With a first US collegiate win – and a conference title at that – in her pocket, Malaysia’s Audrey Tan is really looking forward to her maiden appearance in the NCAA Regionals next week.
The talented 19-year-old and her team-mates from the University of North Texas women’s golf team will head to the Regionals at the University Club in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on May 10-12 as the 10th seeds. This follows a stellar season for the ‘Mean Green’, as the team is known, where they won their first conference championship title, with Audrey taking individual honours, and ended the season ranked No 32 in the collegiate standings. This is only the second time that North Texas has made it to an NCAA Regional.
“This will be my first time in the Regionals and I’m really excited about it,” said Audrey, who topped the individual standings in the Conference USA Championship by one shot with a nine-under-par total after rounds of 66, 74 and 67 at Lake Jovita Golf Club in Dade City, Florida.
The top six teams from each of six Regionals will advance to the NCAA Championship in Scottsdale, Arizona, on May 21-26.
Now in her junior (third) year with North Texas, Audrey noted that she is enjoying college life tremendously. “I love the freedom and independence but it comes with a lot of responsibility. It’s tough being so far from home but I love learning and growing as a person.”
Audrey added that one of the reasons why the Mean Green have done so well is due to the strong bonds between all the players.
“I am really close to some and I love all of my teammates. They are incredibly supportive and we push one another to become better. It’s great having a group of people with similar mind-set and goals,” said the golfer from Kuala Lumpur.
Audrey’s fine form also saw her earning first-team Conference USA honours for the first time, along with Mean Green stalwart and fifth-year senior Lauren Cox.
This is the first time someone other than Cox has earned first-team conference honours for the Mean Green. Audrey’s single-season average of 73.33 is the third best in North Texas women’s golf history, behind Cox’s 72.33 this season and 73.30 from 2019-2020.
However, the Malaysian lass is not about to rest on her laurels.
“I’m always striving to improve my mental game and I think that is the one aspect that consistently progresses. It’s a never-ending journey,” stressed Audrey.