Women's Golf to Play Host to PING/ASU Invitational This Weekend
March 31, 2003
TEMPE, Ariz. - Coming off top five finishes in each of its last two events, the Arizona State women's golf team returns home to play host to the 2003 PING/ASU Invitational Friday-Sunday, April 4-6 at the par 72, 6,183-yard ASU Karsten Golf Course. The PING/ASU Invitational has been held each year since 1965-66, while ASU has won the tournament in 22 of the 37 years it has been held, most recently in 1999.
THE LINEUP: ASU's lineup will feature sophomore Erin Tone (Gilbert, Ariz.), freshman Alissa Kuczka (Phoenix, Ariz.), senior Gaï¿½lle Truet (New Caledonia), senior Blair O'Neal (Tempe, Ariz.), and senior Melanie Hunt (Phoenix, Ariz.). ASU will also have five players entered as individuals: sophomore Jamie Michaud (University Place, Wash.), junior Lisa Desimone (Carmel, Calif.), sophomore Josefin Gustafsson (Falkoping, Sweden), junior Beatriz 'Cucu' Conti (Caracas, Venezuela) and freshman Meredith Jones (Eugene, Ore.).
THE FORMAT: 18 holes will be played each day with tee times beginning at 8 a.m. Mountain Standard Time from tees No. 1 and No. 10 on Friday and Saturday and at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday. Second- and third-round pairings are based on team total and individual total within the team. Team ties will be broken by the highest score, while players tied within a team will utilize the previous day's position. The top four scores from each five-person team will count toward the team score.
THE FIELD: This year's PING/ASU Invitational will feature 16 of the top teams in the country, including 12 ranked in the top 30 in the March 31 Golfweek/Sagarin rankings. The year's field includes tournament host and 29th-ranked Arizona State, No. 4 Texas, No. 5 USC, No. 6 Arizona, No. 9 California, No. 11 New Mexico, No. 15 Tulsa, No. 16 UCLA, No. 17 Washington, No. 26 New Mexico State, No. 27 Stanford, No. 32 TCU, No. 46 Oregon State, Oregon, Northern Arizona and San Jose State. The individual field is just as impressive featuring 13 of the top 25 players in the country, including the nation's five top-ranked players.
2002-03 ASU STROKE AVERAGES:Name App Top 10 Rounds Strokes Avg. LowBeatriz 'Cucu' Conti 1 0 2 156 78.00 77Lisa Desimone 2 0 6 474 79.00 74Josefin 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 7 2 20 1526 76.30 72Jamie Michaud 1 0 3 243 81.00 79Blair O'Neal 7 1 20 1540 77.00 72Erin Tone 6 2 17 1336 78.59 68Gaï¿½lle Truet 5 1 15 1184 78.93 70
LAST YEAR AT THE PING/ASU INVITATIONAL: Tulsa captured the 2002 PING/ASU Invitational championship with a three-day total of seven-over par 871, while tournament host Arizona State finished second, six strokes behind the Golden Hurricane. Arizona's Lorena Ochoa won individual medalist honors last season with a nine-under 207. Jimin Kang led the Sun Devil effort with a runner-up finish with a three-day total of 211 (72-73-66). Erin Tone shared the Anne Votik Outstanding Freshman award with UCLA's Yvonne Choe and matched her highest finish of the year with a tie for 15th at six-over 222 (74-74-74). Melanie Hunt tied for 24th with a three-day total of 224 (75-73-76), while Blair O'Neal (72-83-72=227) and Gaï¿½lle Truet (79-77-75=231) tied for 39th and 53rd, respectively. ASU's individuals, Lisa Meredith (80-76-75=231) and Josefin Gustafsson (76-80-76=232) tied for 53rd and 60th, respectively.
LAST TIME OUT: Arizona State turned in its second consecutive top five finish, taking fourth at the Spartan Invitational, held March 4-5 at the par 72, 5,938-yard Corral de Tierra Country Club in Salinas, Calif. The Sun Devils shot a 16-over 304 in Wednesday's final round to finish with a total of 894 (284-306-304), which was four strokes out of third place. Pepperdine won the tournament with a three-round total of 18-under 846, followed by UCLA (882), California (890), ASU (894) and UNLV (898) to round out the top five teams.
Individually, sophomore Erin Tone (69-78-74) and freshman Alissa Kuczka (73-74-74) each tied for seventh place for the Sun Devils with three-day totals of five-over 221. For Tone, it marked her second straight top 10 finish after ending up in a tie for seventh at the Wildcat Invitational, while Kuczka turned in her second top 10 showing of the year as well. Senior Blair O'Neal tied for 25th at 11-over 227 (72-80-75) for her third top 25 finish of the year, while rounding out the Sun Devil lineup were senior Gaï¿½lle Truet (70-81-82=233) and junior Lisa Desimone (80-74-81=235) who finished tied for 40th and 46th, respectively.
STRONG SPRING: Arizona State has finished in the top four in each of its last two tournaments and three of the last four events, including a third-place showing at the Wildcat Invitational and a fourth-place effort at the Spartan Invitational. This spring, the Sun Devils have turned in six of their top 10 rounds of the year including a season-low four-under 284 in the first round of the Spartan Invitational. In the team's last two events, ASU has averaged 298.17 strokes per round, down from its season average of 307.85.
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.