LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech begins its search for its third NCAA Championships appearance in the last four years Monday morning when the Red Raiders tee off at the NCAA Austin Regional hosted at the University of Texas Golf Club.
The Red Raiders will be the No. 13 seed in the 18-team field that features seven schools from the Lone Star State, including host and No. 2 seed Texas, No. 7 Houston, No. 9 Baylor, No. 10 Texas A&M, No. 15 UTSA and No. 17 Houston Baptist. Tech will also face top-seeded Arkansas along with No. 3 Michigan State, No. 4 Florida, No. 5 Auburn and No. 7 Miami.
Tech will need to finish among the top six teams in order to advance to the NCAA Championships for the fourth time in program history. The Red Raiders previously moved past the regional round in 1996 as well as in 2015 and 2017.
Lauren Mason and Gabby Barker were both members of the 2015 and 2017 teams as the two seniors will be playing in the postseason for the fourth time in their respective careers. They join former All-Americans Gabby Dominguez and Kim Kaufman as the only Red Raiders in school history to play in an NCAA Regional in each of their four collegiate seasons.
For Barker, the return to the UT Golf Club will be a welcome challenge as she earned medalist honors there during the 2015 Betsy Rawls Invitational, the second of a now school-record four tournament crowns over her career. She followed by finishing tied for 16th a year later at the 2016 event.
In all, four players in Tech's lineup this week – Barker, Mason, Mami Yamamoto and Louisa Brunt – have played Texas' home course at least once in their careers. Yamamoto and Mason both have a pair of top-10 showings in Austin as the pair tied for 10th in 2015 and then turned in 12th place and 18th place finishes this past fall.
As a team, the Red Raiders have wrapped each of their last three trips to the Betsy Rawls Invitational among the top-six teams after finishing as the tournament runner-up in 2015 and then in fifth and sixth place the next two years.
The only newcomer who has not previously played the UT Golf Club is freshman Amy Taylor, who joined the program this January and was immediately inserted into the lineup as Tech was selected for its eighth NCAA Regional appearance in the last nine years.
The Red Raiders are slated to tee off the opening round in 10-minute intervals Monday morning beginning with Taylor at 9:50 a.m. from the No. 1 box. Live scoring will be available throughout the tournament at www.Golfstat.com.
Dates: May 7-9, 2018
Format: Stroke play, 54 holes; 18 holes each day (Monday-Wednesday)
Tee Times: 9:50 a.m. (CT) start Monday; TBD on Tuesday/Wednesday
Site: University of Texas Golf Club (Austin, Texas)
Host School: Texas
Course par and yardage: Par 72, 6,341 yards
Tournament Field (Golfstat Ranking): Arkansas (3), Texas (8), Michigan State (11), Florida (14), Auburn (19), Oklahoma (21), Houston (25), Miami (30), Baylor (35), Texas A&M (38), BYU (41), East Carolina (48), Texas Tech (49), Virginia Tech (54), UTSA (73), Georgetown (93), Houston Baptist (121), Missouri State (161).