Women's Golf to Open Spring Season Next Week's Regional Challenge

Feb. 4, 2005

TEMPE, Ariz. - The Arizona State University women's golf team will open the 2005 spring season next week, traveling to Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., for the 2005 Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge Monday-Wednesday, Feb. 7-9. The 15-team, 54-hole tournament will be held at the par 71, 5,912-yard Palos Verdes Golf Club.

Teams will play 18 holes each day with tee times beginning at 8 a.m. Live scoring will be available at www.golfstat.com, while a recap of each day's action will be available at www.thesundevils.com.

THE LINEUP: ASU's lineup will feature freshman Louise Stahle (Lund, Sweden), sophomore Tiffany Tavee (Gilbert, Ariz.), junior Alissa Kuczka (Phoenix, Ariz.), freshman Brooke Todare (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) and freshman Sara Lester (Walnut Creek, Calif.).

THE FIELD: The field for the 2005 Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge features ASU, Arizona, Duke, Florida, Michigan State, New Mexico, tournament host Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Pepperdine, Stanford, USC, Texas, UCLA, UNLV and Washington.

FALL RECAP: The Sun Devils return to action this spring after turning in top five finishes in all five of their fall tournaments, including a pair of tournament victories. ASU won two tournaments in October - the Price's Give 'Em Five Intercollegiate and the Stanford/Pepsi Intercollegiate - and finished second in two others in November - the Kent Youel Invitational and the Hooters Collegiate Match Play Championship. The team climbed to second in the final fall Golf World College Coaches Poll. ASU was also ranked sixth in the final fall Golfweek poll.

ASU was led by true freshman Louise Stahle (Lund, Sweden) who finished second in each of her three tournament appearances. Stahle finished the fall with a 70.22 stroke average and ranked second in the final Golfweek individual poll. Junior Alissa Kuczka (Phoenix, Ariz.) and sophomore Tiffany Tavee (Gilbert, Ariz.) tied for second on the team with 73.17 fall stroke averages and each turned in a pair of top 10 finishes. Kuczka and Tavee ranked 44th and 46th individually by Golfweek, respectively.

HEAD COACH Melissa Luellen: Melissa Luellen is in her third year as the head coach of the Arizona State women's golf team. Last year, she guided the Sun Devils to a 10th-place finish at the NCAA Championships and a total of seven top 10 showings, including a season-best tie for fourth at the Pac-10 Championships.

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.

UP NEXT: Following the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge, the Sun Devils will return to action Feb. 21-23 at the Wildcat Invitational in Tucson. ASU will play host to the PING/ASU Invitational at Karsten Golf Course in Tempe on April 1-3.

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