April 30, 2012
IRVING, Texas - Conference USA has announced its 2012 Women's Golf All-Conference Teams along with its specialty award winners following a vote by the league's head coaches. Tulsa's Kristina Merkle was selected as Golfer of the Year and is the first Golden Hurricane to earn the top women's honor. After leading his team to the C-USA title last week, Tulsa's Randy Keck was named Coach of the Year.
Keck led Tulsa to its second C-USA Women's Golf Championship title, topping the field by 13 strokes at the Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club in Gulf Shores, Ala. The Golden Hurricane posted a three-round total of 884 (299-291-294), just the fifth sub-900 score for a team champion in the event's 17-year history. The Coach of the Year honor is the first in Tulsa's C-USA women's golf history.
Merkle earned Player of the Year honors after posting four top five finishes against some of the strongest competition in the country. The 2012 C-USA All-Tournament Team member earned those finishes against fields that included a combined 29 top 50 teams and helped the Golden Hurricane to seven top five team finishes, including the C-USA crown. Currently ranked as the No. 35 golfer in the nation by Golfweek, the junior was named the league's Golfer of the Week three times this season and is a repeat first team all-conference player.
Joining Merkle with first team accolades is teammate Marita Engzelius. The senior tied for third at the C-USA Championship after holding the second round lead. She now has two top three finishes at the league championship and now adds a third all-conference selection (2011, 2009 second team). Engzelius was one of three golfer to post a round below par at the C-USA tournament and currently is ranked no. 95 by Golfweek.
Tulane's Maribel Lopez Porras, the 2012 C-USA individual medalist, earns her third consecutive all-conference honor. She was named the 2011 Player of the Year and to the third team in 2010. Lopez Porras shot a 1-under, 71, during the final round of the C-USA Women's Golf Championship to overcome a two-stroke deficit and earn the title. She was Tulane's seventh C-USA titlist and third in the past four years.
Memphis senior Marissa Steen is a repeat first team selection. She claimed the Memphis Women's Fall Invitational title and was named C-USA Golfer of the Week Nov. 2. Steen is a three-time all-conference selection and was the 2011 C-USA runner-up.
Rounding out the first team list is Amy Otteson of East Carolina. The senior tied for seventh at the C-USA Women's Golf Championship and is a three-time all-conference performer. Otteson posted the league's second-best stroke average during the season.
Katie Mitchell of UCF was named Freshman of the Year after a solid rookie campaign that saw her claim a tournament title at the Central District Invitational, a runner-up finish at the Lady Northern Open and tie for third place at the C-USA Championship. The two-time Golfer of the Week helped the Knights to a runner-up finish at the C-USA tournament and was selected to the All-C-USA Second Team.
Marshall's Kristyn Morrone is the 2012 C-USA Newcomer of the Year. The transfer from Texarkana Junior College was a steady performer for the Thundering Herd, posting a low round of 72 this season.
Tulane placed four golfers on the all-conference teams, while Tulsa, UCF and East Carolina followed with three each. Memphis, Marshall, SMU and UTEP all posted an all-conference selection.
2012 All-C-USA Women's Golf Teams
Golfer of the Year: Kristina Merkle, Tulsa
Freshman of the Year: Katie Mitchell, UCF
Newcomer of the Year: Kristyn Morrone, Marshall
Coach of the Year: Randy Keck, Tulsa
All-Conference USA First Team
- Amy Otteson, East Carolina
- Marissa Steen, Memphis
- Maribel Lopez Porras, Tulane
- Kristina Merkle, Tulsa
- Marita Engzelius, Tulsa
All-Conference USA Second Team
- Fanny Wolte, East Carolina
- Felicia Espericueta, SMU
- Katie Mitchell, UCF
- Carolin Pinegger, UCF
- Shang Fan Huang, UTEP
All-Conference USA Third Team
- Katie Kirk, East Carolina
- Gemma Dryburgh, Tulane
- Ashley McKenney, Tulane
- Samantha Troyanovich, Tulane
- Kamryn Ruffin, Tulsa
- Monifa Sealy, UCF
*Six players were named to the third team because of a tie in voting