Women's Golf Heads to the New Mexico State Invitational Monday-Wednesday

Oct. 5, 2001

TEMPE, Ariz. - The Arizona State women's golf team continues the fall season next week, heading to the Price's 'Give 'em Five' New Mexico State Invitational in Las Cruces, N.M., Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 8-10. The 54-hole event will be held at the par 72, 6,119 yard University Golf Course. Tee times begin at 6:30 a.m. Pacific Time on Monday and Tuesday from tees No. 1 and 10, while Wednesday's final round will be a shotgun start at 7 a.m.

LINEUP: ASU's lineup will include junior Blair O'Neal (Tempe, Ariz.), sophomore Jimin Kang (Edmonds, Wash.), freshman Josefin Gustafsson (Falkoping, Sweden), senior Lisa Meredith (Reading, England) and junior Ga�lle Truet (New Caledonia). Freshman Erin Tone (Gilbert, Ariz.) will also be playing in the NMSU Invitational as an individual.

PRESEASON RANKING: Arizona State ranks seventh in the preseason Golf Week poll and 19th in the Golf World preseason coaches' rankings. ASU's top returner, sophomore Jimin Kang, is ranked 10th in Golf World's list of the top 50 players to watch and is listed on the second team of Golf Week's players to watch.

THE FIELD: The NMSU Invitational features 14 teams including the seventh-ranked Sun Devils, No. 19 UCLA and No. 22 Oklahoma. Host New Mexico State, Arkansas-Little Rock, UTEP, North Texas, New Orleans, Baylor, Middle Tennessee State, San Diego State, San Jose State, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Texas Tech complete the rest of the field.

LAST TIME OUT: ASU finished in a tie for sixth place at the rain-shortened NCAA Fall Preview, held Sept. 24-26 at the Washington National Golf Club in Auburn, Wash. The Sun Devils ended up in a tie for sixth with LSU at 26-over par 602 (299-303), 11 strokes off the pace of Auburn and Texas, which tied for the tournament title at 15-over par 591. Junior Blair O'Neal finished in a tie for ninth place, her fourth career top-10 finish, firing a one-over 73 in each round for a two-day total of 147. Sophomore Jimin Kang (74-78) and junior Ga�lle Truet (77-75) tied for 41st at 152, while senior Lisa Meredith finished in a tie for 54th with a two-round total of 154 (75-79). Freshman Josefin Gustafsson (79-77=156) tied for 73rd. Arizona's Lorena Ochoa captured medalist honors with a two-day total of five-under par 139.

WHO'S BACK, WHO'S NEW: Arizona State returns four players from last year's NCAA Championships squad in junior Melanie Hunt, sophomore Jimin Kang, senior Lisa Meredith and junior Blair O'Neal. A trio of newcomers also joins the squad including junior Ga�lle Truet, who transferred to ASU from Northern Arizona and is originally from New Caledonia (an island in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Australia). Freshman Josefin Gustafson comes to Tempe from Falkoping, Sweden, and local product Erin Tone joins the squad from Gilbert (Ariz.) High School.

MICKEY YOKOI: Head coach Mickey Yokoi (pronounced YO-koy) enters his first season as at the helm of the Sun Devil women's program after spending the last five years as an assistant coach for the men's team. Yokoi replaces five-time National Coach of the Year Linda Vollstedt who retired in June after leading the Sun Devils to six NCAA championships in her 21-year career.During Yokoi's five years as a Sun Devil assistant, ASU won four Pac-10 Conference titles and produced 2000 U.S. Amateur Champion Jeff Quinney and 2001 U.S. Pub Links Champion Chez Reavie. Prior to ASU, Yokoi oversaw all golf operations as head golf professional at the Country Club of the North in Dayton, Ohio, from 1994-95 and assisted the head professional from 1993-94. Yokoi played collegiate golf at UCLA from 1977-82 before beginning a professional career. At UCLA, he earned All-America and All-Pac-10 honors, playing on the Bruins' 1982 Pac-10 Championship team which included Corey Pavin and Steve Pate. After leaving UCLA, Yokoi went on to play on the Asian Tour, the Canadian and Australian PGA Tours and the PGA Hogan Tour. He has been a member of the PGA Tour since 1994. After ending his professional career, Yokoi went back to UCLA to complete his studies and earned his degree in psychology in 1997.

LAST YEAR: ASU concluded the 2001-02 season with an 18th-place finish at the NCAA Championships in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. ASU's trip to the national tournament marked its 10th straight NCAA appearance, the third-longest active streak in the country. True freshman Jimin Kang led the team, earning honorable-mention All-America honors from the National Golf Coaches Association, second-team All-Pac-10 accolades and first-team All-NCAA West Region laurels. In addition to Kang, two other Sun Devils were named to the All-Pac-10 team with graduating senior Molly Cooper and junior Lisa Meredith earning honorable-mention accolades.

POSTPONED: The Sun Devils originally planned to open the season at the Dick McGuire Invitational Sept. 13-15 in Albuquerque, N.M., but withdrew from the tournament due to the terrorist attacks in New York City, Pennsylvania and Washington that week.

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