T-Bird Golfers Head To Cowgirl Classic

April 05, 2012
By SUU Strategic Communication

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Kacy Buckner is the Thunderbirds' lone senior
Kacy Buckner is the Thunderbirds' lone senior
Courtesy: SUU Strategic Communications

CEDAR CITY, Utah, April 5 - Southern Utah's women's golf team plays the penultimate event of its 2012 season next week when the Thunderbirds travel to Chandler, Ariz., for the University of Wyoming's Cowgirl Classic.

The tournament is scheduled to be played Monday through Wednesday at the par 72, 6,184-yard Ocotillo Golf Resort. Teams will play 18 holes per day, with tee times beginning at 6:30 a.m. Live scoring will be available through golfstat.com.

Scheduled to compete for the Thunderbirds are senior Kacy Buckner, sophomore Kaohi Loo and freshman Monica Jung, with the fourth and fifth players to be determined from a group including juniors Brittany Edwards and Jamie Coking Millard, sophomore Rose Pelletier and freshman Alyssa Ballew.

The tournament field at the 18-team Bucknell Invitational is expected to include Wofford, Oral Roberts, Akron, San Francisco, Wyoming, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Weber State, Northern Iowa, Eastern Kentucky, Indiana State, Western Illinois, Eastern Washington, Utah Valley, North Dakota, Idaho State, Gustavus Adolphus, SUU and host Bucknell.

The tournament field for the 24-team tournament is scheduled to include SUU, Boise State, Colorado State, Creighton, Eastern Washington, Iowa, Montana, Montana State, Nevada, New Mexico State, Northern Arizona, Northern Colorado, Portland State, Sacramento State, Santa Clara, Seattle, South Dakota State, UC Riverside, Utah Valley, UTEP, Weber State, Wichita State, Xavier and host Wyoming.

Last Year at the Cowgirl Classic: SUU finished 18th in a field of 23 with junior Sadie Palmer leading the way in 50th place. Palmer finished 22 shots off the pace of Portland State's Britney Yada, who shot 3-under par 213 and was named medalist after a scorecard playoff with Northern Colorado's Carleigh Silvers, who also shot 213. Junior Kacy Buckner finished second among Thunderbirds, in 56th at 237, followed by freshman Kaohi Loo (75th, 241), sophomore Jamie Coking (98th, 249) and senior Morgan Kerber (110th, 254). Portland State ran away with the team crown, shooting 7-over par 871 to finish 28 strokes ahead of second place New Mexico State (899) and 31 up on third-place BYU. SUU shot 962 as a team.

The Coach: Richard Church (Utah '89) is in his 12th season as head golf coach and his 17th on the staff at Southern Utah. Prior to taking over the program from former Coach John Evans, Church spent four seasons as the Thunderbirds' assistant coach. During his tenure on the SUU staff, Church has coached five academic all-Americans, one Mid-Continent Conference medalist, two Mid-Con runner-ups and the University's first NCAA post-season competitor in golf. He has also seen the team finish second in the league five times since SUU began competing in the Mid-Con in 1997-98.

Last Time Out: SUU finished in eighth place at the BYU at Entrada Classic, as did the Thunderbirds' top finisher Monica Jung, who shot 11-over par 227 and finished in a four-way tie for eighth with Cal State Fullerton's Taylor Fowler and Tisha Alyn Abrea, and Texas State's Mara Puisite. The foursome was 11 shots off the pace of individual champ Kelsey Vines of Oklahoma State. As a team the Thunderbirds shot a final-round 323 after rounds of 311 and 330 on Monday to finish at 964, 22 shots behind seventh place BYU, two up on Northern Arizona and four ahead of Weber State. SUU's Kacy Buckner (74-83-79) finished 27th at 236, with Kaohi Loo (80-82-80) 44th at 242, Brittany Edwards (82-89-88) 61st at 250 and Rose Pelletier (88-94-88) 66th at 270. Jamie Coking Millard, playing as an individual, finished 57th at 255 (86-85-84).