The Ole Miss men’s and women’s golf teams earned bids to the NCAA tournament this past week. They were both selected as No. 9 seeds for their respective regionals, and they both will have the opportunity to reach the NCAA Championships.
The women’s golf team earned the No. 9 seed in the Norman regional, which is hosted by Oklahoma from May 6-8. The tournament bid secured the Rebels’ second straight postseason appearance and their 11th appearance overall.
Seventeen other teams will join the Rebels in Norman, including top-seeded Texas and SEC foes Florida, Texas A&M and Mississippi State. The top-6 teams will advance to the NCAA Championship, along with the top three individual finishers.
The Rebels are coming off their victory in the SEC Championship, where they defeated South Carolina in the final to claim their first SEC Championship in program history.
“Golf is a game of confidence, so I think last week’s win is definitely going to fuel us for regionals and hopefully we can just build off that momentum,” head coach Kory Henkes said after the team earned the bid.
Freshman Macy Somoskey showed her mettle throughout the tournament, and her victories clinched three of the matches for the Rebels. While Somoskey excelled in match play, sophomore Julia Johnson earned individual honors and finished as the individual runner-up after shooting a 54-hole total of 214, good for 2-under par. The hope for the team is that they will be able to carry this momentum into the NCAA Tournament.
“The girls are feeling good about their game right now, so we’re looking forward to a great championship and hopefully we can come back with at least a top-6 finish that gets us to the NCAA Championship,” Henkes said.
Meanwhile, the men’s golf team also secured a postseason appearance, which marks their third consecutive appearance in the NCAA tournament and their 12th visit overall. They were selected as the No. 9 seed in the Stanford regional, which will also be held May 13-15 at the Stanford Golf Course.
“We’re excited to return to the NCAA Tournament. This team has had a lot thrown at them throughout the course of the season, and they have responded each and every time,” head coach Chris Malloy said.
The men will face off against 12 other teams in California. The field includes top-seeded Arizona State and SEC rival LSU, who finished 9th at the SEC tournament, one spot ahead of the Rebels.
“Many people counted our group out, and here we are — still standing with as clean of a slate as anyone else in the country,” Malloy said. “ Now it’s time to continue to build on the momentum that we have created over the last two events and make a run toward a national championship.”
They will have to finish in the top five to advance to the NCAA Championships, which would be a major achievement for Ole Miss. Advancement would be especially fulfilling after finishing a heartbreaking sixth in last year’s regional, one spot out of advancement.