Top-Ranked Women's Golf Kicks Off Spring Season at Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge

Feb. 8, 2009

This Week --
The No. 1/2 Arizona State Women's Golf team begins the second-half of their quest to the 2009 NCAA Team Championship. The Sun Devils head to Palos Verdes, Calif., to take part in the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge. Teams competing include Baylor, BYU, California, Denver, East Carolina, Florida, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Pepperdine, Stanford, Texas A&M, UCLA, USC and Wake Forest. Last season the Sun Devils placed fourth at the Northrop Grumman. Munoz tied for second to lead the team.

Top Devils --
The Sun Devils are currently ranked No. 1 by Golfweek and No. 2 by Golfworld/NGCA. Senior leader and reigning NCAA Champion Azahara Munoz finished the fall season ranked third.

Line-Up
1. Jaclyn Sweeney
2. Carlota Ciganda
3. Jennifer Osborn
4. Juliana Murcia
5. Giulia Molinaro

Fall Recap --
The Sun Devils will head into the spring after a successful season. Sporting only five players on their roster, the team took home first place trophies in two tournaments. The Sun Devils won the NCAA Fall Preview, which features most of the nation's top teams, for the first time since 1994. After a fifth place finish at the Mason Randolph, the team decided to end the fall the way they started it, with a win. They did just that, capturing first place at The Derby.

Munoz Out for the Week --
The Sun Devils will be without the services of 2008 NCAA Champion Azahara Munoz for the week. Munoz is currently recovering from an operation to remove a ganglion cyst. She will be back in action by the Wildcat Invitational.

Welcome to ASU Freshmen --
The team signed two of the top European recruits to join the team last spring and both look to make an immediate impact in the lineup. Carlota Ciganda has been the top ranked European Amateur for the past two years. The Spaniard recently won the European Championship for the second time. Ciganda will be playing in the second spot at the Northrop Grumman. Giulia Molinaro joins Munoz as a Scotland Duke of York Champion and will play in the fifth spot this weekend.

Merry Christmas ---
Jaclyn Sweeney, a 2008 All-American at Oklahoma State, recently transferred to Arizona State. Sweeney, who coach Luellen calls her 2008 Christmas present, brings a fiery competitiveness to her. Sweeney reached the fourth round of Qualifying School this past fall. Last season at Oklahoma State, the Boston native won the Big 12 Championship.

Much Ado About Munoz---
Reigning NCAA Individual Champion Munoz comes back for more as she looks to cap her Sun Devil career in superior fashion. Munoz, whose win at the NCAA Championships last season marked her first collegiate tournament victory, entered the season ranked No. 2 in the Golf World/NGCA poll. The native of Malaga, Spain tied for second at The Derby Invitational, carding 5-under (shot par at the NCAA Fall Preview to tie for fourth.

World Class Talent ---
Several members of the Arizona State showcased their superior talent at the 2008 World Amateur and proved not only are they successful on a collegiate level, but also on an international level. Former Sun Devil Anna Nordqvist helped lead Sweden to their win by placing second, shooting a 9-under 573 (70-68-74-69). Azahara Munoz led the second-place Spanish team by placing third at 3-under 287 (71-72-74-70). Munoz's compatriot and future Sun Devil teammate Carlota Ciganda tied for 11th overall. She shot a tournament low round of 7-under 66 in the second round. Juliana Murcia placed 57th overall and incoming freshman Giulia Molinaro tied for 76th.

Next Up ---
The Sun Devils will head south of the border to compete in the Wildcat Invitational. The tournament, which relocated from Tucson, Ariz., to Puerto Penasco, Mexico this year, will run from Feb. 23-25.

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