Women's Golf Gets Homecourse Advantage For NCAA Regionals

May 7, 2001

CORVALLIS, Ore. - -

SCHEDULE: The Oregon State women's golf team hosts the NCAA West Regional at Trysting Tree Golf Club May 10-12. The Beavers come into the 21-team tournament seeded 17th, and will be paired with Nevada and BYU for the first two days. OSU tees off at 11:50 Thursday morning and 7:30 a.m. Friday. Times and pairings for Saturday's final round will not be determined until after the second round.

Trysting Tree, which was rated the third-best collegiate facility on the West Coast by Golfweek Magazine in 1998, plays to 6,089 yards for the tournament and carries a par of 72.

THE FIELD: Among the field at the regional will be nine of the nation's top 25 programs, as ranked in the May 2 Golfweek poll. Earning the top seed for the tournament is Arizona (ranked second nationally), followed by USC (3), Stanford (4), Tennessee (7), Ohio State (18), Arizona State (13), UCLA (22), Michigan State (20), Washington (24), Furman, Indiana, Oregon, Memphis, Missouri, Colorado State, Nevada, Oregon State, BYU, Central Connecticut State, SW Missouri State, and Weber State.

Washington State's Tasha Browner and Portland State's Taya Battistella qualified as individuals.

OSU COACH RISE LAKOWSKE ON THE TEAM: 'Their attitudes are pretty good. They're all caught up in school and they've been playing the golfcourse a lot, so they should be ready - as ready as anyone is going to be. Physically, they are so talented, it's just a matter of whether they choose to do it.

'They're fairly accurate off the tee - their driving percentages are 70% and up for most of them, which is pretty good. I didn't noticed too many problems this past weekend when we played. They played well.

Laura Skinner shot 71 Saturday to qualify for the fifth spot. She hit 16 greens and didn't miss a fairway, so she's playing very well. It's a good sign when your fifth player is playing that well. If we can average about 76, we should be alright for the tournament.

'We're paired with BYU and Nevada for the first two days, which is a good pairing. It's going to be tough, but we just have to take advantage of our home course.'

LAKOWSKE ON THE FIELD: 'The field is good. Eight of the Pac-10 schools will be here, and then you have Michigan State, Ohio State and Tennessee. The first three seeds are in the top five nationally, so it's definitely the strongest of any of the regional fields this year. If you advance out of the West, you're playing pretty well.'

LAKOWSKE ON TRYSTING TREE: 'The course could be our biggest advantage right now with the way it's playing and the fact that we know it pretty well. If we can stay out of the rough and not make too many mental mistakes when we do get in the rough, we should have a good tournament.

'It would be one thing if the course looked like this all year long, but it's almost new to us too because of the rough. The fact that we have been able to play it the last two weeks while no one else has is helpful. The biggest advantage is in the greens. You know what to do when there are difficult pin placements, you know where to leave it on the green so you don't have a difficult putt.

'The grass is different than other parts of the country, so Oregon, Oregon State and Washington will have a better idea of how to hit it out of this particular kind of grass.

'The golf course is in the best shape I've seen it.'

THE LINEUP: Stacie Ferguson (So., Tucson, Ariz.) Stacie carded the best score of her career three weeks ago, as she shot 222 at the Pac-10 Championships to tie for 13th... 222 was a career-low, and the tie for 13th was her second-best finish ever... finished a career-best of tied for eighth at the Dr. Thompson Invitational with a 224 March 28-29... 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)... shot 225 at the Ping/ASU to tie for 22nd... shot 73 in final round at ASU... finished 22nd or higher her last three tournaments... one of two Beavers (Carina Olsson) to have played in all 10 events this year... averages 78.1 strokes over 30 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 77.4 strokes in all 10 tournaments to lead the team in both average (among players with over four tournaments played) and tournaments played (along with Stacie Ferguson)... most recently, tied for 25th at Pac-10s with a 227, including a round of 73... tied for 22nd at ASU with a 225, which is her lowest score of the season... has four top-25 finishes this year (OSU/t19th, Stanford/t19th, ASU/t22, Pac-10s/t25))... low round of 72 came at Stanford... Olsson is one of several Beavers to have shot 70 (BYU Inv., 1997-98) in her career, which is the second-lowest score in OSU history... Academic All-America candidate.

Ashlei Pendleton (So.-Tr., TCU/Las Vegas, Nev.) Ashlei averages 77.3 strokes in 12 rounds... most recently, tied for 42nd at the Pac-10s, shooting 236... tied for 12th at ASU after shooting 6-over 222... was in third after two rounds... season-low of 72 came in first round at ASU... tied for 34th at Dr. Thompson with a 235... has become a consistent figure in the starting lineup since transferring from TCU over winter break.

Marylyn Brand (Fr., Yorkshire, England) Marylyn has played in seven tournaments, averaging 79.3 strokes... most recently, shot 229 to tie for 31st in her first Pac-10 Championship... shot a career-low of 72 at Pac-10s, which came in the final round... top finish of 19th came at the OSU Shanico Invitational in her first collegiate tournament, where she posted a 231.

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 80.3 strokes in eight tournaments... most recently, tied for 51st at Pac-10s after carding turning in a 239... shot 239 at Dr. Thompson to tie for 49th... has been a steady contributor in her first season at OSU.

LAST ACTION: The Beavers finished eighth at the Pac-10 Championships, edging out Oregon by two strokes and dusting Washington State with a score of 912. OSU shot a season-best 296 to close the tournament, as they jumped ahead of Oregon on the final day.

Individually, Stacie Ferguson notched another top-15 performance at the conference championships when she placed 13th. Her 6-over 222 is a career-low, and the tie for 13th equalled Kathleen Takaishi for the second-best finish by an OSU golfer at Pac-10s. The sophomore tied for 14th last year.

LAST YEAR: The Beavers finished 24th at the NCAA West Regional held at ASU's Karsten Golf Course. Rachel Borcherts led the way with a 15-over 231 to tie for 77th. Carina Olsson came in at 85th after a 233 and Stacie Ferguson shot 238 to tie for 109.

OREGON STATE'S BEST AT THE REGIONALS: OSU's best regional came in 1998, when Kathleen Takaishi led the Beavers to a 10th-place finish and helped OSU advance to the NCAA Championships for the first time in school history with a score of 1,152. Takaishi's 3-over 222 was good for a 15th-place tie.

OSU IN THE RANKINGS: The Beavers are ranked 54th in this week's Golfweek poll.

IT'S ALL ACADEMIC: Four women's golfers had cumulative 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.

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, 229 - Pac-10s, 72 - Pac-10sStacie Ferguson: t8 - Dr. Thompson, 222 - Pac-10s, 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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