HOUSTON - For the first time in school history, the University of Houston Women's Golf program will field a complete team and compete in nine regular-season tournaments in 2014-15, head coach Gerrod Chadwell announced Tuesday.
Houston will compete in five states throughout the season, from as far north as Michigan to as far west as California to as far south as Florida.
With such a young team, I wanted to keep us somewhat close to home yet move around some to where potential NCAA Regional sites could be," said Head Coach Gerrod Chadwell, who enters his second season with the program. "Our schedule has evolved and is immensely better than last year. It's a little more diverse, and it's always nice to start out close to home."
A year ago, the Cougars welcomed four young women as the first team members in school history. Raegan Bremer, Courtney Ferguson and Emily Gilbreth represented the Cougars on the course in 2013-14, as Kelli Rollo sat out as a redshirt. With only three competing student-athletes, Houston was not eligible for any team tournament championships per NCAA rules.
Bremer emerged as the Cougars' leading performer in the program's inaugural season, leading Houston with a 74.72 scoring average and eight rounds of par or better. She captured medalist honors at the HBU Husky Invitational in April 2014, becoming the first individual title-holder in school history.
During the summer, she competed at the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship and advanced to the Round of 64 before bowing out.
Ferguson joined Bremer in competing in every tournament a year ago, tying for 12th at the American Athletic Conference Championships history, while Gilbreth competed in six events as a freshman with a 12th-place showing at the Sam Houston State/Harold Funston Invitational.
In 2014-15, Chadwell and first-year assistant coach Lucy Nunn welcome freshmen Yuka Kajiki, Tatiana Pineda, Maddy Rayner and Megan Thothong, giving the Cougars a complete team and the chance to win team titles.
"Our kids have played a lot of golf this summer, and we are moving in the right direction. We are a young team, so we are going to play some good golf, and we are going to play some bad golf at times, but I know our good golf will outweigh the bad golf," Chadwell said. "I expect us to have a good year and make some noise in time for the postseason. We will grow up fast, and this schedule allows us to do that."
THE FALL SEASON
The Cougars open the fall season just a couple of hours away when they compete at The "Mo"Morial Invitational on Sept. 8-10 at the Traditions Club in Bryan, Texas. Just a few days later, the Cougars head north to compete at the Mary Fossum Invitational, hosted by Michigan State at Forest Akers West Golf Course in East Lansing, Mich., on Sept. 13-14.
After more than a month-long break from team competition, Houston returns to action at the Old Waverly Bulldog Invitational, hosted by Mississippi State at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Miss., on Oct. 20-22.
Just a week later, the Cougars take part at The Alamo Invitational, hosted by UTSA on Oct. 27-28 at Briggs Ranch Golf Club in San Antonio, Texas.
From there, the team closes out the fall campaign at the Jim West Challenge on Nov. 2-4, hosted by Texas State at Tapatio Springs Golf Resort in Boerne, Texas.
THE SPRING SEASON
Following the winter break, the Cougars compete in their second straight event hosted by Texas State when they play at the Texas State Spring Challenge on Feb. 15-16, 2015, at Landa Park in New Braunfels, Texas.
Houston opens the month of March at the North Florida Challenge on March 9-10, 2015, hosted by North Florida at Jacksonville Golf and Country Club.
From there, the team heads to the West Coast to compete at the SDSU Farms Invitational for the second straight season. That tournament will be hosted by San Diego State at The Farms Golf Club on March 23-25, 2015.
The Cougars wrap up the regular season when they compete at the Dallas Athletic Club/SMU Invitational on April 10-11, 2015, at the Dallas Athletic Club.
With the end of the regular season, the Cougars will compete at the American Athletic Conference Championships at Hammock Beach Golf & Spa Resort in Palm Coast, Fla., on April 19-21, 2015, for the second straight season. The winner of the league's postseason event will add an automatic berth into the NCAA Regionals.
NCAA Regional postseason play will be held May 14-16, 2015, at four venues: Warren Golf Course (South Bend, Ind.); Entrada at Snow Canyon Country Club (St. George, Utah); Briggs Ranch Golf Club (San Antonio, Texas) and Lonnie Pool Course (Raleigh, N.C.)
The 2015 NCAA Championships will be held for May 22-27, 2015, at The Concessions Golf Club in Bradenton, Fla. Golf Channel will provide live coverage of the 2015 NCAA Championships for the first time since 2005.
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