KU’s Kawinpakorn to Play as an Individual in NCAA Regional
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas junior women’s golfer Yupaporn Kawinpakorn has been selected to compete as an individual in 2015 NCAA Regional in San Antonio at Brigg Ranch Golf Course, May 7-9, as the Golf Channel announced NCAA teams and individuals Monday.
A total of 72 teams make up the NCAA field with 18 teams competing in four regional sites. Kawinpakorn is one of six individuals selected for the San Antonio regional. The low six teams and low three individuals (not on those teams) from each regional will advance to the NCAA Championship, May 25-27, at the Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida.
“It’s very exciting but disappointing because I did not see my team get to go too,” Kawinpakorn said.
Kawinpakorn is coming off her third-consecutive Big 12 All-Tournament honor where she tied for fifth at the conference championship last weekend at Dominion Golf Club in San Antonio. Through 10 events in 2014-15, the Samuthprakan, Thailand, native is averaging a team-best 73.6 strokes per round which is on pace to break her own school record set last year. A two-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team selection, Kawinpakorn set the KU single-season record for strokes per round in 2012-13 at 75.4, then broke her own mark with a 74.5 average in 2013-14.
“My game is to keep the ball in the fairway and make some putts,” Kawinpakorn said. “If I make a lot of putts, I can shoot really low numbers. That and keep patient.”
In 2014-15, Kawinpakorn has five top-five finishes including each of her last two events in which she tied for first at the SMU/DAC Invitational, April 10-11, in Dallas and her conference fifth-place finish.
“I’m very pleased Mook (Kawinpakorn) made it,” KU head coach Erin O’Neil said. “She has been consistent all year long and has played very well this spring. I’m excited that she will have the opportunity and she will be a great representative for KU golf.”
Kawinpakorn is making her second-consecutive NCAA Regional as KU was an at-large team selection in 2014 and advanced to the NCAA Championship where the Jayhawks finished 24th.
“It is very disappointing,” O’Neil said of her team not making the NCAA field. “We struggled this spring and didn’t do as well as we did in the fall. Hopefully we can use this to learn from to make us better, stronger and hungrier next year.”
Historically, besides the five KU golfers who competed at the 2014 NCAA Regional at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Oklahoma, an event where Kawinpakorn placed tied for 24th, the last Jayhawk individual to advance to an NCAA Regional was Emily Powers in 2008 where she tied for 56th at Lincoln Hills Golf Club in Lincoln, California.
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