Arizona's Gulbis, Ochoa Help Arizona To Commanding Lead At West Regionals

May 10, 2001

CORVALLIS, Ore. - - The Arizona Wildcats stormed past the rest of the 21-team field Thursday in the first round of the women's golf West Regional Championship by shooting 1-under-par 287 at the par-72 Trysting Tree Golf Club. The start of play was delayed 30 minutes due to frost on the course.

Arizona has a chokehold on first and second in the individual race as well, as Natalie Gulbis and Lorena Ochoa tamed the course by firing 68 and 70, respectively. Gulbis, who is ranked third nationally, shot 34 on the front and back nine while avoiding the thick rough. Ochoa went out in 33 and finished in 37.

The top eight teams advance from the West Region, along with two individuals. They will join the qualifiers from the Central and East Region in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., May 22-25 for the NCAA Championships.

Anne Lee gave the Wildcats three golfers in the individual top-10, as her 72 put her in a group of six players who shot par or better on the opening day.

Ohio State's Mollie Fankhauser joins Ochoa in a tie for second after a 70. Fankhauser's Buckeyes are in fifth after a 306.

After Arizona, a pack of 12 teams are within 10 shots of second-place Stanford, who put together a 302 on Thursday. The group includes Michigan State, which shot 304 and is third, and Memphis State, which put together a 305 and is fourth.

Rounding out the top five individuals are Arizona State's Jimin Kang, who dipped under par with a 71, and Memphis State's Meaghan Francella, who carded a 72.

For host Oregon State, senior Carina Olsson led the way with her 76. Olsson, who kept the ball in the fairway and avoided the treacherous rough, is tied for 22nd. Teammate Marylyn Brand managed a tie for 31st with her 77.

The Beavers posted a score of 311, and are nine shots back of Stanford in 13th.

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