Women's Golf Races To First Round Lead At NCAA West Regional

May 10, 2001

CORVALLIS, Ore. - The top-seeded Arizona women's golf team shot an opening round of one-under par 287 and holds a 15-stroke lead over second-place Stanford after round one of the NCAA West Regional being held at Trysting Tree Golf Course in Corvallis, Ore.

Arizona's freshmen duo of Natalie Gulbis and Lorena Ochoa both fired sub-par rounds and hold first and second places, respectively. Sophomore Anne Lee shot even par and is tied for fifth place.

The Wildcats, ranked No. 2 in the Collegiate Golf Foundation's MasterCard rankings, used their second lowest team round of the year in assuming a 15-shot lead over the fifth-ranked Stanford Cardinal. Arizona was the only team to shoot an opening round below 300.

'To do what we did today was amazing,' head coach Greg Allen said of his team's performance. 'With the length of the rough and the wind blowing like it was, I am extremely pleased with how we played today.'

Gulbis drained four birdies in carding an opening-round score of 68. Today's round marks the first time she has claimed the lead after the first day of a tournament. The Citrus Heights, Calif., native has won medalist honors twice this season, at the TRW Regional Challenge in February and at the Dr. Thompson Rainbow Invitational in March.

Ochoa, the nation's top-ranked individual, fired a two-under par 70 and stands tied for second place with Mollie Fankhauser of Ohio State. Ochoa, who hails from Guadalajara, Mexico, has shot at or below par 17 times in only 24 rounds of competition this year.

Both Arizona freshmen struggled in yesterday's practice round and were battling illness, coach Allen said.

'For our freshmen to struggle in the practice round and then to come out and play like they did today, I am very impressed,' he commented.

Lee, from Northridge, Calif., matched her career-low round with an even-par 72. Also competing for the Wildcats are sophomore Laura Myerscough and junior Cristina Baena. Myerscough is tied for 31st, while Baena is tied for 60th.

The Wildcats continue the defense of their 2000 NCAA West Regional championship tomorrow. Arizona will begin the second round in the afternoon, teeing off at 1:20 p.m.

Place School Score Place Golfer School Score
1. ARIZONA 287 1. Natalie Gulbis ARIZONA 68 (-4)
2. Stanford 302 T2. Lorena Ochoa ARIZONA 70 (-2)
3. Michigan State 304 Mollie Fankhauser Ohio State 70 (-2)
4. Memphis 305 4. Jimin Kang Arizona St. 71 (-1)
5. Ohio State 306 T5. Anne Lee ARIZONA 72 (E)
Meaghan Francella Memphis 72 (E)
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