No. 1-Seeded Cal Travels to NCAA Central Regional
May 5, 2003
BEARS BEGIN BID FOR NCAA TITLE:
After winning its first ever Pac-10 title, the No. 3- ranked California women's golf team travels to Lincoln, Neb., as the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Central Regional. The 21-team regional takes place Thursday-Saturday, May 8-10 at the par 71, 6033-yard Firethorn Golf Course. Eighteen holes will be played each day beginning at 8:30 a.m. CT. The top eight teams from each of the three regionals will advance to the NCAA Championships, May 20-23, in West Lafayette, Ind. Duke (East) and Pepperdine (West) are the other No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Regionals.
A LOOK AT THE FIELD:
Cal is joined at the University of Nebraska-hosted Central Regional by (in order of seeds and national ranking noted): No. 3 Texas, No. 9 Florida, No. 11 Tennessee, No. 14 New Mexico, No. 21 Tulsa, No. 19 Purdue, No. 25 Oklahoma, Missouri, Baylor, TCU, Kent State, Michigan State, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Indiana, Wisconsin, Kansas State, Nebraska, Yale and Southern. North Texas' Randi Gauthier, Iowa State's Louise Kenney and Northwestern's Elizabeth Burden will compete as individuals.
CAL'S NCAA HISTORY:
Cal is making its fourth consecutive NCAA Regional appearance and is looking to qualify for its third straight NCAA Championships. In 2000, the Bears placed 22nd at the NCAA West Regional in Tempe, Ariz., and didn't advance to the NCAA Championships. In 2001, Cal placed eighth at the Central Regional in West Lafayette, Ind., and earned the last spot at the NCAA Championships. The team went on to finish 19th at NCAAs. Last season, the Bears took third at the West Regional in Stanford, Calif., and 15th at NCAAs. Prior to 2000, Cal had no postseason experience.
CAL'S LINEUP FOR NCAA CENTRAL REGIONAL:
After not duplicating a lineup for the first eight tournaments of the season, Cal head coach Nancy McDaniel has finally found the lineup she likes best. The five golfers listed below have accounted for three of the team's six tournament victories this season. The group is coming off back-to-back victories at the PING/ASU Invitational and the Pac-10 Championships, in addition to claiming the Stanford Intercollegiate in the fall.
Player YR 02-03 RNDS STROKES AVG LOW TOP FINISH1. Vikki Laing Sr. 28 2075 74.1 70 1st2. Sarah Huarte Jr. 25 1865 74.6 70 1st3. Ria Quiazon Sr. 25 1892 75.7 70 T2nd4. Claire Dury Jr. 23 1747 75.7 69 T6th5. Sophia Sheridan Fr. 23 1741 75.7 71 2nd
LAING LEADS CAL TO PAC-10 TITLE:
Behind senior Vikki Laing's individual victory, Cal claimed its first Pac-10 title and sixth tournament victory of the season April 24-26 at Trysting Tree Golf Course in Corvallis, Ore. The course has become a home away from home for the Bears, which have won their last four events there. In winning the conference crown with a 54-hole score of 892, Cal held off three-time defending Pac-10 champion Arizona by five strokes. Laing's victory, her second collegiate and the first Pac-10 title in school history, came down to the final hole. The Scottish national team player recorded an even-par 216 to hold off third-ranked Mikaela Parmlid of USC (217) and top-ranked Erica Blasberg of Arizona (219).
BEARS' SIX WINS TOPS IN NATION:
Cal's six tournament wins this season are the most by any team in the country. No. 1 Duke and No. 2 Pepperdine each have five titles to their credit. The Bears won three of their four fall tournaments - Oregon State Invitational, Stanford Intercollegiate and the Kent Youel Invitational - and have followed that up with three trophies in the spring - Bay Area Classic, PING/ASU Invitational and the Pac-10 Championships.
A LOOK AT THE RANKINGS:
After being ranked 13th in the Golfweek preseason poll, Cal has climbed to program-best national rankings of No. 3 by Golfstat and No. 8 by Golfweek. There are many indications that this year's Cal team is thedeepest and best in the program's eight-year history. Currently, five players rank in the Top 75, according to Golfweek - Laing (19), Sarah Huarte (23), Sophia Sheridan (66), Ria Quiazon (67) and Mika Takayama (71). Juniors Claire Dury and Anna Temple are 112th and 152nd, respectively. Cal has fielded eight different starting fives in its 10 tournaments this year, and the Bears' average dropped score of 78.43 is the best in the country.
HOW CAL FARES STATISTICALLY:
Cal has fared well in various statistical categories this year. As a team, the Bears boast the nation's No. 1 total short game (.552), are No. 2 for putts on greens in regulation (1.892) and for par 5 scoring (5.02), are No. 3 for par 4 scoring (4.25), No. 5 for par 3 scoring (3.19) and No. 10 for subpar strokes per round (2.06). Individually, Quiazon is seventh for total short game (.608), while Laing is 10th (.591).
BLUE AND GOLD DOMINATE PAC-10 AWARDS:
McDaniel was named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year for the second time in her career. The Bears dominated the All-Pac-10 awards with six honorees. First team choices were Laing and Huarte, while Quiazon landed on the second team. Honorable mention kudos went to Dury, Sheridan and Takayama.
RECORDS FALL IN 2002-03:
Cal has already set several new program records this season. The list includes new team 36 (581) and 54 hole (870) records at the Kent Youel Invitational in October. In April, Huarte finished second at the PING/ASU Invitational with school-record marks for 36 (140) and 54 holes (213). Also, Laing's season average of 74.1 is on track to break Huarte's record of 74.5 (2001-02). Cal's team average of 298.0 also is on pace to eclipse last season's record of 299.2.
BEARS BOAST FOUR PLAYERS WITH NATIONAL TEAM TIES:
Four Cal golfers have ties to different national teams - Laing (Scotland), Quiazon (Philippines), Dury (New Zealand) and Sheridan (Mexico). Recently, Laing represented Great Britain & Ireland at the Curtis Cup, while Quiazon medalled at the Asian Games (3rd team, 5th individual). Among Cal's starting five, only Huarte was born (Placerville, Calif.) in the United States. Quiazon was born in Manila, Philippines, but currently resides in Union City, Calif.
DID YOU KNOW?:
Sarah Huarte comes from an athletic family. The list includes: her uncle, John Huarte, who won the Heisman Trophy in 1964 while a standout football player at Notre Dame; Sarah's younger sister, Laura, is currently a pole vaulter at Notre Dame; and Sarah's father, Jim, played football at Saint Mary's (CA).
DID YOU KNOW?:
Cal finished 10th, ninth and ninth in the program's first three Pac-10 Championships. Since the inaugural 1995-96 season, Cal has taken 35 strokes off its team average (333.5 to 298.0).