Women's Golf to Cap Off Fall Season at Landfall Tradition
Oct. 21, 2009
This Week --
The Arizona State women's golf team will end their fall season where they hope to end their spring, at the par 72, 6,325 yard Pete Dye Course at the Country Club of Landfall. The Landfall Tradition, held at the site of this year's NCAA Championship, will boast a competitive field sure to mirror that of the NCAA Championships. The tournament will begin Friday, October 23 and conclude on Sunday, October 25.
About the Landfall Tradition --
The University of North Carolina - Wilmington, is the host of the eighth annual Landfall Tradition. Held at the Country Club of Landfall, the Sun Devils will be able to preview the course of the 2010 NCAA Championships. A stacked field is scheduled to compete at the tournament. Along with the top ranked Sun Devils and host UNCW, Alabama, Auburn, Denver, Duke, Georgia, LSU, Michigan State, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma State, Pepperdine, Purdue, USC, UCLA, Virginia and Wake Forest will also participate. This is the second time the Sun Devils have competed in the Landfall Tradition. In 2002, the Sun Devils placed third at the inaugural tournament.
Twice as Nice --
The top-ranked ASU women's have two tournament wins under their belt. Last week, the Sun Devils finished on top at the Stanford Intercollegiate. This is the third straight time ASU has won on the Stanford Golf Course. Despite the stacked field, the Sun Devils came away with a four-stroke win as four of their players placed in the top 10. Previously, the Sun Devils took first at the TOPY Cup with a 26-stroke lead over second-place Wake Forest. Three ASU golfers went 1-2-3 as Jaclyn Sweeney claimed medalist honors with Juliana Murcia finishing runner-up and Carlota Ciganda tying for third.
Defending NCAA Champions --
The Sun Devils claimed their first NCAA Championship since 1998, and seventh overall, last season at the Caves Valley Golf Course in Owings Mills, Md. The Sun Devils came back from an 11-stroke deficit after the second round to win by eight shots. ASU also won NCAA team titles in 1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997 and 1998.
ASU Star in The Making --
Freshman Jennifer Johnson has yet to experience any freshman jitters. After a seventh place finish in her Sun Devil debut at the Mason Rudolph, Johnson went on to tie for sixth at the Stanford Intercollegiate. Recently, she was given the opportunity to compete at her second LPGA event, the Navistar LPGA Championship, as an amateur exempt. She had previously competed in the Nabisco Kraft Invitational, held in her hometown area of Palm Springs.
Steady Senior --
Senior Juliana Murcia has had a strong start to her final season as a Sun Devil. The returning second-team All-American has finished in the top-20 in each tournament this season. After starting the 2009-10 campaign with a runner-up placing at the TOPY Cup, Murcia tied for 15th at the Mason Rudolph Championship. She followed that performance up with a third-place finish at the Stanford Intercollegiate. A two-time NGCA All-American Scholar, Murcia is set to graduate in May.
Returning All-Americans --
The Sun Devils return three All-Americans to their 2009-10 squad. Carlota Ciganda's outstanding freshman season was recognized as she received First-Team All-American honors. Senior Juliana Murcia took home Second-Team honors at the end of last season. Jaclyn Sweeney had earned All-American honors in 2008 from Golfweek while playing for Oklahoma State.
ASU Athletes of the Week --
Already this season, the ASU women's golf team has had two of their athletes named ASU Athlete of the Week. Jaclyn Sweeney accepted honors after the TOPY Cup while Carlota Ciganda earned the title this week after her runner-up performance at the Stanford Intercollegiate.
What Sophomore Slump? --
Returning All-American Carlota Ciganda has picked up right where she left off. The sophomore has already notched two top five finishes this season. Last week, Ciganda turned in a runner-up performance. Additionally, she finished tied for third at the TOPY Cup.
A Team of Youngins --
Despite the team's preseason No. 1 ranking and returning three starters from last season, the Sun Devils 2009-10 squad will be full of youth and inexperience as a Sun Devil. Only seniors Murcia and Liisa Kelo will have been at ASU for more than a semester. Junior Sweeney transferred in last January after competing for Oklahoma State the year and a half prior while now-sophomores Ciganda and Giulia Molinaro came to school in January as well. The Sun Devils will also boast five freshmen on their 10-woman squad.
Jackie Medals in Japan --
Junior Sweeney took on the TOPY Cup field, shooting a 5-under 211 (70-72-69) to claim her first medalist honor as a Sun Devil. Winning by one-stroke over teammate Murcia, Sweeney now has two collegiate tournament victories on her resume as she won the Big 12 Championship as a freshman at Oklahoma State.
Johnsonn's Summer Journey --
Freshman Jennifer Johnson had quite the summer. The La Quinta, Calif., native travelled the country with her father, competing in several events. Johnson was a finalist at the U.S. Women's Amateur, finishing runner-up to USC's Jennifer Song. Johnson was also a member of the victorious Junior Solheim Team and a quarter-finalist at the U.S. Girls' Junior Champion.
Odds and Ends --
The Sun Devils received their NCAA Championship rings two weeks during a ceremony at the ASU Karsten Golf Course... Become a Fan of ASU Women's Golf on Facebook.
Super Coaches --
Head coach Melissa Luellen and associate head coach Missy Farr-Kaye garnered several awards after last season's success. Luellen was named Sky-Caddie NGCA Coach of the Year, Pac-10 Coach of the Year and West Region Coach of the Year. For another side note, it is believe she and her mother (the legendary Tulsa women's golf coach who led the Golden Hurricane to four national titles) became the first mother-daughter duo to win NCAA Championships at different schools. Farr-Kaye's determination and courage shown last season through dealing with recoverying from a recurrence of breast cancer while coaching was awarded as she was named the recipient of the Kim Moore Spirit Award and was also a co-winner of the Golden Heart Award at the ASU Sparky Awards.
Next Up --
After this tournament, the Sun Devils will have concluded fall season and are off until February when they will head to the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge.