Women's Golf In Search Of Best-Ever Finish At Pac-10s

April 20, 2001

CORVALLIS, Ore. - -

SCHEDULE: The Oregon State women's golf team plays in the Pacific-10 Conference Championships Monday-Wednesday, April 23-25 at Arizona State's Karsten Golf Course. The field plays 18 holes each day on the Par-72, 6,101-yard course, starting at 8 a.m. First-round team pairings are based on Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, and second and third round pairings are based on team scores.

THE FIELD: Joining Oregon State (ranked 56th) are three teams ranked in the top 10 nationally, as No. 2 Arizona, No. 3 USC and No. 5 Stanford headline the competition. Also among the top 25 are No. 13 Arizona State, No. 22 UCLA, and No. 24 Washington. California (26), Oregon (46) and Washington State (77) round out the field.

OSU COACH RISE LAKOWSKE ON THE TEAM: 'They've definitely been playing better. Their spring scoring average is nine shots better than their fall scoring average. It hasn't really brought down the overall average by a whole lot, but it's enough that they feel good about it.

'They know they can do it, they've been in position, but they haven't really finished well, so that's bothering them a little bit, but I think they realize that they can finish.

'We're going to have Marylyn back in the top five. We've given her some time to get better. Her back's better now - yesterday she said she didn't hurt anymore when she's chipping and putting, and she played at ASU (in the Sun Devil Intercollegiate), so she knows the course a bit and knows the greens. She's ready to go, so that will help us a lot too.

'Laura's playing better, and the other three played really well down there. They should do that again.

'Now that everybody has played the course, they understand it a little bit more. We talked about it and some of the more difficult holes, and some of the holes that aren't that difficult that they didn't play right (when they played in the ASU tournament two weeks ago).'

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: 'We've been working on what they felt like they needed to work on for their individual game,' Lakowske said. 'I asked them the other day in the meeting and some said they wanted to work on 100 yards and in, and some really wanted to work on their putting, and some wanted to just play. We need to play our golf course right now, since it's changed so much for regionals.

'I think they're just trying to prepare themselves to go down and play the best they can. They believe now that they can have one of the best finishes this school has ever had. I don't know if they're consciously thinking that, but I am. Eventually, they're going to peak.'

LAKOWSKE ON PAC-10S/KARSTEN GOLF COURSE: 'This is very similar to the ASU tournament, because we had all the Pac-10 schools there, and we were close to finishing sixth or eighth. We could have finished sixth fairly easily. The best finish we've ever had was sixth in Walla Walla in 1993. In this conference, anything seven and above is a good finish. All the spring events have helped, because we've progressively gotten better in a tougher environment.

'We've just been working on the mental game and course management at ASU. The greens are in good shape down there and the course is in the best shape I've ever seen it.'

THE LINEUP: Stacie Ferguson (So., Tucson, Ariz.) Stacie had the best performance of her career three weeks ago, as she shot 224 in the Dr. Thompson Tournament to tie for eighth, both of which are career bests... also carded a round of 70 in the first round of the Dr. Thompson, which is the second-lowest round in OSU history (six others have shot 70)... most recently, shot 225 at the Ping/ASU to tie for 22nd... shot 73 in final round at ASU... one of two Beavers (Carina Olsson) to have played in all eight events this year... averages 78.5 strokes over 27 rounds... also shot a 74 at New Mexico State last fall where she tied for 35th wih a 234... one of five Beavers to have carded a 71 in their career, which is the third-lowest score in school history.

Carina Olsson (Senior, Sollentuna, Sweden) Carina, now in her fourth season, is the cornerstone of the women's golf program, and she continues her solid play this year, averaging 77.5 strokes in all nine tournaments to lead team in both average (with over three tournaments played) and tournaments played... most recently, tied for 22nd at ASU with a 225, which is her lowest score of the season... has three top-25 finishes this year (OSU/t19th, Stanford/t19th, ASU/t22)... low round of 72 came at Stanford... Olsson is one of several Beavers to have shot 70 (BYU Inv., 1997-98) in their career, which is the second-lowest score in OSU history... Academic All-America candidate.

Ashlei Pendleton (So.-Tr., TCU/Las Vegas, Nev.) Ashlei averages 76.8 strokes in nine rounds... most recently, tied for 12th at ASU after shooting 6-over 222... was in third after two rounds... low of 72 came in first round at ASU... tied for 34th at Dr. Thompson with a 235.

Laura Skinner (Fr., Boise, Idaho) Laura's best finish was 33rd at UCLA, where she shot a 12-over 228 to lead the Beavers... low of 74 came at UCLA as well... averages 80.4 strokes in seven tournaments... most recently, was 18-over at Ping/ASU with a 244 to tie for 74th... shot 239 at Dr. Thompson to tie for 49th.

Marylyn Brand (Fr., Yorkshire, England) Marylyn has played in six tournaments, averaging 79.8 strokes... most recently, shot 245 while playing as an individual at ASU to tie for 76th... top finish of 19th came at the OSU Shanico Invitational in her first collegiate tournament, where she posted a 231... low round of 76.

Individuals: Kelly Ferris (Fr., Albany, Ore.) Kelly has played in three tournaments this season, and most recently placed 81st in the Edean Ihlanfeldt in the fall... averages 81.8 strokes in nine rounds... low round of 76 came at OSU Shanico... Pac-10s will be her first tournament of the spring.

