Photo by Anthony A Griego Jr.

Edberg to Make First NCAA Championship Appearance Friday

FULLERTON, Calif.  – Cal State Fullerton golfer Martina Edberg will be the first Titan to compete in the NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship since the program was reinstated when she tees off on Friday at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.

Edberg's tee time for her practice round is at 9:30 a.m. CT (7:30 a.m. PT) on Thursday. On Friday, Edberg will begin the first round of play at 12:55 p.m. CT (10:55 a.m. PT). Play will continue with the second and third rounds on Saturday and Sunday. If she is one of the top nine individuals not on an advancing team, Edberg will advance for one additional day of stroke play to determine the individual champion on Monday (May 22).

THE COURSE: Jerry and Betty Rich's dream began to develop when their amassed farms, a 1,820-acre showcase of nature and agriculture, gave way to one golf hole and a practice area. Then three holes. Then six. After interviewing five architects, Jerry discovered he could draw the plans himself – and did. He even hired a construction company that had never before built a golf course. Though influenced by Augusta and the encouragement of friends Bob Murphy and Sam Snead, Jerry also took inspiration from Dick Wilson's Pine Tree in Florida. In 1987, Jerry began the development of Rich Harvest Farms and ten years later, all 18 holes were completed.

The course plays through wooded hillsides and open fields, making use of the natural streams and wetlands. Maintained natural areas and 100+ bunkers add strategic value and visual appeal. Rich Harvest Farms offers some of the country's most challenging and unique golf holes. It was rated fifth Best New Private Golf Course by Golf Digest in 1997 and now is consistently ranked in Golf Digest's America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses.

For many people the creation of a spectacular golf course would be enough. For Jerry Rich, it was just the start. In 1998, with his life-long friend Don Springer, he established the Kids Golf Foundation of Illinois. By 2009, the Foundation had introduced over 150,000 Illinois children to the game of golf. Of all Jerry's accomplishments, he hopes the Foundation will become his legacy.

THE FIELD: Northern Illinois University will serve as the host of the championships and the Golf Channel will provide live coverage for the final three days of the championships May 22, 23 and 24. The teams and individuals that advanced to the 2017 championships finals are listed below.

From the Albuquerque Regional Site: Stanford, Duke, Pepperdine, USC, California, Miami, and individuals Martina Edberg (Cal State Fullerton), Bianca Pagdanganan (Gonzaga) and Nadine White (Campbell).

From the Athens Regional Site: Alabama, Northwestern, Michigan State, Baylor, Clemson, and North Carolina and individuals Jennifer Kupcho (Wake Forest), Laura Fuenfstueck (College of Charleston) and Maya Walton (Princeton).                                                                  

From the Columbus Regional Site: Florida, South Carolina, Florida State, Ohio State, Purdue, and Michigan and individuals Cara Gorlei (Arkansas), Camila Serrano (Florida International) and Maddie Szeryk (Texas A&M).

From the Lubbock Regional Site: Arizona State, Furman, Oregon, Texas, Texas Tech and Kent State and individuals Julienne Soo (Oklahoma), Alex White (BYU) and Susie Cavanagh (Oregon State).

The national championships will be May 19-24 at Rich Harvest Farms, in Sugar Grove, Illinois, hosted by Northern Illinois University. The final three days of the championship will be televised live by the Golf Channel.

THE FORMAT: The championship format consists of all 24 teams and 12 individuals completing 54 holes of stroke play Friday-Sunday (May 19-21), and then the top 15 teams along with the top nine individuals not on an advancing team will advance for one additional day of stroke play to determine the top eight teams for match play competition and the 72-hole stroke play individual champion on Monday (May 22). The top eight teams then compete in match play for the championship on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 24.

COVERAGE: Fans can follow all the action from all six days of the NCAA Women's Golf Championship through GolfStat.com. Links for the live stats as well as complete results following the conclusion of each day will be available at FullertonTitans.com. In addition, the final three days (May 22-24) of the championship will be televised on the Golf Channel.

EDBERG'S RECORD-BREAKING SEASON AT FULLERTON: Martina Edberg was one of five NCAA Division I women's golf student-athletes named to the 2016-17 PING Women's Golf Coaches Association Player of the Year watch list on Tuesday.

The award will be announced after medal play at the upcoming NCAA Championship.

The 2017 Big West Conference individual champion and 2017 Big West Player of the Year, Edberg has a 71.34 scoring average, a new Cal State Fullerton single-season record.

She finished tied for second as the top individual finisher at the Albuquerque Regional, advancing to her first NCAA Championship after making her third straight trip to the NCAA Regionals  appearing in the South Bend Regional hosted by the University of Notre Dame in 2015 and in the Stanford Regional hosted by Stanford in 2016.

Edberg claimed her sixth individual title of the season after winning her second Big West Women's Golf Championship individual medalist honor on April 25. She fired 1-under 71 in the final round of the championship for a 54-hole score of 6-under 210.

Over the course of the season, she posted top-three finishes in 10 of 11 tournaments and won a conference-record five consecutive Big West Golfer of the Month awards, bumping her career total to seven, which placed her second on the all-time Big West career list.

She is currently ranked 15th according to GolfStat rankings and 27th according to Golfweek.

Edberg's medalist finishes this season came at the WSU Cougar Cup in Pullman, Wash. (Sep. 19-20), the Rose City Collegiate in Aurora, Ore. (Sep. 26-27), the Memphis Women's Intercollegiate in Germantowm, Tenn. (Oct. 17-18), the Fresno State Classic in Fresno, Calif. (Mar. 13-14), the Hawkeye El Tigre Invitational in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (Apr. 2-4) and the Big West Women's Golf Championship in Riverside, Calif. (Apr. 23-25).

Edberg has been named to the Big West Conference First Team for four consecutive years (2014-17).

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