Women's Golf Heads to Spartan Invitational on Tuesday and Wednesday

March 3, 2003

TEMPE, Ariz. - Coming off a third-place finish at last week's Wildcat Invitational, the Arizona State women's golf team returns to action this week, traveling to Salinas, Calif., for the Spartan Invitational. The tournament, which is hosted by San Jose State University, runs from Tuesday-Wednesday, March 4-5 at the par 72, 5,938-yard Corral de Tierra Country Club in Salinas, Calif.

Participants will play 36 holes on Tuesday with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (9 a.m. Mountain), while play wraps up with 18 holes on Wednesday with tee times at 8 a.m. PST (9 a.m. MST). Results will be available at approximately 8:30 p.m. MST on Tuesday and 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday at www.thesundevils.com.

LINEUP: ASU's lineup will feature sophomore Erin Tone (Gilbert, Ariz.), senior Ga�lle Truet (New Caledonia), freshman Alissa Kuczka (Phoenix, Ariz.), senior Blair O'Neal (Tempe, Ariz.), and junior Lisa Desimone (Carmel, Calif.).

THE FIELD: This year's Spartan Invitational features six teams ranked in the top 35 of the March 2 Golfweek/Sagarin poll, including No. 5 Pepperdine, No. 7 California, No. 10 Washington, No. 13 UCLA, No. 33 Arizona State and No. 35 UNLV. Also in the field are San Jose State, Oregon State, San Francisco, Long Beach State, Oregon, UC Irvine, Hawaii and Cal State-Monterey Bay.

2002-03 ASU STROKE AVERAGES:

Name	App	Top 10	Rounds	Strokes	Avg.	LowBeatriz 'Cucu' Conti	1	0	2	156	78.00	77Lisa Desimone	1	0	3	239	79.67	79Josefin Gustafsson	5	0	14	1114	79.57	74Melanie 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	6	1	17	1305	76.76	72Jamie Michaud	1	0	3	243	81.00	79Blair O'Neal	6	1	17	1313	77.24	72Erin Tone	5	1	14	1115	79.67	68Ga�lle Truet	4	1	12	951	79.25	71

LAST YEAR AT THE SPARTAN INVITATIONAL: Last year, the Sun Devil women finished eighth at the Spartan Invitational with a three-round total of 900. California won the event with a three-day total of 886. For the Sun Devils, Jimin Kang notched her fourth top-10 showing of the season as she carded a one-under 71 in the final round to finish in a tie for 10th with a three-day total of 221 (74-76-71). Melanie Hunt tied for 21st with a three-round total of 224 (77-73-74), while Ga�lle Truet finished in a tie for 25th at 226 (73-79-74). Blair O'Neal tied for 40th (81-77-74-232), and Erin Tone finished in a tie for 56th (78-84-77=239).

LAST TIME OUT: Led by senior Ga�lle Truet and sophomore Erin Tone, Arizona State finished third and matched its best finish of the year at the 2003 Wildcat Invitational, held Feb. 24-26 at the par 71, 6,238-yard Arizona National Golf Club at Sabino Springs. ASU ended up with a three-day total of 895 (290-305-300), 19 strokes off the lead of tournament winner Pepperdine (876) and just five strokes out of second place.

Truet and Tone led the Sun Devil effort, each turning in their best efforts of the season by tying for ninth place with a three-round total of nine-over 22. Tone wrapped up the tournament with a pair of 77s in the last two rounds after carding a career-best 68 in the first round, while Truet shot two-over 73s in each of the last two rounds (76-73-73). Freshman Alissa Kuczka turned in her second top 20 finish of the season, tying for 19th with a three-day total of 224 (72-76-76), while senior Blair O'Neal tied for 41st at 232 (74-84-74).

COMING ON STRONG: Arizona State has finished in the top five in two of its last three events with third-place showings at the Landfall Tradition in November and at last week's Wildcat Invitational in Tucson, Ariz. In last week's tournament, the Sun Devils finished ahead of five top 15 teams including then top-ranked Arizona, No. 3 Vanderbilt and No. 9 Washington. ASU turned in three of its top eight rounds of the season last week in Tucson, including a season-low six-over par 290 to lead the tournament after the first round. The Sun Devils averaged 298.33 strokes per round at the Wildcat Invitational, down from their season average of 309.59.

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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