Former Trojan Nicole Castrale Wins Second Consecutive Pro Title

June 8, 2005

Former Trojan Nicole Castrale (formerly Nicole Dalkas) won her second consecutive professional title - the first two of her career -- in impressive fashion, posting a four-stroke win at the Quality Concepts Kankekee FUTURES Golf Classic in Saint Anne, Ill., June 3-5.

The wire-to-wire 54-hole win in unseemly conditions moved her into first on the FUTURES Tour Money List.

'I heard a huge crack (of lightning) while I was over my shot and it felt like the lightning was right on top of me,' said Castrale of Palm Desert, Calif., who fired rounds of 66-72-71 for a 7-under-par total of 209 at the Kankakee Elks Country Club.

Lightning and hailstones suspended play late in her round for 90 minutes.

'It was kind of hard because when we came in during the storm delay, everybody was congratulating me,' said Castrale, 26. 'But I knew it wasn't done. It seemed like the longest hour or whatever it was. I knew when I went back out, I still had to execute my shots.'

'To tell you the truth, I'm surprised she didn't win like this earlier,' saidFUTURES Tour rookie Becky Lucidi of Poway, Calif., who roomed with Castrale at USC. 'If you look at her swing, you won't find a flaw. She's so solid and she has such good fundamentals. I really think Nicole is starting to blossom now and I don't think she's going away anytime soon.'

And for a player who has undergone three rotator-cuff surgeries and a start-stop pro career riddled with rehabs, today's win was perhaps even sweeter than last week's inaugural victory in Indiana.

'She's been fighting through a lot of injuries and I think she's been told she's a good player for a long time,' said caddie/husband Craig Castrale. 'This just solidifies all the hard work.'

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