Fourth Straight Pac-10 Conference Championship on the Line for Wildcat Women's Golfers
April 22, 2003
Teeing Off: Arizona heads to Corvallis, Ore., in search of its fourth consecutive Pac-10 Conference Championship and seventh overall. The tournament gets underway Thursday and runs through Saturday at Trysting Tree Golf Course. A win would give Arizona its seventh conference championship--a feat no other Pac-10 school has accomplished.
Some Tournament Themes: Will Arizona continue its run as the dominant squad in Pac-10 golf... What awaits the Wildcats in their return to Trysting Tree, site of their 20-stroke victory in the 2001 West Regional... Can freshman Erica Blasberg add another sparkling accolade to her already outstanding inaugural campaign as a collegian... A stellar field competes as half of the conference is rated in the top 20 of the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index... Three of the nation's top five individuals also compete, including Arizona's Blasberg... The Wildcats try to become the most successful program in Pac-10 history with an eye on the school's unprecedented seventh conference title... A final go-round against conference foes for seniors Laura Myerscough and Anne Lee... Head Coach Greg Allen aims to keep his postseason magic alive as his Arizona teams have won half of the postseason events they have entered in his three years at the helm.
Course: Trysting Tree Golf Club serves as the host course of this year's conference championship. The track plays to a length of 6,160 yards and carries a par of 72. In 1998, Golfweek rated it as the third best college course in the West. Trysting Tree is no stranger to championship golf, having hosted the 2002 Pac-10 Men's Golf Championships and both the men's and women's NCAA West Regional Championships in 2001. The 1995 Pac-10 women's golf championship was also held at Trysting Tree.
Participating Teams: Each of the Pac-10 Conference schools fields a women's golf team. Arizona, Arizona State, California, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Washington and Washington State will all compete.
Live Scoring: Golfstat will provide live scoring of the Pac-10 Women's Golf Championships. Access the scores in real time at www.Golfstat.com. Full field results and hole-by-hole scores will also be available at www.Golfstat.com.
Wildcat Lineup and 2002-03 Statistics:
Golfer Year Avg. Top 10/20 Low Rnd. EventsErica Blasberg Fr. 72.00 6/0 68 7Laura Myerscough Sr. 75.70 1/1 71 6Miriam Kraschinski So. 76.69 2/1 68 8Anne Lee Sr. 76.14 2/1 70 8Cassandra Kirkland Fr. 74.44 1/1 70 3Whitney Welch* Fr. 79.25 0/0 73 4* competing as an individual
Last Time Out at the PING/ASU Invitational: Arizona earned its seventh top-five finish in the eighth event of the season as it took fifth place at the PING/ASU Invitational. The Wildcats carded a final round 292 to close the 54-hole tournament at 22-over-par 886, 10 strokes behind tournament champion California. For the second time in the three-round tournament, Arizona posted its best team score of the spring season. California claimed the team title with a three-day score of 12-over-par 876. UCLA's Charlotte Mayorkas took individual medalist honors, finishing at 7-under-par 209. The final round saw sophomore Miriam Kraschinski scorch the Karsten Golf Course with a 4-under-par 68. The score is Kraschinski's first career round in the 60s and matches the best single-round score of any Arizona individual on the season. Kraschinski's sizzling round moved her into a tie for 21st place at 9-over-par 225. Top-rated in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index, Erica Blasberg registered her sixth consecutive top-10 finish. The freshman tied for sixth place with a 54-hole score of 2-over-par 218. Joining Kraschinski in a tie for 21st place was senior Anne Lee, who completed the tournament with a final-round 75 (+3). Freshman Cassandra Kirkland earned a tie for 35th place with a score of 11-over-par 227. Senior Laura Myerscough completed the Arizona lineup and tied for 44th place at 13-over-par 229. Sophomore Mar Garcia and freshman Whitney Welch competed as individuals, tying for 60th and 63rd places, respectively.
