Women's Golf to Open Season This Week in Japan

Sept. 4, 2005

TEMPE, Ariz. - The Arizona State University women's golf team will open the 2005-06 season this week, traveling to the Topy Cup in Fukushima, Japan, Tuesday-Thursday, Sept. 6-8. Four Japanese women's teams will compete against ASU and the University of Washington women's golf team at the tournament, which is being held at the Tanagura Country Club. Four college men's teams - Georgia State, Michigan State, Pepperdine and South Carolina - will also compete against eight Japanese teams in the tournament.

This will mark ASU's fourth trip to the Topy Cup and its first since 1998. ASU has won the event in each of the three seasons that it has attended (1987, 1993 and 1998). Former Sun Devil standouts to compete in the Topy Cup include Amy Fruhwirth, Pearl Sinn, Pamela Wright, Wendy Ward, Grace Park and Jodi Niemann. Assistant coach Missy Farr-Kaye also traveled to Japan to compete for ASU in the Topy Cup in 1987, while head coach Melissa Luellen competed in Japan in 1984 and 1985 during her collegiate playing career at the University of Tulsa.

ASU'S LINEUP: ASU's lineup for the Topy Cup will feature senior Alissa Kuczka (Phoenix, Ariz.), juniors Lindsay Anderson (El Paso, Texas), Charmaine Erasmus (Bradenton, Fla.) and Tiffany Tavee (Gilbert, Ariz.), sophomore Brooke Todare (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) and freshman Jennifer Osborn (Huntington Beach, Calif.).

Freshman Azahara Munoz (Malaga, Spain) will miss ASU's trip to Japan as she has been chosen to play on the European team at the 2005 PING Junior Solheim Cup, which will be held Sept. 5-7 in Westfield, Ind.

MEET THE SUN DEVILS: Arizona State returns six letterwinners from last year's squad, including three players from ASU's NCAA squad. Returners include senior Alissa Kuczka (Phoenix, Ariz.); juniors Lindsay Anderson (El Paso, Texas), Charmaine Erasmus (Bradenton, Fla.), Danelle Perata (Vacaville, Calif.) and Tiffany Tavee (Gilbert. Ariz.) and sophomore Brooke Todare (Paradise Valley, Ariz.). Kuczka and Tavee return after earning second-team All-Pac-10 honors last season.

Joining the returners are three newcomers: freshmen Liisa Kelo (Mexico City, Mexico), Azahara Muñoz (Malaga, Spain) and Jennifer Osborn (Huntington Beach, Calif.).

HEAD COACH Melissa Luellen: Melissa Luellen is in her fourth year as the head coach of the ASU women's golf team. She is joined by assistant coach and former Sun Devil Missy Farr-Kaye who is also in her fourth year on the staff.

In her first three seasons at the helm, Luellen has helped continue Arizona State's tradition of excellence. Under the guidance of Luellen, who was named the 2004-05 National Golf Coaches Association West Region Coach of the Year, the Sun Devils have turned in top 10 national finishes in each of the last two years and currently own the nation's second-longest streak of consecutive NCAA appearances at 14. Last season, the Sun Devils finished in a tie for eighth at the NCAA Championships and turned in top 10 showings in 11 of 12 events. ASU captured three tournament titles and ended the year ranked fifth in the country in each of the national polls

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 Topy Cup, Arizona State will travel to Franklin, Tenn., for the Mason Rudolph Championship Sept. 23-25. Vanderbilt University will host the tournament at the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin.

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