Clemson, S.C.—Clemson’s women’s golf program received a bid as the No. 8 seed in the Tallahassee Regional of the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship on Wednesday evening. Clemson will be one of 18 teams in the regional that will be played May 7-9. The top six teams in the field after 54 holes will advanced to the National Championship Tournament at Stillwater, Oklahoma at Karsten Creek, May 18-23.
The Tallahassee Regional will be played at Don Veller Golf Club. The course was renovated in 2004 with designs by world renowned golf course architect Robert C. Walker. Admission to all three days of the tournament is free of charge.
Clemson will compete with – Alabama (the No. 2 overall seed in the championship), Furman, Arizona, Washington, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, Florida State, Georgia, Tennessee, UNLV, Kennesaw State, Denver, Coastal Carolina, Missouri, College of Charleston, Richmond, and Albany– for the team and individual titles in the Tallahassee Regional Championships
While Clemson is the No. 8 seed, Kelley Hester’s team has played well against the other teams in the tournament during the regular season. Clemson has a 6-3 record against the teams seeded three through nine. That includes a 3-1 record against host school Florida State.
This will be Clemson’s fourth NCAA Tournament appearance in the five years of the program. Last year the Tigers were seeded 10th , but finished fifth at the Athens Regional in Georgia and advanced to the NCAA National Tournament where they finished a program best 20th.
“We are excited to get the bid, and excited to go to the Tallahassee Regional,” said Hester, the only coach in NCAA history to take four different programs to the NCAA National Tournament and a top 20 final ranking. “We will finish finals and then drive to Tallahassee. I think that is an advantage as oppose to flying across the country.” The other regionals are in San Francisco, Madison Wisconsin and Austin, Texas.
“We feel good about the way we ended the season (program best third place at ACC Tournament) and I think we are in a good place. Last year’s experience of getting through the regional should help also.
All five starters in this year’s lineup played in the 2017 NCAAs. The Tigers are led by Alice Hewson, a junior All-ACC performer who has a 72.22 stroke average and five top 10 finishes this year. Sydney Legacy is a senior who is on a streak of five straight top 13 finishes. She joins Ashlan Ramsey as the only players in Clemson women’s golf history with five straight top 13 finishes. She has a 72.94 stroke average this year.
Ana Paula Valdes has a 73.74 stroke average and seven under-par rounds so far this year and has the third best stroke average on the team. Kennedy Swann has a 74.74 average and is coming off a top 10 finish at the ACC Tournament
Marisa Messana is the fifth starter in the lineup. The Clemson graduate student was Clemson’s top player in the final round of the Athens Regional last year when Clemson qualified for the National Tournament for the first time.