Last Year at the Pac-10 Championships: Arizona continued its run as the dominant women's golf program in the Pac-10 Conference as the team captured its third straight conference title and fifth in the last six years. The Wildcats used a final-round 294, the best team score of the day, to finish at 27-over 891 with an eight stroke margin of victory over second-place UCLA. Sophomore Lorena Ochoa was outdueled and defeated for the first time in eight collegiate tournaments as she closed the tournament at 1-over-par 217. Jimin Kang of Arizona State claimed individual medalist honors. Laura Myerscough provided consistent scores all week as she shot 1-over-par 73 in each of the tournament's three rounds. The 54-hole total of 3-over 219 boosted her to a tie for fourth. The 219 tournament total is a career best for the junior from Charleston, Ill. Arizona's freshmen contributed another pair of solid performances in the final round. Mar Garcia carded a final-round of 74 (+2) to complete the tournament tied for 22nd at 17-over 233. Garcia has finished in the top 25 twice in three college tournaments. Miriam Kraschinski claimed a tie for 26th as she completed action at 18-over-par 234. Cristina Baena, one of two seniors on the Arizona squad, joined Kraschinski in a tie for 26th place as she completed play with a final-round 81. Senior Cathie Williamson competed as an individual and took 47th place after shooting 25-over-par 241 in the tournament.
Last Time at Trysting Tree Golf Club: Sophomore Lorena Ochoa won individual medalist honors for the sixth time in her career and the second time of the season at the Oregon State Invitational after posting a career-best 54-hole total of 10-under-par 206. Arizona finished tied with tournament champion California at 18-over-par 882, but took second place by virtue of the NCAA tie-break policy. The Wildcats finished with a third-round of 17-over-par 305. Despite posting identical scores, California was awarded first place over Arizona as the low score from each team's fifth player broke the tie. Ochoa used rounds of 72, 67 and 67 to finish nine strokes ahead of Anne Walker and Sarah Huarte of California and Kim Kouwabunpat of Stanford, who tied for second at 1-under-par 215. Earning top-15 finishes for Arizona were juniors Laura Myerscough and Anne Lee. Myerscough completed play tied for 10th place, while Lee tied for 14th.
Dynasty: By winning its third straight Pac-10 title and fifth of the last six years at the 2002 tournament, Arizona simply reasserted itself as the dominant player in Pac-10 golf. The only year since 1997 that the Wildcats have not won the conference title was 1999 when the team finished second.
Fond Memories: Greg Allen holds pleasant memories of the Trysting Tree Golf Club for it was there in 2001, Allen's first season, that Arizona won the NCAA West Regional by a whopping 20 strokes. Two of the golfers from that team will be in the lineup this weekend, Laura Myerscough and Anne Lee.
Blasberg Breakin' Out: The freshman campaign of Erica Blasberg has been nothing short of spectacular. The 18-year-old from Corona, Calif., has won two events and posted six top-10 finishes in only seven tournaments. Her stroke average stands at 72.00. Her success has led her to the nation's top rating in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index.
Lucky Seven: Through eight events this season, seven different Arizona golfers have registered top-20 finishes, making head coach Greg Allen's task of setting the Arizona lineup that much more difficult. With talented golfers all over the UA roster, Allen believes there are eight golfers who can compete for first place any week. This season, five different Wildcats have earned at least one top-10 finish, while two others have registered top-20 finishes.
Season's Greatests: Arizona posted its best rounds of the spring season in the first and third rounds of the PING/ASU Invitational. Team totals of 294 and 292 mark the best scores the team has shot since September.
Back on Track: Having battled through a slump after racing to a brilliant start to her season with a win at the NCAA Fall Preview, sophomore Miriam Kraschinski appears to be back on track. She bettered her score by seven strokes each day of the PING/ASU Invitational with the improvement culminating in a career-best 68 (-4) for the native of New Zealand.
Cassandra's Coming Out: Freshman Cassandra Kirkland has made quite the impact after playing her way into the lineup and out a possible redshirt year. After competing as an individual in her first collegiate event (the Wildcat Invitational) and finishing tied for 19th, Kirkland was inserted into the lineup for the Dr. Thompson Rainbow Invitational. The freshman from France posted the low round of the tournament (70) and led after 18 and 36 holes before finishing in second place at 3-over-par 219.
LPGA Action: Freshman Erica Blasberg missed the Dr. Thompson Rainbow Invitational due to her participation in the LPGA's Welch's/Fry's Championship in Tucson. Blasberg's appearance marks the third consecutive year a current Wildcat has entered the field after Lorena Ochoa competed as an amateur in 2001 and 2002. Blasberg made the cut and tied for 49th place at 275 (-5).
Out of It: Arizona's ninth-place finish at the Wildcat Invitational marks the first time in nine tournaments that the team has finished an event out of the top five. In March 2002, the Wildcats took ninth place at the weather-marred Betsy Rawls Invitational, marking the last time Arizona finished out of the top five.
