Rapid City and SD Mines in national spotlight
By Padraic Duffy, Journal staff | Saturday, April 25, 2009
RAPID CITY — The 2009 and 2010 NAIA women’s golf national championships will be at Meadowbrook Golf Course, marking the return of the event to South Dakota for the first time since 1995. The 2009 championship will be May 12-15. There will be approximately 129 competitors representing 25 teams in the field, plus a handful of individual qualifiers. Both team and individual champions will be crowned.
“We’re all very excited to be host this tournament,” Meadowbrook clubhouse manager Matt Brandhagen said. “We feel like this course can fairly test the field and it gives us a chance to kind of show off what we feel is one of the best courses in the state. The Oklahoma City team that is the defending national champion came up and played in the fall and their coach (M.J. Desbiens) was very complimentary afterward about the course. I figured with some of the courses they’ve played
SD Mines Stephanie Leber smashes her tee shot down the No. 5 fairway during a meet last year at Meadowbrook Golf Course. Leber will get a chance to compete with NAIA’s best golfers in a couple weeks at the national meet. Photo by Brad Blume all over the country that was quite a compliment.” Meadowbrook hosted a pre-national championship tournament in September that a number of teams — including four-time defending national champion Oklahoma City University — participated in. The Lady Stars won that tournament as three of their players — Christina Cung, Sydney Cox and Laura Jones — took the top three individual spots. Cung shot a two-day total of 150 while Cox and Jones each shot 151. “They’re a great team,” South Dakota Mines head coach Eric Glenn said of Oklahoma City. “I’m kind of looking forward to getting out there and watching some of their girls play. They’re a team that competes with some Division I programs in tournaments and do quite well. They’ve got some girls that can really play.” South Dakota Mines is the host school for the tournament, but it was a partnership between the Rapid City Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Rapid City Department of Recreation that put in the bid to secure the tournament. “We didn’t really have to do anything to get the tournament,” Glenn said. “That was all on (Rapid City Department of Recreation program coordinator) Kristy Lintz. She was the lead person behind getting the tournament here in Rapid City.” Getting the tournament means a little extra work for Mines sports information director Brad Blume, but he’s looking forward to it. “It’s going to be an interesting four days,” Blume said. “I don�����t really know what’s going to happen or how it’s going to go, but the good thing is that next year (2010) we’ll have it all figured out and be ready to go. We’re happy to be the host school for the tournament and are looking forward to helping put on a successful event.” The last time the NAIA national championship was in South Dakota was 14 years ago when the event was at Dakota Dunes’ Two Rivers Golf Club. The NAIA cited Meadowbrook and the surrounding area as reasons for awarding the bid to Rapid City and returning the event to South Dakota. “From the beginning of the bid process Rapid City showed how supportive they would be of the NAIA and this event,” NAIA championship event manager Becki Almeida said in a press release. “They have a great venue that will challenge the participants, and the location of Rapid City offers an array of sites and recreational activities for teams to take part in, as well as an easy location for travel.” The 2010 event is scheduled for May 25-28.
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