Quotes from Women's Golf Coach Melissa Luellen
Feb. 17, 2006
Tempe, Ariz. - On winning the Northrup Grumman Regional Challenge...This was our fourth trip to [the Northrup Grumman Regional Challenge] and the previous three times we had not finished better than 12th. The first year we finished dead last and there were 18 teams. Last year we finished 12th and they had made the field smaller to 15 teams. We had never finished too high there. It is such an improvement for us. Our freshmen played great again. They are our scoring leaders. Jennifer [Osborn] actually had a great shot of winning. She played great. The team persevered. The conditions were very difficult. It was very windy. We just made one less mistake than USC. Everyone struggled in the tournament, we just struggled less.
On Alissa Kuczka stepping up...We give the team stickers for their golf bag if you are even par or better for the last five holes. The two previous days Alissa [Kuczka] played solid until the last five holes. She played them 3 and 4 over par, and it hurt her final score. So I know she was determined, in the third round, to play those holes even par or better. For her to be able to stick it out like that, it was a major key in us winning. I know she felt great about it. As a senior, experiencing our poor play our first three years, I know she's the happiest person, next to me.
On Alissa Kuczka's dynamics as a player...Alissa is a really unique player who cares more about the team than her self. She could really give a rip if she won the tournament individually, she'd be happy, but she'd be happier knowing it would help the team. Its very unusual in the sport of golf to have someone think that way. She has a soccer background so I know that helps the team aspect of it. She just loves the team part. For her to help the team is so huge. Knowing that we have a strong team and she's part of it, I just love it.
On the line-up for the Wildcat Invitational...We just basically just took the order that they finished last week, because we did get a win, I'm keeping the same line up. We are taking two individuals as well, Brooke Todare and Lindsay Anderson. Their scores won't count for the team, but they will be able to prove themselves individually. We have seven players going down and two coaches. Our dinners will be at large tables. We'll have a lot going on. I think the line up is good. Charmaine [Erasmus] will need to step up and play better this week. I think last week the golf course was extremely difficult for a player coming in and trying to prove herself. That was the first tournament she had qualified for all year. Now that she's back on normal types of greens she'll do fine.
On playing in the Wildcat Invitational...I think it's such a quick turnaround and we're not used to it. We usually have a week or so between events. Scheduling has just gotten really tight. We are going to see a lot of top teams. We need to enjoy the victory and get back to the grindstone. We've got to work hard, play hard, and shoot good scores. I know that they are going to want to get a win. Top three would be a great goal. Even to be in contention for a win would