Two Lobos begin NCAA Regional play for the second straight year, this time at the Albuquerque Regional that begins Monday and ends Wednesday at UNM Championship Golf Course.
University of New Mexico juniors Jenny Lertsadwattana and Lauren Lehigh are playing 54 holes on their home course, the par-72 Robert Red Lawrence layout with blue and rye fairway grass and bent and Poa annua greens.
New Mexico State is one of 12 teams in the field competing in what should be great playing conditions, even as temperatures are expected to reach in the high 80s.
Admission is free at the tournament that also includes Florida, Texas, Arizona, Georgia, TCU, Louisville, North Texas, Oklahoma, Sam Houston State and Northern Arizona. Texas, the Big 12 champion, is coached by Ryan Murphy, a former Lobo golfer and assistant coach.
For the first time in NCAA history, there will be six women’s regional tournaments, an increase from four in previous years. There are 12 teams and six additional individuals playing at each regional.
The top four teams at the regional will advance to the NCAA Championships, held May 20-25 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. The top two individual performers (not on advancing teams) will also advance to the NCAA Championships.
Lertsadwattana carried the lowest average for UNM at 74.17, and Lehigh was right behind her at 74.37.
This is the 20th time NMSU has qualified for an NCAA regional. Aggies Amelia McKee and Alison Gastelum earned first-team All-Western Athletic Conference honors, as McKee, a junior, finished second at the WAC finale and Gastelum, a sophomore, tied for fifth.
The Lobos are hosting NCAA women’s play for the fifth time at the UNM Championship Course. New Mexico hosted the 1987 and 2008 NCAA Championships and regionals in 1994, 2017 and 2022.