ETSU women's golf set for season opener in Puerto Rico
ETSU women's golf set for season opener in Puerto Rico
Tuesday, February 21, 2006


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 21, 2006) - With a standard-setting season behind them and three top six finishes during the 2005 fall season, the ETSU women's golf team seems to be on the rise once again for the upcoming 2006 spring season. The Lady Bucs will open their 2006 spring schedule Friday, Sept. 24 at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic in San Juan, P.R.


Having won three tournaments in the last two seasons and setting a new program record with a 1-under par team total at the Great Smokies Intercollegiate during this past fall season, the Lady Bucs have high expectations for the spring, especially with the talent that returns for the spring of 2006. 


With five returning players and a fourth-year head coach, the outlook for the future seems bright. In fact, the Lady Bucs not only have a talented batch of players, they also have coach Stefanie Reynolds, who received the SoCon Coach of the Year Award last season - the first for an ETSU women's golf coach.


Leading the way for Reynolds this spring will be senior Ashley Barton (Seffner, Fla.), who continues to build a reputation as one of the best female golfers to ever play at ETSU. A year ago, she set a new record for juniors with a season stroke average of 76.08, and her season-best round of 71 at the UNCW Lady Seahawk Invitational also matched what was then the school record for single-round score. Barton ended last season as a first-team All-SoCon selection, while also receiving SoCon Golfer of the Week honors, and she didn't let up in the fall, setting a new single round record for the Lady Bucs with a 69 at the Great Smokies Intercollegiate.


Along with Barton, the Lady Bucs will also be counting on solid play from senior Laura Diaz (Aguadilla, Puerto Rico), as well as the talented sophomore trio of Natalia Giraldo (Coli, Colombia), Cindy Phillips (Johnson City, Tenn.) and Maria Ringdahl (Oland, Sweden).


Ringdahl and Giraldo competed in all nine of the team's 2004-2005 tournaments, with Ringdahl finishing second on the team with a 76.87 stroke average, while Giraldo finished third at 78.39. In fact, on the way to being named to the All-SoCon first team and earning Freshman of the Year honors, Ringdahl set or matched ETSU records for freshman scoring average (76.87), best second round score (71), best third round score (74), best two-round score (144) and best three-round score (218). Meanwhile, Diaz competed in the 2004 World Amateur Championship for her home country of Puerto Rico.


New addition, Lucy Gould (Bargoed, Wales), will bring new skill to the team. The Welsh girls champion in 2002 and 2003, she represented Wales as a member of its Under-18 team in 2002, 2003 and 2004. She is currently a member of the Welsh Ladies Elite Squad.


The Lady Bucs will open the spring slate at one of the most demanding early season tournaments in college golf - the Lady Puerto Rico Classic in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Feb. 24. That event will feature several Top 25 teams, including Southern Cal, Wake Forest, TCU and Texas. From there, the team will travel to Columbia, S.C., for the Lady Gamecock Classic on March 10, which is another top event that features teams such as North Carolina, South Carolina and Wake Forest. The Georgia State Classic in Stockbridge, Ga., on April 3 will mark the end of regular season play for the Lady Bucs, and then it is on to the A-Sun Championships in DeLand, Fla., on April 9. If the Lady Bucs can win the conference title, a trip to the NCAA East Regional in Browns Summit, N.C., would await.