BY AUSTIN MILLER | ASST. SPORTS EDITOR | firstname.lastname@example.org
Tomorrow, Butler University’s women’s golf team will begin competition in the 2015 Big East Championship at LPGA International Golf Course in Daytona, Florida. The Bulldogs will look for a ticket to their first NCAA Regional since joining the Big East after winning the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship two seasons ago.
To do so, Butler will have to outscore a group of opponents that it has not seen this season. The only exception was an encounter with Xavier University at the Time Warner Invitational earlier this month. Outside of that, the Bulldogs have not seen any of their competition this season.
Senior Jenna Peters is returning as one of five players that tied for second overall at this tournament last season, and is considered a front-runner for the crown this season. She heads into the tournament as the No. 3 individual seed in the field.
With her individual goals in mind, Peters said she is keeping the goals of the team at the forefront.
“(Winning the conference) is my goal this year,” she said, “But at the same time we are ultimately trying to get the team qualified for regionals. That is the ultimate goal.”
Peters (averaging 75.1) leads a group of four Bulldogs who have kept their season stroke averages below 80, followed by Isabella Lambert (77.8), Megan McCambridge (78.7) and Kelsey McDougall (79.9).
Even after a disappointing performance in last season’s Big East Championship, Butler head coach Bill Mattingly said he is not too concerned heading into this year’s contest.
“I think we could have competed in the conference tournament last year,” he said. “I don’t think our showing at that event was our best effort.”
With a very even landscape across the Big East for much of the season, the Bulldogs have as good a chance as any of the participating teams to capture the title, which would be their first as a member of the conference. The Bulldogs will also be looking to avoid missing the NCAA Regionals in back-to-back seasons for the first time in five years.
Action will start tomorrow morning and continue through Saturday, when the Big East will crown its champion and hand out its automatic berth into the NCAA Regionals.