No. 8 Cal Travels to Pioneer Classic

March 20, 2003

BERKELEY -

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CAL STRIVES FOR FIFTH TITLE:
After more than two weeks off from competition, No. 8 California travels to the UCLA/Pioneer Classic Monday-Wednesday, March 24-26, in search of its fifth tournament title this season. The Pioneer Classic takes place at the par 72, 6,254-yard Robinson Ranch Golf Club in Santa Clarita. The 19-teams will play 54 holes with 18 scheduled for each day beginning at 8 a.m. Wednesday's round features a shotgun start.

A LOOK AT THE FIELD:
Top-ranked and two-time defending Pioneer Classic champion Pepperdine heads a field of 19 teams, seven of which are ranked among the nation's Top 25, according to Golfstat. Other Top 25 teams in the field include No. 7 USC, No. 8 Cal, No. 9 Washington, No. 12 UCLA, No. 13 New Mexico and No. 23 New Mexico State. Also participating are BYU, Cal State Northridge, Long Beach State, Oregon, Oregon State, Portland State, San Francisco, San Jose State, Stanford, Texas Tech, UC Irvine and Washington State.

BEARS' LINEUP FOR PIONEER CLASSIC:
Player YR 02-03 RNDS STROKES AVG LOW TOP FINISH1. Sarah Huarte Jr. 16 1202 75.1 72 1st2. Vikki Laing Sr. 19 1413 74.4 70 T2nd3. Sophia Sheridan Fr. 14 1053 75.2 72 2nd4. Ria Quiazon Sr. 16 1206 75.4 70 T2nd5. Mika Takayama Fr. 14 1052 75.1 71 T7th

2002 PIONEER CLASSIC IN REVIEW:
Cal finished seventh out of 16 teams at the 2002 Pioneer Classic with a 54-hole score of 917. Pepperdine claimed top honors with an 876, followed by UCLA at 901 and New Mexico and Oklahoma in a tie for third at 908. Sarah Huarte and Anna Temple led the way for the Bears, tying for 10th at 225. The Waves' Katherine Hull medalled with a 207.

LAST TIME OUT:
Cal placed third with a respectable 54-hole 890 at the Spartan Invitational in its last competition on March 4-5. However, Pepperdine ran away with the tournament with a minus-18 246. Sarah Huarte paced the Bears for the second straight tournament, tying for 12th with a 222. Vikki Laing and Sophia Sheridan weren't far behind in a tie for 14th (223). Pepperdine's Katherine Hull set an NCAA record for 54 holes (200) to win the event.

BEARS BOAST FOUR PLAYERS WITH NATIONAL TEAM TIES:
Three Cal golfers have experience playing for different national teams - seniors Vikki Laing (Scotland) and Ria Quiazon (Philippines), junior Claire Dury (New Zealand) and freshman Sophia Sheridan (Mexico). Laing represented Great Britain and Ireland at the Curtis Cup last August, while Quiazon medalled at the Asian Games last October (third team, fifth individual).

CAL SPORTS BALANCE AND TALENT:
Each year, Cal has gotten better and better as it continues to attract higher caliber athletes. This year's squad has utilized eight different golfers in its starting five and seven of those golfers boast averages under 77, including five that are within a stroke of each other (74.4-75.4). In the lastest Golfweek individual rankings, Vikki Laing is 39th, while Sarah Huarte is 46th.

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