ASU Women's Golf Team Finishes Second at Pac-10 Championships
April 26, 2006
TUCSON, Ariz. - The No. 3 Arizona State women's golf team came up just short in its bid for a conference championship on Wednesday as it finished second to the No. 2 UCLA Bruins at the 2006 Pac-10 Women's Golf Championships, held April 24-26 at the par 72, 6,495-yard Oro Valley Country Club.
The Bruins won their third consecutive Pac-10 title after carding a three-day total of 15-over 879 (291, 287, 301) to beat ASU (287, 299, 294) by one stroke. For the Sun Devils, it marked their second consecutive second-place finish at the Pac-10 Championships after finishing four strokes behind UCLA last year. In addition, it marked the second straight tournament that the Bruins beat the Sun Devils by one stroke as UCLA and ASU finished first and second (865-866), respectively, at the 2006 PING/ASU Invitational held earlier this month at ASU's Karsten Golf Course.
Coming in third place at the Pac-10 Championships was No. 6 USC (891) followed by No. 12 California (896), No. 19 Arizona (907), Washington (910), No. 21 Stanford (912), Oregon State (920), Washington State (928) and Oregon (945).
The Sun Devils began the day in second place, eight shots behind the Bruins for the top spot. Led by senior Alissa Kuczka and junior Tiffany Tavee, who both shot a one-under 71 for the day, ASU staged a furious comeback. The Sun Devils would even take the lead at one point before the Bruins' late surge put them over the top.
'The fact that we got back to even par in the middle of the round and, I believe, took the lead for a short period of time pleased me,' said ASU head coach Melissa Luellen. 'Our main focus of every round is to finish the last five holes at even par. We didn't do that today, obviously. We faltered down the stretch. We lost by one to UCLA at home (last month), and we lost by one this week. This hurts, but we know what we're capable of.'
Individually speaking, Kuczka had a career-best second-place finish after shooting a one-under 215 for the tournament (71, 73, 71). Kuczka finished four strokes behind Paige Mackenzie of Washington, who won the individual title with a five-under 211 (71, 71, 69). Prior to Wednesday the best finish Kuczka had ever posted was a fourth-place finish, which happened four times in her career.
'I was playing really well today,' said Kuczka. 'I had no idea how the team was doing. I know a couple of my teammates were really cheering me on. It hurts to lose by one shot, but things happen like that.'
Other Sun Devil individual finishes included freshman Azahara Munoz, who finished in a four-way tie for sixth place with a four-over 220 (70, 73, 77); Tavee, who finished in 10th place with a five-over 221 (73, 77, 71); freshman Jennifer Osborn, who finished in a seven-way tie for 19th place with an 11-over 227 (73, 79, 75) and junior Charmaine Erasmus, who finished tied for 34th with a 19-over 235.
The Sun Devils will next travel to one of three sites (Auburn, Wash., College Station, Texas or Browns Summit, N.C.) for the NCAA Regional Championships (May 11-13) where they will attempt to qualify for the 2006 NCAA Championships.
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