OSU Makes Ninth NCAA Regional Appearance In Last 10 Years

May 6, 2003

CORVALLIS, Ore. - -

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TEEING OFF: Oregon State competes in the NCAA West Regional Championships, hosted by Arizona State May 8-10 at the Karsten Golf Course. The Beavers tee off at 12:40 p.m., Pacific time on Thursday, and 8:20 Friday morning. OSU is paired with Denver and Nevada for the first two rounds; teams will be re-paired for the third round according to results from the first two days. Teams play 18 holes each day for a total of 54, with the lowest four scores from each five-person team counting toward the team total each day. Live scoring can be found at www.golfstatlive.com.

THE FIELD: A total of 21 teams and three individuals from around the country make up the field for a total of 108 players. Of the 21 teams, 15 are ranked among the nation's top 50, including three of the top five and nine of the top 30. Here's a look, with Golfweek/Sagarin rankings in parentheses if among the top 30: Pepperdine (2), USC (4), Oklahoma State (3), UCLA (13), Ohio State (16), Arizona State (27), Stanford (28), New Mexico State (26), Washington (20), UNLV, San Francisco, San Jose State, Oregon State, Denver, Nevada, Illinois, Washington State, Oral Roberts, Cal State-Northridge, Portland State, and Bradley. Individual qualifiers are Nicole Keller of Idaho, Stella Lee of UC-Irvine, and Erin Kerr of Colorado.

THE COURSE: The par-72, 6,256-yard Karsten Golf Course hosts the championships. Since opening in 1989, Karsten has hosted the 2000 NCAA Women's West Regional, the 1998 NCAA Men's West Regional, and the 1992 NCAA Women's Championships.

LAST YEAR: OSU did not qualify for the regional championships last year. Pepperdine and UCLA tied for first at the 2002 championships with three-round totals of 19-over 883 at the Stanford Golf Course. Rounding out the top five were California (889), Arizona (890) and Stanford (901). Arizona's Lorena Ochoa captured individual medalist honors with a 6-under 210.

HOW THE REGIONALS WORK: The top eight teams, as well as the top two individuals whose teams are not among the top eight, advance to the NCAA Championships, hosted by Purdue University May 20-23 at the Kampen Course in West Lafayette, Ind. In addition to ASU hosting the West Regional, Wake Forest is hosting the East Regional, and Nebraska the Central.

OSU AT THE REGIONALS: OSU has now qualified for the NCAA Regional Championships nine of the last 10 years, having missed out during the 2001-02 campaign. The Beavers hosted the regionals in 2001, finishing 10th, eight shots from advancing to the NCAA Championships. Arizona won the regional championships that year by 20 strokes over Stanford. OSU's best finish at a regional was in 1998, when Kathleen Takaishi led the Beavers to a 10th-place finish and their first-ever - and only - appearance in the NCAA Championships. In 1998, the Beavers shot 307-294-311--1,152; the 294 stands as the third-lowest score in team history. Takaishi tied for 15th with her 74-71-77--222.

OSU IN THE RANKINGS: The Beavers are 47th in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, and have a schedule rated the 31st most difficult in the nation.

RECENT ACTION: OSU finished ninth at the Pacific-10 Championships, which it hosted Apr. 24-26 at Trysting Tree Golf Club in Corvallis. Leading the way for the Beavers was Ashlei Pendleton, whose tie for 21st was a career best at Pac-10s. She shot 231.

THE LINEUP:

1. Ashlei Pendleton (Sr., Las Vegas, Nev.) (78.51 avg./low: 72/31 rds.) Tied for 21st at Pac-10 Championships with a 231... best finish of the year was 14th at the Bay Area Classic... tied for 21st at the OSU Shanico... has battled a wrist injury much of the year... tied for 50th at 2001 West Regional, shooting 235.

2. Stacie Ferguson (Sr., Tucson, Ariz.) (77.14/70/28) Stacie opened her season by tallying the best finish of her career at the OSU/Shanico, finishing tied for third with a 220... final-round 70 at the Shanico was the third 70 of her career and equaled the second-best round in OSU history... her 220 equaled the fourth-lowest three-round total in OSU history... has played in 35 of the last 36 tournaments, dating back to her freshman year; she missed the Charleston Invitational last fall when she became ill just before the team departed... one of two seniors, she has played in 109 career rounds... tied for 61st at 2001 West Regional... tied for 109th at 2000 West Regional.

3. Leah Whiting (Fr., Hilo, Hawaii) (78.08/71/23): Leah's best finish was a tie for fifth at the OSU Shanico Invitational, where she shot 5-over 221... has made major contributions as a true freshman.

4. Kelly Ferris (Jr., Albany, Ore.) (79.82/75/23 rds.) Kelly turned in her best performance as a Beaver at the Spartan Invitational, finishing tied for 28th... her 228 was also a career best... tied for 49th at last year's Pac-10s... has cut more than four strokes from her fall scoring average (82.3-78.21).

5. Laura Skinner (Jr., Boise, Idaho) (79.54/71/31 rds.) Laura equaled her career-best in the second round of the OSU/Shanico, firing a 71... Laura has been a regular in the lineup since her freshman year, playing in 86 career rounds... best Pac-10 finish was a tie for 47th in 2002... tied for 50th at 2001 West Regional.

THE COACHES: Ris� Lakowske is in her 13th season at Oregon State - the longest tenure of any coach at OSU - and is the most successful women's golf coach in school history. Lakowske has taken the team to the NCAA West Regional eight of the last nine years, and was honored as the 1998 Far West District Coach of the Year. Lakowske is a former OSU student-athlete (1973-77).

Now in her second year, Angie Cates joined the OSU staff as the assistant coach for both the men's and women's programs in the fall of 2001. Cates came to OSU after playing professionally since 2000 on the Futures Tour and the Ladies Challenge Tour. The 1998 Washington State graduate worked three years as an associate producer for The Golf Channel before playing professionally. Cates was an Academic All-American at WSU, as well as an All-Pac-10 selection her senior year.

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