UTEP, NMSU Women's Golf Headed to NCAA West Regional in Washington

UTEP, NMSU Women's Golf Headed to NCAA West Regional in Washington

POSTED: Monday, April 25, 2011 - 4:57pm

UPDATED: Monday, April 25, 2011 - 7:18pm

The NCAA announced the fields for the 2011 NCAA Regional Tournaments, Monday, April 25 and the UTEP and New Mexico State women's golf team has been selected to play in the West Regional Tournament, May 5-7.

The Aggies, who were selected as an at-large bid, are making their first NCAA Regional Tournament appearance since 2006 when they finished 15. The team is set to join 23 other teams in Auburn, Wash. to play on the par-72, 6,266 yard Washington National Golf Club Course.

"This is exciting for us and we all believe that we worked hard to get to this point," head coach Paul Brilliant said. "This team is capable of so much and I am proud that they are able to compete in this tournament."

Playing for the Aggies in the regional tournament will be seniors Suteera (Pang) Chanachai, Apinporn (Mint) Swaschuto, Lauren (Buz) Bowerman-Ritchie, along with junior Ashley Elias and freshman Demi Mak.

“We’ve never played that course. In fact, we’ve never been to that part of the country,” UTEP coach Jere Pelletier said. “The closest we’ve gotten is Fort Collins [Colo.] and Salt Lake City [Utah]. We’re excited and we’re happy to be going there. I think it’s better for us to head West than East. I think we’ll handle it fine.”

UTEP is one of 72 teams in the field, and one of 24 at the West Regional site. Joining the Miners in Seattle will be Arizona, BYU, Denver, Georgia, Iowa State, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Oklahoma, Oral Roberts, Oregon, Pepperdine, Portland, San Diego State, San Jose State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Texas-San Antonio, Tulsa, UC Davis, USC, Virginia and Washington.

UTEP is one of four Conference USA teams to earn regional invitations, joining East Carolina, Tulane and Tulsa.

“The conference is getting better all the time,” Pelletier said. “Memphis had a chance to get in, and UCF was close to getting in too.”

Eight teams and two individuals will advance from each of three regional sites. The championships finals will be held May 18-21 at the Traditions Club in Bryan, Texas.

UTEP earned the automatic bid to NCAA Regionals by winning the Conference USA championship for the first time last week.

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