CARBONDALE — SIU's women's golf team will welcome the wide fairways at Tumble Creek at Suncadia that are lined with trees, coach Danielle Kaufman said.

"It doesn't look like it's going to be super tight or anything, which is good for us. We're actually pretty good off the tee, so, I don't have to worry about that, us going out or hitting into the rough," she said. "Overall, it's going to be about the greens, and that's not something I can see until we get there."

Tumble Creek, one of three courses at the Suncadia resort in Cle Elum, Washington, is the host of the Washington Regional today through Wednesday. The Salukis, the 18th seed in the 18-team event, kicked off their first NCAA appearance since 2007 earlier today. The course, a par-72, 6,306-yard layout, was designed by Tom Doak of Renaissance Golf Design and was named one of the top private courses in America by Golf Digest. 

SIU got to work on the putting green and driving range Saturday and played its only practice round Sunday. Before she left, Saluki sophomore Emilyee McGiles took a good look at the layout and some aerial pictures.

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"It looks pretty hilly," she said. "It looks like it has a lot of trees but it's kind of far off the fairway. It's kind of going to remind me of (Las) Vegas a little bit when we went out there, kind of tight fairways but you get a little roll, but also does rain, so I don't know how much roll we will get."

McGiles, juniors Lili Klekner-Alt and Erica Kerr, sophomore Moyea Russell and graduate student Jackie Biggs will compete for SIU. The Salukis earned an automatic bid to the NCAA regionals by winning the Missouri Valley Conference tournament for the first time since 2007.

Live scoring from the regional will be available at NCAA.com and Golfstat.com. Golf Channel will provide expanded coverage of the final day of the regional championships on Wednesday. Six teams and three individuals will advance to play in the NCAA championship at The Blessings Golf Club hosted by the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas, from May 17-22.

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On Twitter: @THefferman


Sports reporter

Todd Hefferman has covered SIU athletics since 2008. A University of Iowa grad, he is a member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and a Heisman Trophy voter.

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