LAST ACTION: The Beavers were four shots out of first after the first day at the Ping/ASU Invitational, and finished 12th overall in a field that included five of the nation's top 10 teams. OSU shot 916, while sophomore transfer Ashlei Pendleton shot a 6-over 222 to tie for 12th. The 222 was the lowest OSU score this year. Stacie Ferguson and Carina Olsson each tied for 22nd.

LAST YEAR: Stacie Ferguson rose to the occasion at last year's conference championships, as she recorded what was then a career best finish of 14th. She shot 226, which included a round of 71, tying the third-lowest round in school history. Carina Olsson tied for 24th, as the Beavers were ninth in the team competition at 928, finishing ahead of Washington State.

OREGON STATE AT THE PAC-10S: 1999-9th/933 (Stanford, Calif.), 1998-7th/927 (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.), 1997-8th/934 (Tacoma, Wash.), 1996-8th/957 (Tucson, Ariz.), 1995-8th/949 (Corvallis, Ore.), 1994-8th/999 (Los Angeles, Calif.), 1993-6th/945 (Walla Walla, Wash.), 1992-8th/973 (Tempe, Ariz.), 1991-8th/1,003 (Eugene, Ore.), 1990-9th/976 (Stanford, Calif.), 1989-9th/1,057 (Pasadena, Calif.), 1988-9th/1,440 (Redmond, Wash.), 1987-8th/1,369 (Tucson, Ariz.).

Danielle Mitchell's fourth-place finish in 1993 is the best ever for an OSU golfer at Pac-10s. Here is a look at the top-five finishes for OSU golfers:

1. Danielle Mitchell, 4th, 1993 (224)2. Kathleen Takaishi, t13th, 1998 (224)3. Stacie Ferguson, t14, 2000 (226)4. Carina Olsson, t21, 1998 (231)5. Andrea Hehn, t22, 1997 (231)    Anjeanette Dabbs, t22, 1997 (231)

IT'S ALL ACADEMIC: Four women's golfers had accumulative GPAs of 3.15 of higher after the winter term.

HOME OF THE NCAA REGIONALS: The Trysting Tree Golf Club is home to the NCAA West Regionals for both the men and women in 2001. This will be the first major collegiate tournament held at Trysting Tree in the 12-year history of the course. The women's regional is scheduled for May 10-12, and the men's from May 17-19.

SEASON BESTS: A look at the Beavers' best rounds and tournaments to date (if different, * = career best):

Bridget Bieth: Best finish: t13 (OSU Shanico, '01), best three-round score: 229 (twice), best round: 72 (OSU Shanico, 01)Marylyn Brand: t19 - OSU Shanico, 231 - OSU Shanico, '01, 76 - OSU Shanico, '01Stacie Ferguson: t8 - Dr. Thompson, 224 - Dr. Thompson, 70 - Dr. ThompsonKelly Ferris: t45 - OSU Shanico, 238 - OSU Shanico, 76 - OSU ShanicoMelanie Furuta: t42 - NMSU, 235 - NMSU, 75 - 2 timesCarina Olsson: t19 twice (*t2 - BYU Invitational, '97), 226 - Stanford (*223 - Ping/ASU, '00), 72 - Stanford(*70 - BYU Invitational, '99)Laura Skinner: t33 - UCLA Pioneer, 228 - UCLA Pioneer, 74 - UCLA PioneerAshlei Pendleton: t12 - Ping/ASU, 222 - Ping/ASU, 72 - Ping/ASU

THE COACHES: Ris� Lakowske is in her 11th season at Oregon State, and is the most successful women's golf coach in school history. Lakowske has taken the team to seven consecutive NCAA West Regional appearances, and was honored as the 1998 Far West District Coach of the Year. Lakowske is a former OSU student-athlete (1973-77).

Brian Watts is in his second year at OSU, and serves as assistant coach to both the men's and women's programs. The Western Oregon State University graduate brings vast experience to the Beavers, as he played professionally on the Golden State Tour, the Florida State Tour, and on the Candian PGA Tour for four years. He also worked as an assistant professional at the DeBell Golf Course in Burbank, Calif., and at Golf Classics of America in Beverly Hills and San Dimas.

SEASON BESTS: A look at the Beavers' best rounds and tournaments to date (if different, * = career best):

Bridget Bieth: Best finish: t13 (OSU Shanico, '01), best three-round score: 229 (twice), best round: 72 (OSU Shanico, 01)Marylyn Brand: t19 - OSU Shanico, 231 - OSU Shanico, '01, 76 - OSU Shanico, '01Stacie Ferguson: t8 - Dr. Thompson, 224 - Dr. Thompson, 70 - Dr. ThompsonKelly Ferris: t45 - OSU Shanico, 238 - OSU Shanico, 76 - OSU ShanicoMelanie Furuta: t42 - NMSU, 235 - NMSU, 75 - 2 timesCarina Olsson: t19 twice (*t2 - BYU Invitational, '97), 226 - Stanford (*223 - Ping/ASU, '00), 72 - Stanford(*70 - BYU Invitational, '99)Laura Skinner: t33 - UCLA Pioneer, 228 - UCLA Pioneer, 74 - UCLA PioneerAshlei Pendleton: t12 - Ping/ASU, 222 - Ping/ASU, 72 - Ping/ASU
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