Foreign Flavor: The Arizona women's golf team has boasted a number of foreign stars in recent years and the 2003 squad is no exception. Four Wildcats call countries other than the United States home. Mar Garcia is a native of Spain, Julia and Miriam Kraschinski hail from New Zealand, and Cassandra Kirkland is from France.
Wild Weather: The high scores from Arizona's spring-opening tournament reflect the poor conditions in Palos Verdes, Calif., at Palos Verdes Golf Club. Heavy rain, strongs winds and harsh temperatures hampered play throughout the tournament and eventually caused the cancellation of the tournament's final round.
Fab Freshmen: Following the tradition of freshmen success in the UA women's golf program, Erica Blasberg has emerged as the Wildcats' most consistent performer and is rated No. 1 nationally. She joins other freshmen phenoms such as Annika Sorenstam, Marisa Baena, Natalie Gulbis and Lorena Ochoa as individuals who have won tournaments in their first season in the program.
Career Best: Senior Anne Lee notched a career best low round when she shot 2-under-par 70 in the second round of the Auburn Tiger-Derby Invitational. Her 54-hole score (220, +5) at the Auburn tournament was only two shots off of her 54-hole career best, set at the 2001 Wildcat Invitational. By placing 10th at the Auburn Tiger-Derby Invitational, Lee posted her second top-10 of the season and third of her career.
Tough Room: Freshman Erica Blasberg is around top-notch student-athletes while on the golf course and in McKale Center. But even at home in her dorm, Blasberg is still accompanied by another elite student-athlete. Blasberg shares her dorm room with Kim Glass of the UA volleyball team. Glass was named national freshman of the year and a second-team All-American for her efforts this season.
Myerscough in Malaysia: Senior Laura Myerscough missed action at the Stanford-Pepsi Intercollegiate beacuse of her participation in the World Amateur Golf Championships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Myerscough tied for 21st place individually and helped the United States' three woman squad to fifth place in the 39-team tournament. The Stanford-Pepsi Intercollegiate marked the first Arizona tournament Myerscough missed since the Golf World Invitational in November of 2000.
Doing the Solo Thing: With individual victories by Erica Blasberg and Miriam Kraschinski so far this season, 17 Arizona women have won medalist honors in the history of the program. Dating to 1977, those 17 golfers have combined for 59 tournament championships. The 2002-03 season is the 10th time in the last 15 years that at least two Wildcats have each won an individual tournament title.
Grand Opening: Arizona kicked off its 2002-03 season in style, taking the title at the Fall Preview. The Wildcats received consistent performances from each member of the lineup--helping the team to card three sub-300 rounds. The team only accomplished that feat twice in the 2001-02 season, at the PING/ASU Invitational and in its second-place showing at the NCAA Championships.
Kool Kraschinski: Sophomore Miriam Kraschinski won her first career individual title at the Fall Preview in September, the tournament saw her set a number of career bests. In addition to her career best first place finish, the sophomore from Whitianga, New Zealand shot her best single round score (70 in the second and third rounds of the Preview) and her best three-round tournament score (215). Her subpar performances in the final two rounds of the Preview marked the first time in her career that she has broken par.
On From the AJGA: Freshmen Erica Blasberg and Whitney Welch enter the University of Arizona with impressive junior golf resumes and are expected to have a significant impact on the Wildcat lineup immediately. Both have been named to the American Junior Golf Association's All-America teams on multiple occasions. Welch was named to the AJGA's All-America first-team in 2001 and won honorable mention honors in 2000. Blasberg was honored as an All-American by the AJGA three consecutive years; winning first-team honors in 2000 and second-team honors in 2001 and 1999.
Arizona Championship Streak: Arizona extended its streak of years in which it has won a team title to eight after it captured the title at the NCAA Fall Preview in September. The last Arizona team to go winless was the 1994-95 squad, which had five top-five finishes. During the eight-season streak, Arizona has produced two national championship teams, five Pac-10 titles, four NCAA West Regional titles and 35 total tournament championships. Included in that stretch was the 1999-2000 team that won eight consecutive events.
