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McCurdy, Lady'Backs conclude season
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        NORMAL, Ill. -- Sophomore Amanda McCurdy fired a final round 77 leading the University of Arkansas to a 16th-place finish at the 2004 NCAA Central Regional Championship in Normal, Ill., Saturday.
        McCurdy finished tied for 15th with a three-round 228 (76-75-77) as the team again battled tough afternoon conditions on the University Club Course.
        "We're a little disappointed," said head coach Kelley Hester. "We didn't quite have it today. This gives our young group something to work hard for and we look forward to more opportunities in the future. Amanda was right where she needed to be but was unable to make some birdies coming in and got frustrated. She doubled on one of her last par fives and let a couple slip away. But we'll build on this for the future."
        McCurdy finished the day at plus-six but was only one over after playing the back nine first. The El Dorado, Ark., native picked up strokes on homes one, six eight and nine with a double on the par five sixth hole.
        Sophomore Courtney Mahon finished tied for 63rd overall with a 238 (77-82-79), followed by senior Melissa Murray who was tied for 78th with a 242 (78-83-81). Junior Sarah Trew also tied for 78th with a 242 (77-85-80) with junior Gena Johnson rounding out the Lady'Back finishes carding a final day 86 (D-87-86).
        Fifth-ranked and top-seeded defending Southeastern Conference Champion Vanderbilt won the event carding an 893 with the lowest score of the tournament, a 288, Saturday. Tenth-ranked Arizona was second with a 902, followed by No. 21 Michigan State at 906, No. 8 Southern California with a 910, No. 38 Baylor at 915, No. 40 Purdue at 917, No. 6 New Mexico at 918 and No. 33 Texas A&M at 926. The top eight teams advance to the NCAA Championship hosted by Auburn May 18-21.
        Southern Methodist, ranked 49th, tied No. 88 and host Illinois State for ninth-place at 929. Number 43 Northwestern finished 11 with a 934, followed by No. 35 TCU (935), No. 27 Missouri (939), No. 19 Oklahoma (946), No. 45 Kansas State (949) and No. 29 Arkansas (950). Also in the field was No. 57 Notre Dame (952), No. 31 Indiana (955), No. 72 Princeton (961), No. 39 Kent State (965) and No. 16 Tulsa (966).
        The finish concludes the 2003-04 season for the Lady Razorbacks. Arkansas graduates a pair of seniors in Murray and Jennifer Norlien but returns the balance of this year's team.
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