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Tulsa's Merkle, Keck Get Conference USA's Top Golf Honors

Junior Kristina Merkle was named the C-USA Golfer of the Year and earned first-team all-C-USA honors for the third straight season.
Junior Kristina Merkle was named the C-USA Golfer of the Year and earned first-team all-C-USA honors for the third straight season.
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April 30, 2012

IRVING, Texas - University of Tulsa junior golfer Kristina Merkle was named the Conference USA Women's Golfer of the Year, while Head Coach Randy Keck was selected as the C-USA Coach of the Year. Merkle was joined on the C-USA first-team by senior Marita Engzelius, while senior Kamryn Ruffin was a third-team selection, it was announced today by the league office.

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 register seven top-five team finishes, including the C-USA crown. She has recorded a 72.9 stroke average in 27 rounds this year.

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 three-time first team all-conference performer.

Engzelius 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 golfers to post a round below par at the C-USA tournament and currently is ranked no. 95 by Golfweek. She has a 74.4 stroke average in 27 rounds this season and has eight top-25 finishes in nine events this season.



Ruffin had a season-best seventh-place finish at the C-USA Championship last week and is third on the Tulsa roster with a 76.1 stroke average.

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