Wildcat Coaching Staff: A five-year college coaching veteran, Greg Allen has led the Arizona Wildcats to eight tournament championships in just two-and-a-half years at the helm of the program. Included in the team's accomplishments under Allen's watch are the 2001 and 2002 Pac-10 Conference Championships, a national runner-up finish and a 20-stroke victory at the 2001 NCAA West Regional. In the summer of 2001, he paired with Arizona men's head coach Rick LaRose to coach the United States team to victory in 2001 U.S.-Japan Collegiate Matches. Allen, hired in July 2000, came to the University of Arizona from Texas where he was the assistant coach for the Longhorns' men's golf team. Allen helped guide Texas to the 1999-2000 NCAA Central Region championship and a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championships. Prior to coaching at Texas, Allen served as Director of Tournament Operations with the American Junior Golf Association. Allen graduated from Murray State University in 1993. He is assisted by Jody Niemann-Dansie, who was hired in July 2002. Niemann-Dansie played two years on the LPGA after completing her collegiate eligibility. She is a graduate of Arizona State University and was a member of the 1997 and 1998 NCAA National Championship teams in Tempe.
A Glance at Arizona's Pac-10 Streak
WALLA WALLA, Wash. (April 24, 2002)-Arizona captured its third straight Pac-10 conference title and fifth in the last six years by using the best team score of the final round, a 6-over-par 294, to finish at 27-over 891. That score was good for an eight-shot victory over second-place UCLA. 'I am proud of these golfers for grinding it out and winning the conference title,' head coach Greg Allen said. 'Our success is a testament to the program that we have at UA.' Sophomore Lorena Ochoa was outdueled and defeated in the season as she closed the tournament at 1-over-par 217 in second place. The team title resulted from the 'first, truly solid team effort' of the season, Allen said. Consistency in the lineup pushed Arizona to its first tournament championship of the season.Laura Myerscough posted consistent scores all week as she shot 73 (+1) in each of the tournament's three rounds. Her fourth place finish and tournament total of 219 stood as career bests at the time.
TEMPE, Ariz. (April 25, 2001)-The Arizona women's golf team battled a number of obstacles all season long, but overcame them all to claim its second straight Pac-10 title. The Wildcats used a final-round score of 1-under-par 287 to finish at 873 (+9). Wildcat freshman Lorena Ochoa defeated teammate and fellow freshman Natalie Gulbis in two sudden-death playoff holes for the individual title. Stanford finished second, three strokes behind Arizona. 'I'm extremely happy for the team because of what we have been through this year,' first-year head coach Greg Allen said. 'With all the adversity, injuries, having a new coach and so many different lineups, this is especially rewarding. One thing we've talked about is peaking at the right time, we've wanted to be a post-season team.' Freshmen standouts Ochoa and Gulbis both finished today's final round at three-under par 213 for the tournament. After both made par on the first playoff hole, Ochoa drained a 15-foot putt to make birdie on the second playoff hole to claim medalist honors. Arizona held off a late surge by second-place Stanford before wrapping up action at one-under par for the final round. 'There was a lot of pressure out there today,' Allen said. 'Being the program that we are and being the defending conference and national champs, there has always been a lot of pressure and expectations. The team certainly withstood that pressure today.'
EUGENE, Ore. (April 26, 2000)-Arizona won its sixth consecutive tournament of the season and fourth ever Pac-10 Conference Championship at the Eugene Country Club with a three-day total of 19-over-par 883. The Wildcats' 54-hole total placed them 18 strokes ahead of second-place Stanford. Three Wildcats finished in the top five and four in the 15. The team victory extended the squad's streak of wins to an astonishing six consecutive and marked its seenth win of the season. 'I'm very excited,' said coach Todd McCorkle. 'I can't say I expected us to win, but every match we've played well down the stretch.' Individually for the Wildcats, senior Jenna Daniels shot a tournament low of 4-under-par 68 in the final round to finish second after being tied for 15th entering the final 18 holes. Sophomore Cristina Baena captured third place, while Jill Gomric tied for fourth place. Freshman Julia Kraschinski tied for 14th.
Arizona (ranked 6th; best Pac-10 finish: 1st, 1992, 1997-98, 2000-02; last year: 1st): Arizona has an overall record of 95-20-2, including 42-20-2 against top-25 competition... the team has three golfers ranked in the top 100 with Erica Blasberg (2), Laura Myerscough (50), and Anne Lee (91)... Blasberg averages 72.0 strokes per round to rank first among all probable competitors at Pac-10s; she also has five top-10 finishes, including the Stanford Intercollegiate and the Wildcat Invitational... team won the NCAA Fall Preview... two second- and third-place finishes on the year.
