STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - The 12th-ranked and No. 4-seeded Texas A&M women's golf team looks for its fourth NCAA Championship berth in the last five years when the Aggies begin play at the NCAA East Regional on Thursday at Penn State's Blue Course.
The top eight teams and two individuals from each of the three regionals advance to the NCAA Championship May 22-25 at the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn. The Central Regional is held at the Ohio State Scarlet Course in Columbus, Ohio, and the West Regional at the Colorado National Golf Club in Erie, Colo.
The Aggies' 54-hole event at the par-72, 6,253-yard Penn State Blue Course continues through Saturday. The field includes 24 of the top teams in the nation and six additional individuals not on those teams. Live scoring is available at golfstat.com.
Texas A&M is making its 12th straight regional appearance and its 17th in the last 18 seasons. The Aggies placed eighth at last year's West Regional in Auburn, Wash., and advanced to the NCAA Championship for the 11th time in school history. A&M was seventh at nationals, the programs' third top 10 NCAA finish.
Joining A&M at the East Regional in order of seeding is No. 2 Alabama (1), No. 5 Arizona State (2), No. 8 Duke (3), No. 15 Florida (5), No. 18 Arizona (6), No. 20 Oklahoma State (7), No. 25 South Carolina (8), No. 24 Michigan State (9), Washington (10), Texas (11), Tulane (12), UCF (13), Wake Forest (14), Northwestern (15), San Diego State (16), Kent State (17), Maryland (18), Augusta State (19), Campbell (20), Chattanooga (21), Oral Roberts (22), Jacksonville State (23) and LIU Brooklyn (24).
Representing the Aggies is sophomore Katerina Ruzickova, junior Mary Michael Maggio, freshman Patricia Garcia, junior Sarah Beth Davis and sophomore Natalie Reeves. Ruzickova and Maggio were named to the All-Big 12 Team last week.
Davis (76.26 stroke average) appears in her third straight regional and has the most NCAA experience. Ruzickova (73.85) and Reeves (77.13) enter their second consecutive NCAA postseason event, while Maggio (74.73), the Big 12 Women's Golfer of the Month and winner of the individual title at the Big 12 Championship, and Garcia (75.78) compete in their first regional.
The Aggies have had a solid season under fifth-year head coach Trelle McCombs, finishing in the top 10 in every event they competed, including a win at the Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational in Hawaii.
"It's a tough regional, McCombs said. "It's one of those where we have to play well. It's not teams we haven't played before and it's not teams we haven't beaten before. So, if we can carry that into the regional, stay with our basics and our process, and do the same things we've done all year, we should be fine."
The Aggies tee off at 7:36 a.m. (CT) Thursday from hole 10 and are paired with Florida and Arizona for the first round.