Women's Golf Off To Hawaii For 16th Annual Dr. Thompson Invitational

March 22, 2001


SCHEDULE: The Oregon State women's golf team plays in the 16th annual Dr. Thompson Invitational March 27-29 at the Olomana Golf Links in Honolulu, Haw. The field will play 18 holes Monday-Wednesday for a total of 54, with the low four scores counting for each team.

THE FIELD: Along with Oregon State, the field includes host Hawaii, defending champion and second-ranked Arizona, No. 12 Oklahoma, No. 15 Oklahoma State, Wyoming, UTEP, Osaka Gakuin (Japan), Cincinnati, Weber State, Colorado, Colorado State, BYU, TCU, LSU, Minnesota, Wichita State, and Montana State.

TUNED UP: After a shaky fall season, the Oregon State women's golf team looks to have hit its stride. The consistent play of senior Carina Olsson has solidified the squad, while several of the younger golfers have stepped up their games to give the Beavers a good chance of competing in their eighth consecutive NCAA West Regional. OSU hosts the event May 10-12 at Trysting Tree Golf Club in Corvallis.

Laura Skinner and Bridget Bieth in particular have raised their level of play of late, according to head coach Rise Lakowske.

'Bridget had been very motivated since the break,' the 11th-year coach said. 'She's been working on some things and it's starting to pay off for her. Her attitude is very good, she's very calm on the golf course.

'We discovered that Laura Skinner's clubs had been misfitted, so we fixed them. They had been four degrees more upright than they should have been. Last week, we played in UCLA (after the clubs had been re-fitted), and we saw what she did. Her confidence really improved just because her equipment now fit her. So now that we fixed that problem, she's going to play very well for us. She's got a great swing and a good putting stroke, so she should be in good shape.'

The Beavers will get a good test when they travel to Hawaii for the Dr. Thompson's Invitational - where they tied for ninth last year - March 27-29. They will face off against a field of 17 that includes defending champion and second-ranked Arizona, No. 12 Oklahoma and No. 15 Oklahoma State. The course should be a good match for OSU's style of play, according to Lakowske.

'The golf courses in Hawaii change from year-to-year depending on the weather. I talked to (Hawaii's) coach a couple days ago, and she said they'd had a drought and then a lot of heavy rain, so the course isn't in very good shape. That's okay, because it's not going to be in good shape for anybody, and what we have to do is adjust quickly to that. The greens were good last year, they're slow, because they're Bermuda grass. All the greens in Hawaii are typically slower than what we have here, but that allows you to be more aggressive with your putting, so that's a good thing. You can take the break out and just hit the ball.

'I think at any course we play, there will be some players for whom the course plays to their strengths - some players fade the ball and some draw the ball, but overall it's a course that we should be able to play fairly well.'

THE LINEUP: Bridget Bieth (So., Sacramento, Calif.): Bridget has played in four tournaments this year, two this spring, and is averaging 77.8 strokes, which is a team-best... low round of 72 came at the OSU Shanico Invitational last fall, along with a career-best finish of 13th... low round tournament score of 229 at the Shanico... most recently, tied for 61st at UCLA tournament at 234.

Laura Skinner (Fr., Boise, Idaho) Laura is coming off the best tournament of her young career, as she finished 33rd at the UCLA event, shooting a 12-over 228 to lead the Beavers... low of 74 came at UCLA as well... averages 80.4 strokes in five tournaments.

Carina Olsson (Senior, Sollentuna, Sweden) Carina has been the anchor of the women's golf program for four seasons, and she continues her solid play this year, averaging 77.9 strokes (second on squad) in all seven tournaments this year... low round of 75 came at the UCLA Pioneer Bruin Classic March 12-13, where she tied for 71st... low three-round score is 231, which came at the OSU Shanico and the Dick McGuire Invitational... Olsson is one of several Beavers to have shot 70 (BYU Inv., 1997-98) in their career, which is the second-lowest score in OSU history.

Stacie Ferguson (So., Tucson, Ariz.) Stacie is one of two Beavers (Carina Olsson) to have played in all seven events this year... averages 79.6 strokes over 21 rounds... low of 74 at New Mexico State last fall... low three-round score of 232 at Spartan Invitational this spring... one of five Beavers to have carded a 71 in their career, which is the third-lowest score in school history.

Ashlei Pendleton (So.-Tr., Henderson, Nev.) Ashlei played in the Spartan Invitational since transferring from TCU over winter break... averages 78.3 strokes in three rounds... low of 75 came in final round of Spartan Invitational, where she finished 55th and shot 235.

Individuals: Marylyn Brand (Fr., Yorkshire, England) Marylyn has made an immediate impact at OSU, playing in five tournaments and averaging 79.5 strokes... top finish of 19th came at the OSU Shanico Invitational in her first collegiate tournament, where she posted a 231... low round of 76.

Melanie Furuta (Fr.-rs, Long Beach, Calif.) Melanie has played in six of OSU's seven tournaments so far, with a top finish of 42nd at the New Mexico State tournament and a 80.6 average... low of 75 came at UCLA and NMSU... low three-round total of 235 also at NMSU.

HOME OF THE NCAA REGIONALS: The Trysting Tree Golf Club is home to the NCAA West Regionals for both the men and women in 2001. This will be the first major collegiate tournament held at Trysting Tree in the 12-year history of the course. The women's regional is scheduled for May 10-12, and the men's from May 17-19.

THE COACHES: Ris� Lakowske is in her 11th season at Oregon State, and is the most successful women's golf coach in school history. Lakowske has taken the team to seven consecutive NCAA West Regional appearances, and was honored as the 1998 Far West District Coach of the Year. Lakowske is a former OSU student-athlete (1973-77).

Brian Watts is in his second year at OSU, and serves as assistant coach to both the men's and women's programs. The Western Oregon State University graduate brings vast experience to the Beavers, as he played professionally on the Golden State Tour, the Florida State Tour, and on the Candian PGA Tour for four years. He also worked as an assistant professional at the DeBell Golf Course in Burbank, Calif., and at Golf Classics of America in Beverly Hills and San Dimas.

SEASON BESTS: A look at the Beavers' best rounds and tournaments to date (if different, * = career best):

Bridget Bieth: Best finish: t13 (OSU Shanico, '01), best three-round score: 229 (twice), best round: 72 (OSU Shanico, 01)

Marylyn Brand: t19 - OSU Shanico, 231 - OSU Shanico, '01, 76 - OSU Shanico, '01

Stacie Ferguson: t35 - NMSU (*t14 - Pac-10s, '00), 232 - SJSU (*226 - Pac-10s, '00), 74 - NMSU (*71- Pac-10s, '00)

Kelly Ferris: t45 - OSU Shanico, 238 - OSU Shanico, 76 - OSU Shanico

Melanie Furuta: t42 - NMSU, 235 - NMSU, 75 - 2 times

Carina Olsson: t19 twice (*t2 - BYU Invitational, '97), 226 - Stanford (*223 - Ping/ASU, '00), 72 - Stanford(*70 - BYU Invitational, '99)

Laura Skinner: t33 - UCLA Pioneer, 228 - UCLA Pioneer, 74 - UCLA Pioneer

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