Kansas Women's Golf to Compete at the Big 12 Championship, April 19-21

April 17, 2013

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RHODES, Iowa – Kansas women’s golf, which has won two tournament titles and recorded eight top-10 finishes in 2012-13, will compete at the 17th annual Big 12 Championship at The Harvester Golf Club in Rhodes, Iowa, April 19-21. The championship is hosted by Iowa State University.

Kansas is one of nine teams, West Virginia does not have women’s golf, that will compete on the par-72 course which will play at 6,055 yards for the league event. The Harvester Golf Club also hosted the 2001 Big 12 Championship. Following a practice round on Thursday, April 18, the tournament will consist of a 54-hole format with single rounds of 18 holes on April 19, 20 and 21. Team scoring will be the top-four scores of the five golfers from each squad.

Kansas is seeded No. 8 for the event and will play its opening round with No. 7 TCU and No. 9 Kansas State. Top-seeded Oklahoma will be paired with No. 2 Texas and No. 3 Oklahoma State. No. 4 Texas Tech, No. 5 Baylor and No. 6 Iowa State make up the other pairing.

Kansas is using the lineup of juniors Thanuttra “Fhong” Boonraksasat and Meghan Potee, freshman Yupaporn “Mook” Kawinpakorn, sophomore Minami Levonowich and senior Audrey Yowell. In their last three events, the Jayhawks defeated Nebraska in a dual (March 20), placed eighth out of 18 teams at the Briar’s Creek Invitational in John’s Island, S.C., (March 25-26), and placed second out of 15 teams at the Indiana Invitational (April 13-14).

“We’ve been able to get out and practice more,” Kansas head coach Erin O’Neil said about KU’s recent spring success. “We’ve focused a lot on our short game, wedges, bunkers and putting. Those are things you always have to focus on. It’s what it comes down to a lot of times. A lot of people can strike the ball well; it’s how well you can get it to the hole. They have also been working a lot their course management and making better decisions on the course and we’ve been able to save some shots there, too.”

Boonraksasat, Kawinpakorn and Potee have been KU’s most consistent players throughout the season. Boonraksasat has finished in the top five of each of her last three events and is tied with Kawinpakorn averaging 75.4 strokes per 18 holes. Potee has been KU’s first or second scorer in five of her last seven outings and averages 76.1 strokes per 18 holes. Yowell is coming off a career-low-tying 226 at last week’s Indiana Invitational and she averages 77.7, while Levonowich, a sophomore transfer from Kennesaw State, shoots 78.5 per round.

“I just want us to focus on the goals we set out this fall,” O’Neil said. “They are very good goals and have gotten us this far. I think if we do that and continue to make good decisions on the course, manage our thoughts and decisions, be tough, then we’ll see what happens.”

The Big 12 Championship field is loaded with six teams ranked No. 26 or higher according Golfweek.com’s latest national rankings released April 15. Oklahoma is No. 3 followed by No. 16 Texas, No. 17 Oklahoma State, No. 20 Texas Tech, No. 24 Baylor and No. 26 Iowa State. TCU is No. 48, Kansas No. 67 and Kansas State No. 71. A total of 263 teams are ranked by Golfweek.com.

Historically, Kansas’ highest finish in the Big 12 Championship was fifth in 2009 at Rawls Golf Course in Lubbock, Texas. The Jayhawks won the 1990 Big Eight Conference women’s golf championship at Alvamar Golf Club in Lawrence, Kan.

Individually, KU’s Amanda Costner won the Big 12 Championship in 2007 at Ridgewood Country Club in Waco, Texas, shooting a 54-hole 221. The 2007 Big 12 Sportsperson of the Year, Costner also earned conference all-tournament honors by finishing tied for seventh in 2004 with a 148 in two rounds at Pebble Creek Country Club in College Station, Texas. In 2009, Kansas’ Meghan Gockel tied for sixth at the Big 12 Championship with a 230 for KU’s other top-10 finish.

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