Arizona State (ranked 27th; best Pac-10 finish: 1st, 1987-88, 1993-96; last year: t3rd): Freshman Alissa Kuczka is the team's highest ranked player (89)... team's best finishes this year were third at both UNC-Wilmington's Landfall Tradition and the Arizona Invitational... Kuczka leads the Sun Devils with a 76.22 average... ASU holds the Pac-10 record for the lowest score in Pac-10 history with an 858 in 1995 at Trysting Tree... Erin Tone, Blair O'Neal, and Kuczka lead the team with two top-10 finishes.
California (ranked 8th; best Pac-10 finish: t3rd, 2002; last year: t3rd): Cal owns five tournament wins this year, including the OSU/Shanico and the PING/ASU Invitationals... five of Cal's six golfers at Pac-10s are ranked in the top 100, including Sarah Huarte (29), Vikki Laing (31), Sophia Sheridan (59), Mika Takayama (75), and Ria Quiazon (76)... Laing leads the Bears with a 74.5 average... Huarte was the only Bear with a win this year (Bay Area Classic)... overall record of 116-16-0, including 32-15-0 vs. top-25 teams.
Oregon (ranked 75th; best Pac-10 finish: t4th, 1991, 1993; last year: 10th): Oregon's best finish was a tie for fourth at the OSU/Shanico Invitational... the Ducks have three top-10 finishes this year... freshman Therese Wenslow leads UO with a 76.8 average... one of the youngest teams in the tournament, with three freshmen and two sophomores.
Oregon State (ranked 46th; best Pac-10 finish: t6th, 1993; last year: 9th): Oregon State's best finish came at its own Shanico Invitational, where it tied for second... senior Stacie Ferguson's 77.0 average leads the team... Ferguson also had the best individual finish of the year for OSU with a tie for third at the Shanico, which was one of two top-10s for the senior... OSU has four top-10 showings.
Stanford (ranked 28th; best Pac-10 finish: 1st, 1999; last year: 7th): Stanford has only one senior in its lineup, which is Kim Rowton, who leads the team with a 75.1 average... Stanford's best finish was second at its own Peg Barnard Collegiate... Rowton is also the only Cardinal in the top 100, ranked 57th... Rowton and Wendra Liang have each won a tournament this year.
UCLA (ranked 14th; best Pac-10 finish: 1st, 1990-91; last year: 2nd): The Bruins have three second-place finishes this year... sophomore Charlotte Mayorkas, ranked fifth in the nation, had UCLA's only individual win this year when she claimed the PING/ASU title... was recently chosen to help represent the United States in the Fuji Xerox U.S. vs. Japan Collegiate Golf Championships this summer... leads the squad with a 73.5 average... Susie Mathews (63) and Gina Umeck (95) are also among the top 100... UCLA has no seniors in its lineup.
USC (ranked 5th; best Pac-10 finish: 1st, 1989; last year: t5th): The Trojans have two wins this year, the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational and the Rainbow Invitational... senior Mikaela Parmlid is second among Pac-10 contestants with a 72.95 average... Parmlid, from Gothenburg, Sweden, is ranked fourth nationally... Parmlid was a co-champion at the Ihlanfeldt Invitational and Bruin Classic, and won the Rainbow Invitational outright to set a school-record with three wins this year... also ranked for USC are Becky Lucidi (36), Tanya Dergal (55), and Irene Cho (64)... overall record of 96-22-0, including 46-20-0 vs. top-25 teams.
Washington (ranked 20th; best Pac-10 finish: 3rd, 1988; last year: t5th): The Huskies have three second-place finishes this year, as well as a third... Sophomore Paige Mackenzie is tops on the team with a 73.8 average... among the top 100 in the country are Louise Friberg (21) and Lindsay Morgan (35)... no Husky individuals have won tournaments, but four have finished either second or third.
Washington State (ranked 66th; best Pac-10 finish: 7th, 1997; last year: 8th): The Cougars have won three tournaments, all consecutively this spring... sophomore Kim Welch's 75.3 mark is the best on the team... Welch has six tournaments of fifth or better, including a win at the Duck Invitational... sophomore Maria Kostina has two thirds and a second... nine of the 10 golfers on the roster are freshmen or sophomores.
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