Women's Golf Travels to Wildcat Invitational Monday-Wednesday

Feb. 21, 2003

TEMPE, Ariz. - The Arizona State women's golf team returns to action next week, traveling to Tucson, Ariz., for the 2003 Wildcat Invitational, hosted by the University of Arizona. The tournament, which runs from Monday-Wednesday, Feb. 24-26, will be held at the par 72, 6,314-yard Arizona National Golf Club at Sabino Springs. Play will begin each round with a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m. Mountain Standard Time.

LINEUP: ASU's lineup will include freshman Alissa Kuczka (Phoenix, Ariz.), sophomore Erin Tone (Gilbert, Ariz.), senior Blair O'Neal (Tempe, Ariz.), senior Ga�lle Truet (New Caledonia) and sophomore Jamie Michaud (University Place, Wash.). Sophomore Josefin Gustafsson (Falkoping, Sweden) and junior Lisa Desimone (Carmel, Calif.) will play in the tournament as individuals.

THE FIELD: This year's Wildcat Invitational features eight teams ranked in the Feb. 12 edition of the National Golf Coaches Association poll and seven ranked in the top 25 of the Feb. 16 Golfweek/Sagarin poll. The field includes Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Brigham Young, Colorado, Colorado State, UNLV, New Mexico State, Northern Arizona, Pepperdine, San Jose State, USC, SMU, Stanford, Tennessee, UCLA, Vanderbilt and Washington.

2002-03 ASU STROKE AVERAGES:Name	App	Top 10	Rounds	Strokes	Avg.	LowBeatriz 'Cucu' Conti	1	0	2	156	78.00	77Josefin Gustafsson	4	0	11	877	79.73	76Melanie Hunt	2	0	6	472	78.67	77Meredith Jones	3	0	7	579	82.71	76Sara Jones	3	2	8	617	77.13	72Alissa Kuczka	5	1	14	1081	77.21	72Blair O'Neal	5	1	14	1081	77.21	72Erin Tone	4	0	11	893	81.18	77Ga�lle Truet	3	0	9	729	81.00	71

LAST YEAR AT THE WILDCAT INVITATIONAL: Last year, the Sun Devil women climbed six spots in the last two rounds to finish seventh at the Wildcat Invitational with a three-round total of 897. Duke captured the tournament title with a three-day total of 876, while Auburn and Arizona tied for second at 883. Individually, Melanie Hunt turned in the first top 15 finish of her season, tying for 14th with a three-day total of 222 (75-73-74). Ga�lle Truet finished in a tie for 32nd, shooting a two-under 70 in the final day for a three-day total of 226 (77-79-70).

LAST TIME OUT: The Arizona State women's golf team finished in 17th place at the Northrup Grumman Regional Challenge after heavy rain ended the tournament a day early. The Sun Devils finished with a two-day total of 77-over 645 at the tournament, which was held Feb. 10-11 at the Palos Verdes (Calif.) Golf Club, and ended up five strokes out of the top 15. Pepperdine won the rain-shortened tournament with a two-day total of 598. Individually for the Sun Devils, freshman Alissa Kuczka finished in a tie for 27th with a two-day total of 13-over 155 (76-79). Sophomore Erin Tone ended up in 56th place after carding a seven-over 78 on Tuesday for a two-round total of 160 (81-78).

FALL WRAP-UP: Under the direction of first-year head coach Melissa McNamara Luellen, the Sun Devils opened the 2002-03 season at the NCAA Fall Preview where the team finished 18th out of 18 teams, but the squad steadily improved as the fall season went on, finishing 11th at the Dick McGuire Invitational and 12th at the Stanford Intercollegiate. Led by Alissa Kuczka, one of three true freshmen to see action in the fall for the Sun Devils, ASU turned in its first top five finish of the year in its last outing of the fall, the UNC-Wilmington Landfall Tradition. The Sun Devils took third at the Landfall Tradition, just four strokes off the lead, and turned in three of their four best rounds of the year, including a season-best eight-over 296 on the final day. A total of four Sun Devils finished in the top 20 at the Landfall Tradition, including Kuczka who was seventh, senior Blair O'Neal and freshman Sara Jones who each tied for eighth and sophomore Josefin Gustafsson who tied for 20th. O'Neal led the team in the fall with a 76.42 stroke average and was closely followed by Jones and Kuczka who finished the fall at 77.13 and 77.17 strokes per round, respectively.

HEAD COACH MELISSA McNAMARA LUELLEN: Melissa McNamara Luellen is in her first year as the head coach of the Arizona State women's golf team. Luellen came to ASU after two seasons as the head coach at her alma mater, the University of Tulsa. A former All-American for the Golden Hurricane, she succeeded her mother, Dale McNamara, who retired in 2000 following a 26-year career that saw her Tulsa teams win four national championships. In her two seasons as Tulsa's head coach, Luellen led her team to seven tournament titles including back-to-back Western Athletic Conference and NCAA Central Regional championships. She also earned WAC Coach of the Year honors in each of her two seasons and was the 2002 Central Regional Coach of the Year.

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