SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Three strokes. That’s all that separates Maryland from making the 54-hole minimize on the NCAA Division I Ladies’s Championship.
The Terrapins are first-timers right here. Not simply to the NCAA Championships however to Arizona itself. 5 worldwide gamers whose match schedule by no means took them west of Texas.
“I really feel like we’re a little bit starstuck,” stated head coach Diana Cantu, “regardless that they’re ok.”
The Terps have been first off on Friday morning, when circumstances have been calm and scoring was ripe within the desert, they usually didn’t take benefit. On Saturday afternoon, they have been 9 strokes higher in menacing wind that, at occasions, may knock an individual off-balance. They’ll want extra of that grit on Sunday when the sector is minimize to the highest 15 groups. Maryland at present sits in nineteenth, three photographs again of South Carolina and Michigan, who’re tied for 14th at 24-over 600.
A lot consideration on the NCAA regional at Baton Rouge went to the 12 groups who by no means hit a shot to advance.
NCAA officers scrapped competitors all three days because of climate, with committee consultant Brad Hurlbut, the Director of Athletics at Fairleigh Dickinson, controversially declaring that the course was playable, however “not playable at a championship stage.”
The highest six seeds mechanically superior. Maryland was seeded fifth.
Public outcry was so loud that Barstool Sports activities stepped as much as run the Let Them Play Classic earlier this week at Whirlwind Golf Membership in Chandler, Arizona, a last-minute dwelling run for the heartbroken.
But it surely wasn’t straightforward for her workforce both, Cantu famous.
“They wished to be right here otherwise,” stated Cantu.
“They nonetheless had such a robust season that they deserve it, they simply didn’t envision it that approach. … They’re so into social media and it simply blew up a lot. I feel that was exhausting for them a pair days.”
Cantu believes they’ve moved previous it now.
The Maryland Terrapins ladies’s golf workforce poses for a photograph at Grayhawk Golf Membership in Scottsdale, web site of the 2021 NCAA Championships. Picture by Maryland
On Monday, high eight groups after 72 holes of stroke play will advance to match play at Grayhawk Golf Membership. Mississippi, LSU and Oregon additionally superior out of Baton Rouge and are at present 7, 8, and T-9, respectively in Scottsdale.
Maryland, ranked 20th by Golfweek/Sagarin, positioned within the high three in all seven tournaments they performed this spring. The workforce disbanded final March after the season was canceled as a result of COVID-19 pandemic and didn’t reunite till January.
Cantu fearful concerning the time aside may impression them. She couldn’t be happier with how they got here again firing. It helped too that in a number of occasions the Terps have been grouped collectively due to COVID protocols. Cantu stated these rounds have been particularly key in serving to them to know the significance of their attitudes, momentum and vitality throughout the workforce.
Earlier than Xiaolin Tian, now a graduate pupil, got here to Maryland from China, the Terps have been ranked properly outdoors the highest 100. That’s a part of the pitch Cantu makes when promoting her program to recruits: Come to a spot that you would be able to go away higher than you discovered it.
“They’re setting such a excessive customary,” she stated.
Maryland set an 18-hole document rating of 278 this spring and senior Virunpat Olankitkunchai set a brand new particular person match scoring mark of 11 underneath. She’s at present ranked 24th within the nation.
“I don’t ever actually cease and pause and notice what we’ve achieved,” stated Cantu. “I’m a go, go, go what’s subsequent individual. What we’ve achieved in 12 months like this, I feel it’s excellent.”
They usually’re not achieved but.