Women's Golf Begins Fall Season at Shanico Invitational

Sept. 13, 2002

EUGENE, Ore. - The Oregon women's golf team opens the 2002-03 fall season at the Shanico Invitational Monday and Tuesday at the 6,072-yard, par-72 Trysting Tree Golf Club in Corvallis, Ore. Teams will play 36 holes Monday and a final 18 on Tuesday.

The Ducks will send a young contingent to the event with a junior, two sophomores and three freshmen among Oregon's six golfers. Lacy Erickson, a junior, is the only player on the Duck roster with two varsity letters. The Austin, Minn., native, who played in all 10 events in 2001-02 and was fourth on the team with an 81.5 stroke average, will be asked to step into the top spot for the first time in her career.

'I think she really turned the corner in qualifying this week and is setting a precedent for the rest of this team,' said Oregon coach Shannon Rouillard, entering her third season at UO. 'I commend her on the initiative she has shown to take that leadership role.'

Joining Erickson in Corvallis will be sophomores Johnna Nealy and Jaime Seefried. Nealy, from Grants Pass, Ore., was second on the squad last season with a 78.8 stroke average and tied for 37th at plus-15 during last year's Shanico Invitational, while Spokane, Wash., native Jaime Seefried, who will compete as an independent this week, had the fifth-best stroke average in 2001-02 at 83.5.

The remainder of the squad will be consist of three true freshman who will be expected to contribute immediately, Erin Andrews is a former American Junior Golf Association All-American from Las Vegas, Nev., and won every regular season tournament except one as a senior at Durango High School. Michelle Timpani, whose cousin is Duck offensive lineman Joey Forster, tied for first in the district as a senior at Gig Harbor (Wash.) High School, while Therese Wenslow brings years of international junior competition with her from Bunkeflostrand, Sweden. She will become the first Swede to compete for the Ducks.

'We will have a young team, but the six we are taking earned it in qualifying,' said Rouillard. 'I'm excited to find out what kind of competitors these players can be. And I'm always excited about the first tournament of the season because it gives you a chance to get out on a course and get a marker of where your program is at. You don't always see that in qualifying rounds.'

The 2002-03 team is rounded out by four returning players who will not be in action this weekend including seniors Annie Davis and Kim Melrose, who are both in their second seasons with the golf team. Melrose saw action in seven tournaments last season and was sixth on the team with an 84.2 stroke average after transferring from Mt. San Antonio JC, while Davis joined the team last spring to play in three events after spending the previous three years as a member of the Oregon track and cross country teams. Jess Carlyon, a sophomore from Daisy Hill, Australia, was the Ducks' No. 3 golfer in 2001-02 with an 80.4 stroke average and looks to return to the top five later this season. Oft-injured redshirt junior Katie Cunningham also returns.

Defending champion California will be one of five Pac-10 teams scheduled to compete at the Shanico Invitational. Others include Oregon, host Oregon State, UCLA and Washington. The remainder of the 18-team field consists mainly of schools from the West, including Boise State, Brigham Young, UC Irvine, College of Charleston, Colorado, Eastern Washington, Hawaii, Idaho, Long Beach State, Portland State, San Francisco, San Jose State and Weber State.

Last year, Oregon finished 12th in the event, 50 strokes behind California. Kathy Cho, the only senior on the 2001-02 squad, tied for 21st at 9-over to lead the Ducks.

This year's tournament has also been designated as the first Dodge Civil War Series event. Oregon and Oregon State will compete head-to-head 17 times in nine sports throughout the 2002-03 season for the annual championship. The 2003 Pac-10 Championships will also be held at Trysting Tree.

-www.goducks.com-

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