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Gorlei gets NCAA Championship nod

22 May 2017

Cara Gorlei; credit Catherine Kotze / SASPA

Former GolfRSA Elite Squad member Cara Gorlei from Western Province became only the second Arkansas Razorback since Major champion Stacy Lewis to represent the University of Arkansas at the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship since 2007.

The former number one ranked South African travelled in her individual capacity to 2017 championship, which teed off at Fich Harvest Farm in Sugar Grove, Illinois, this weekend.

The four regional qualifiers were held from 8 – 10 May and only the top six teams and three individuals not on a qualifying team advanced to the national championship seven qualifying sites. A total of 384 players participated in the regional qualifying and 132 made the finals.

Although the Razorbacks failed to qualify for the championship at the NCAA Columbus Regional Qualifier, Gorlei tied for seventh with rounds of 74, 72 and 74 and qualified as an individual alongside Camila Serrano from Florida International University and Maddie Szeryk from Texas A&M University.

The South African also helped the team to the best round of the qualifier – a 300 on the final day, but the team missed out by two shots.

Having played with the Razorbacks team since last year, Gorlei - a graduate of the Western Province Golf development programme - has been a steady contributor in her first two seasons and has clocked three top 10 finishes this year. She was also Arkansas’ second lowest finisher in the postseason of her first year abroad. 

After the first two rounds of the NCCA Championship, the field of 24 teams was cut to the top eight teams.

Northwestern University sits at the top of the pile with 599 and has an eight shot lead over Kent State. The other six teams to advance are Stanford, Ohio State, Baylor, South Carolina, Southern California and Miami.

In the individual competition, Jennifer Kupcho from Wake Forest fired rounds of 74 and 70 to lead by one shot from August Kim of Purdue (South Africa’s Paula Reto’s alma mater).

Gorlei opened with an expensive 84, but rose 17 spots after carding 77 in the second round.



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