Arizona State Claims First-Round Lead at Pac-10 Championships

April 24, 2006

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TUCSON, Ariz. - The Arizona State women's golf team carded a 287 (-1) Monday to claim the first round lead at the 20th annual Pac-10 Championships at Oro Valley Country Club.

'This was the way we wanted to start,' Arizona State head coach Melissa Luellen said. 'Our goal was to shoot even par or better, and we accomplished that. I thought the girls stayed focused on their scores and their shots. We need to continue that focus tomorrow.'

The Sun Devils were led by freshman Azahara Munoz, who shot a 70 (-2) and senior Alissa Kuczka, who tallied a 71 (-1). The two are tied for first and third places, respectively.

'The conditions were a lot better than yesterday (in the practice round),' Kuczka said. 'We all left shots but we know we can play better which is a good thing.'

Trailing ASU by four strokes is UCLA with a 291 (+3). Leading the Bruins was freshman Tiffany Joh, who carded a 71 (-1) and is tied for third place. Joh collected five birdies on the day, tied with Stanford's Jenni Tangtiphaiboontana for the tournament lead.

The USC Trojans sit in third place after a 293 (+5) team total. Junior Veronica Felibert and senior Irene Cho each shot a one-over 71 and are tied for third place.

'The course was not as difficult today,' said USC head coach Andrea Gaston. 'We need to bring our fourth and fifth scores down and see what happens in the next two days.'

California and Stanford rounded out the top five teams, shooting a 296 (+8) and 299 (+11), respectively.

Only one stroke separated Washington State and Arizona. The Cougars were led by senior Ana Kostina who topped the leader board with a 70 (-2). Washington State carded a 300 (+12) and sits in sixth place.

'It was a good round for me, I love the greens here, they are amazing to putt on and I putted well,' Kostina said. 'This is a nice course but it can be difficult, especially certain holes.'

The host Wildcats, who shot a 301 (+11) and sit in seventh place, were led by freshman Adriana Zwanck. The Madrid, Spain, native is tied for ninth place after shooting a 73 (+1).

'I think our freshmen have really matured, said Arizona head coach Greg Allen. 'They were a bit inconsistent and made some mistakes, but that is to be expected. We want to keep playing well and have a chance on Wednesday. You only get this opportunity to host the Pac-10 Championships once every 10 years.'

Round two begins tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. PDT. The Championships run through Wednesday at Oro Valley Country Club, a par 72, 6,495-yard layout.

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