Women's Golf Team Travels to Tucson for 2006 Pac-10 Championships
April 22, 2006
Coming off a second-place finish at the PING/ASU Invitational, the No. 3 Arizona State women's golf team returns to action next week, when it travels to Tucson, Ariz., for the 2006 Pac-10 Conference Championships. The University of Arizona will play host to this year's championship Monday-Wednesday, April 24-26 at the par 72, 6,495-yard Oro Valley Country Club.
With top-five finishes in seven events this season, including two tournament victories, the Sun Devils will be looking to capture their first Pac-10 title since 1996 and their seventh Pac-10 crown all time.
About the Pac-10 Championships
A practice round will take place on Sunday, April 23 starting at 11 a.m. before competition begins on Monday. Split tees will be utilized for this championship. Eighteen holes will be played each day with tee times beginning at 8:30 a.m. Pacific Time on Monday and Tuesday and 8 a.m. on Wednesday. First-round team pairings are based on seeding, while second- and third-round pairings are based on team total and individual total within the team. The top four scores from each five-person team will count toward the team score. An awards ceremony and the announcement of the 2006 All-Pac-10 team will follow the completion of the tournament.
Following are the seedings and first round tee times for the 2006 Pac-10 Women's Golf Championship:
- UCLA Tee 1: 9:50 a.m.
- Arizona State Tee 1: 9:50 a.m.
- USC Tee 1: 9:10 a.m.
- California Tee 1: 9:10 a.m.
- Stanford Tee 1: 8:30 a.m.
- Arizona Tee 1: 8:30 a.m.
- Washington Tee 10: 9:34 a.m.
- Washington State Tee 10: 9:34 a.m.
- Oregon Tee 10: 8:54 a.m.
- Oregon State Tee 10: 8:54 a.m.
Live scoring for the 2006 Pac-10 Championships will be available for each round at www.golfstatresults.com, while a recap will also be available at the conclusion of each round at www.pac-10.org or www.thesundevils.com.
Seven of the 10 Pac-10 schools are ranked in the top 30 in the April 17 Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. Three of the teams are featured in the national top 10, including No. 2 UCLA, No. 3 ASU and No. 6 USC. Other ranked squads include No. 12 California, No. 19 Arizona, No. 21 Stanford and No. 27 Washington.
ASU Individual Rankings
Individually speaking, four Sun Devils are ranked in the top 30 of the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. Freshman Azahara Munoz is No. 6; freshman Jennifer Osborn is No. 12; senior Alissa Kuczka is No. 24 and junior Tiffany Tavee is No. 28.
Pac-10 Championship History
UCLA won last year's Pac-10 Championships, its second consecutive Pac-10 title, held at the Ruby Hill Golf Club in Pleasanton, Calif. The Bruins carded a 10-over 874, followed by ASU (878), USC (880), Arizona (886) and tournament host California (894). ASU's second-place finish was its highest since 1998 when it also finished second.
Individually speaking, freshman Louise Stahle carded a five-under 67 on the final day to capture the Pac-10 individual title. The top-ranked player coming into the tournament, Stahle won ASU's ninth Pac-10 individual championship and the first since All-American Jimin Kang in 2002. She came into the final round four strokes out of the lead but birdied five holes in her final round, including two of the last three holes, to win the title. Stahle, who was eventually named the Pac-10 Golfer of the Year as well as Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, finished with a three-day total of nine-under 207 (69-71-67), earning a two-stroke victory over UCLA's Susie Mathews (209).
Six different schools have won Pac-10 titles in the 19-year existence of the tournament. ASU leads the way with six Pac-10 team crowns, most recently with four straight from 1993-96, while Arizona has held a lock on the Pac-10 in recent years, winning five of the last nine team titles. Eight Sun Devils have won a total of nine Pac-10 individual titles, including two-time conference medalist Wendy Ward.
Quotes from ASU head coach Melissa Luellen
On ASU improving aspects of its golf game heading into Pac-10's:
'We gave the girls statistics to look at to see their scoring average and what we need to improve on. It's hard to shave off three or four strokes this late into the season, but we are working on their short game. Most scoring is within 120 yards, so we are working on their putting and chipping.'
On goals set for the post season:
'Our goals for the post season are the same goals we set at the beginning of the year. We would love to win the Pac-10 tournament and have a top three showing at nationals. Our team placed sixth in a tournament during the fall season, but since we've started the spring season, the lowest we've placed in a tournament is fourth. But for the Pac-10 tournament, we have to get past UCLA first. It stung when they beat us by one stroke at our tournament, but we have to build upon it and use it to our advantage and become better players.'
On ASU and UCLA being among the top teams in the Pac-10:
'We've been going back and forth winning competitions. Our teams match up well, so we are going to compete very closely. I feel like UCLA is going to be our main competition at Pac-10's but during nationals we face all the east coast teams as well. Duke right now is number one in the country and is tough to beat.
'Their playing ability is far above what it should be for their age, so I forget sometimes that they are still freshman. Jennifer [Osborn] was so nervous in our last tournament but she still performed. They learned that they can still make shots and putts when their hands are shaking. Our mental coach has been working with them on performing through their nerves. They have been playing one and two all year.'