red Raiders will be pushed by Kentucky, Iowa State and Northwstern.

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Franklin Regional; Vanderbilt Legends Club; May 9-11; Franklin, Tenn.

The Teams: 1. Wake Forest (Atlantic Coast Conference); 2. Alabama; 3. Texas A&M; 4. Duke; 5. Oregon State; 6. Vanderbilt; 7. BYU; 8. Kent State (Mid-American Conference); 9. UTSA; 10. Augusta (Southland Conference); 11. Boston University (Patriot League); 12. Austin Peay (Ohio Valley Conference)

Individuals: 1. Sera Hasegawa, ETSU; 2. Mikayla Bardwell, Tennessee; 3. Tara Bettle, UNCG; 4. Dorota Zalewska, Chattanooga (Southern Conference); 5. Hollie Muse, ETSU; 6. Payton Carter, Murray State (Ohio Valley Conference)

What to look for: With five wins on the season, including the ACC Championship, Wake Forest is a strong No. 1 seed. Duke, one of the most successful programs in the country under Dan Brooks, lost its top player in Gina Kim to the LPGA Tour at midseason, but Phoebe Brinker and Erica Shepherd finished 1-2 at the ACC Championships. The darkhorse in this region might be the Oregon State Beavers, who had a tremendous showing at the Pac-12 Championships last week, tying for second along with Stanford.

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Albuquerque Regional; The Championship Course at UNM; May 9-11; Albuquerque, NM

The Teams: 1. Oregon (Pac-12 Conference); 2. Florida; 3. Texas (Big 12 Conference); 4. Arizona; 5. Georgia; 6. TCU; 7. Louisville; 8. North Texas (Conference USA); 9. Oklahoma; 10. Sam Houston State; 11. Northern Arizona (Big Sky Conference); 12. New Mexico State (Western Athletic Conference)

Individuals: 1. Patricie Mackova, Maryland; 2. Sara Kjellker, San Diego State; 3. Bernice Olivarez Ilas, San Diego State; 4. Napat Lertsadwattana, New Mexico; 5. Lauren Lehigh, New Mexico; 6. Pluem Yongyuan, So. Utah

What to look for: It's amazing the strides Oregon has made in a short time under head coach Derek Radley. The Ducks, who hadn't won a team title in five years coming into this season, have chocked up four wins this season, including their first Pac-12 Championship last week at Eugene Country Club. The Ducks also travel well, as two of their wins came in the Southeast at the Mason Rudolph Invitational (Nashville, Tenn.) and the Florida State Matchup (Tallahassee, Fla.). Florida reached the SEC Championship match where it fell to LSU and Texas is coming off a win at the Big 12 Championships last week. There should be plenty of tension surrounding which team lands the fourth and final spot.

* * * * *

Ann Arbor Regional; University of Michigan Golf Course; May 9-11; Ann Arbor, Mich.

The Teams: 1.San Jose State (Mountain West Conference); 2. Virginia; 3. Michigan (Big Ten Conference); 4. Arkansas; 5. UCF; 6. Virginia Tech; 7. North Carolina; 8. Washington; 9. Ohio State; 10. Pepperdine; 11. Xavier (Big East); 12. Oakland (Horizon League)

Individuals: 1. Jana Melichova, ODU; 2. Aine Donegan, Indiana; 3. Chloe Schiavone, Notre Dame; 4. Ragnhildur Kristinsdottir, Eastern Kentucky; 5. Jasmine Ly, Northern Illinois (Mid-American Conference); 6. Katherine Lemke, Creighton (Big East Conference)

What to look for: San Jose State has been one of the most consistent teams in the nation this year as the Spartans have not finished lower than fifth in the team standings in their nine full-field events this season, collecting four wins along the way. In three of their wins, the Spartans stared down No. 1 Stanford (twice) and No. 2 Oregon en route to the team title. Michigan, which will be playing on its home course, rides a wave of momentum into the postseason after winning its first Big 10 Championship last week. The Wolverines are very strong at the top of the lineup with Big 10 Player of the Year Ashley Lau and first team selections Monet Chun, the Big 10 individual champion, and Hailey Borja. Arkansas hasn't been the same team since losing Brooke Matthews to the LPGA Tour at midseason and will have to fend off as many as five schools if they are to hold onto the fourth spot. The dark horse in this region might be the Washington Huskies, who had a strong first two rounds at the Pac-12 Championships before stumbling on the final day.

* * * * *

Stillwater Regional; Karsten Creek Golf Club; May 9-11; Stillwater, Okla.

The Teams: 1. Oklahoma State; 2. Arizona State; 3. Baylor; 4. Auburn; 5. Michigan State; 6. Clemson; 7. Campbell (Big South Conference); 8. Furman (Southern Conference); 9. NC State; 10. California; 11. Tulane (American Athletic Conference); 12. Illinois State (Missouri Valley Conference)

Individuals: 1. Lilly Thomas, Tulsa; 2. Kiana Oshiro, Oral Roberts; 3. Sarah Bell, Oral Roberts; 4. Ellen Nicholas, Incarnate Word (Southland Conference); 5. Kennedy Pedigo, SMU (American Athletic Conference); 6. Kristen Giles, Drake (Missouri Valley Conference)

What to look for: Oklahoma State has been one of the most resilient teams in the country. After losing its top two players in Caley McGinty and Isabella Fierro to the transfer portal at midseason, the Cowgirls have marched on to land a top seed. Playing on its home course of Karsten Creek Golf Club will be a huge advantage for OSU. With seniors Alexandra Forsterling and Alessandra Fanali, who both collected wins late in the season, the Sun Devils pack plenty of experience atop their lineup. Baylor, led by Gurleen Kaur, is coming off a second-place finish at the Big 12 Championships last week. Auburn will be pushed ny Michigan State and Clemson for the fourth spot.

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Tallahassee Regional; Seminole Legacy Golf Club; May 9-11; Tallahassee, Fla.

The Teams: 1. South Carolina; 2. UCLA; 3. Florida State; 4. Ole Miss; 5. Illinois; 6. Mississippi State; 7. Miami (Florida); 8. Denver (The Summit League); 9. North Florida (Atlantic Sun Conference); 10. College of Charleston (Colonial Athletic Association); 11. Georgia Southern (Sun Belt Conference); 12. Quinnipiac (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference)

Individuals: 1. Letizia Bagnoli, Florida Atlantic (Conference USA); 2. Melanie Green, South Florida; 3. Olivia Schmidt, Arkansas State; 4. Berta Sanchez Sabe, Jacksonville State; 5. Alizee Vidal, Kennesaw State (Atlantic Sun Conference); 6. Victoria Schroedl, Fairleigh Dickinson (Northeast Conference)

What to look for: Despite overhauling its entire team from a year ago, South Carolina won five times during the regular season. UCLA, led by Emma Spitz, will have to endure a trip across the country and play on unfamiliar turf at Seminole Legacy Golf Club. Florida State won its first ever NCAA Regional championship last year when it took home the title at the Louisville Regional, is a solid third-seed on its home course while Ole Miss will look to find the same magic that carried it to last year's national championship.

ABOUT THE NCAA Division I Women's Championship

30 teams and 6 individuals not on a qualifying team make up the field for the championship of NCAA Division I women's golf.

After 72 holes of stroke play, the individual champion is crowned, and the low 8 teams advance to match play to determine the team champion.

View Complete Tournament Information

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