Kaitlyn DeHaven | Digital Managing Editor
After earning the No. 8 seed, the Baylor women’s golf team is headed to the NCAA East Lansing Regional from May 6-8 at Forest Akers West Golf Course. This will be the seventh time the team has advanced to the NCAA National Tournament in the eight years that head coach Jay Goble has been coaching the team.
Goble said while they haven’t seen the golf course with their own eyes, the team is preparing by looking at the course map on Google Earth, and has been preparing for this all season long. He said that everything up to this point is a “warm-up,” and after recently earning first place and second place finishes, the team is right where it needs to be to succeed in regionals.
Goble said the team is excited to go to regionals, and he expects them to do well there. He said the veteran players on the team are teaching the newer athletes about what an honor it is to be able to play in regionals and said the team is ready to go north and fight.
“I see a bunch of fighters on this team. I see a bunch of players that want to compete,” Goble said. “We are a team that likes to face the challenges and I think we’re pretty good at dealing with adversity. I think that’s one of the reasons we’re more excited to go to Michigan – bring on the weather, bring on the conditions, we’re not going to let anything like that bother us.”
Sophomore Gurleen Kaur was a new player last year, and Goble said she came in and added a lot to the team. Kaur said last year at regionals was difficult because she didn’t have any experience to base it off of, and this year she should be much more prepared. She said that the entire team is excited to travel to Michigan, and that their momentum from the Big 12 tournament should help they perform well in regionals.
“Everybody played really well at Big 12 and that’s really great momentum going into postseason,” Kaur said. “We all want to play as best as we can in post-season.”
Senior Maria Vesga echoed Kaur’s though and said that she’s anticipating a good outcome from the tournament.
“Going into postseason, I always know that we play really well,” Vesga said. “We’re always finishers and not starters. We’re just ready to go out there and get the work done.”
There are 18 teams going to the NCAA East Lansing Regional, and the top six teams will advance to the NCAA National Championship, where they will compete for the national title.
Baylor is 5-8 against NCAA regional teams this year. This could pose a challenge for the athletes, but Goble said that they team is always up for a challenge and always ready to compete. In addition, he said that the team plays better at the end of the season, which will hopefully bode well in the upcoming competition.
“I think to be a great golf team – to be a great golfer in general – you have to deal with adversity,” Goble said. “That’s what playing good golf is. We’re going to go in there with a great attitude and know that we have to compete regardless of the weather, and regardless of what anybody else shoots. We have to do our best.”