FAYETTEVILLE — The Arkansas women’s golf team opens play in the NCAA East Regional in Auburn, Ala., today. The three-day tournament will determine which eight teams advance to participate in the NCAA Championships later this month.

The Razorbacks secured the East Regional’s No. 2 seed and will join top-seed Alabama as headliners in the 24-team field. Seven other ranked teams also are in the event. The list includes: No. 8 UCLA, No. 11 North Carolina State, No. 12 Virginia, No. 18 Oklahoma State, No. 20 Tulane, No. 23 Texas and No. 26 Notre Dame.

“I’m not a rankings person at all,” Arkansas coach Shauna Estes-Taylor said about the Razorbacks’ position. “My objective is to prepare our team the very best that they can be prepared for what they’re going to see at Auburn.”

Estes-Taylor believes Arkansas will enjoy success with a playing five of Emily Tubert, Emma Lavy, Victoria Vela, Regina Plasencia and Gabriela Lopez. Tubert, Lavy and Vela all have experience on Auburn’s course and in NCAA Regionals.

Arkansas is competing in an NCAA Regional for the 12th time and is making its 11th straight appearance. The Razorbacks have advanced five times, including appearances in the NCAA Championships the past two seasons.

“Our team motto this year is, ‘This year is a journey,’” Estes-Taylor said. “We feel like this is just the next step in our journey to get to where we need to be at the end of May in Athens, Ga., (for the NCAA Championships).

“We look at it as another opportunity to compete and be at our very best and be prepared to give ourselves an opportunity to win a regional championship.”

— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau