Women's Golf to Host Pac-10 Championships Monday through Wednesday

April 18, 2001

TEMPE, Ariz. -

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Fresh off its second-place finish at the PING/ASU Invitational, the Arizona State women's golf team returns to action next week, playing host to the Pac-10 Conference Championships April 23-25 at the par 72, 6,101-yard Karsten Golf Course in Tempe. The 13th-ranked Sun Devils will be looking to capture their first Pac-10 title since 1996 and the 10th league title under head coach Linda Vollstedt. All 10 Pac-10 schools are ranked in this week's Golfweek/Sagarin rankings with three of the nation's top five teams and eight of the national top 50. Arizona State last hosted the Pac-10 Women's Golf Championships in 1992.

About the Pac-10 ChampionshipsEighteen holes will be played each day with tee times beginning at 8 a.m. First-round team pairings are seeded based on an average of the Golfweek/Sagarin and Golfstat national rankings. Second- and third-round pairings are based on team total and individual total within the team. The top four scores from each five-person team will count toward the team score. In the event of a tie for the team championship, co-champions shall be named. In the event of a tie for the individual championship, a sudden death playoff shall determine the champion.

Last year, Arizona captured the Pac-10 team championship with an 18-stroke victory over Stanford, while USC's Candie Kung earned individual medalist honors. Five different schools have won Pac-10 titles in the 14-year existence of the league. Arizona State leads the way with six Pac-10 team crowns, most recently with four straight from 1993-96, while Arizona has held a lock on the Pac-10 in recent years, winning three of the last four team titles.

The LineupArizona State's lineup will include sophomore Blair O'Neal, senior Molly Cooper, sophomore Melanie Hunt, freshman Jimin Kang and junior Lisa Meredith, while senior Michaela Friberg will compete as an individual.

In the RankingsEight of the 10 Pac-10 teams are ranked in the top 50 in the April 18 Golfweek/Sagarin rankings including three of the nation's top five teams in No. 2 Arizona, No. 3 USC and No. 5 Stanford. The rest of the field is comprised of No. 13 Arizona State, No. 22 UCLA, No. 24 Washington, No. 26 California, No. 46 Oregon, No. 56 Oregon State and No. 77 Washington State. The field of individuals is just as distinguished featuring a total of 21 players ranked in the top 100 including two of the nation's top three golfers in top-ranked Lorena Ochoa of Arizona and third-ranked Candie Kung of USC.

For Arizona State, three Sun Devils appear in the national top 100 including 35th-ranked Jimin Kang, 79th-ranked Melanie Hunt and 82nd-ranked Lisa Meredith. Senior Molly Cooper is just out of the top 100, ranking 101st in the Sagarin poll. As a team, Arizona State checks in at 21st in the April 18 MasterCard Collegiate Golf Rankings and 12th in the April 18 Golf World coaches' poll.

2000-01 ASU Stroke AveragesName	App	Top 10	Rounds	Strokes	Avg.	LowJimin Kang	8	2	23	1722	74.87	67Melanie Hunt	4	1	12	912	76.00	69Lisa Meredith	7	0	20	1529	76.45	71Molly Cooper	8	2	23	1762	76.56	71Blair O'Neal	8	1	23	1785	77.61	71Michaela Friberg	6	0	17	1406	82.71	76

Head Coach Linda Vollstedt Linda Vollstedt, a 1969 graduate of ASU, is in her 21st year as the head coach of the Arizona State women's golf team. One of Golf World's top 10 college golf coaches of the century and a finalist for induction into the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame, the five-time national coach of the year led ASU to six NCAA championships in the 1990s, twice as many as any other women's golf program in the nation. ASU has also captured Top 10 NCAA finishes in 10 of the last 13 years. Throughout her career, Vollstedt has coached 40 All-Americans and guided 17 players to the professional ranks.

Last Time Out Arizona State finished second to third-ranked USC by four strokes at the PING/ASU Invitational held April 6-8 at ASU's Karsten Golf Course. USC shot the best round of the tournament on the final day with a two-under 286 to move from fifth to first with a three-day total of 889. ASU finished second at 893, while TCU (895), Arizona (896) and Stanford (896) rounded out the top five.

Individually, sophomore Blair O'Neal turned in her first top-10 showing of the year, finishing in a tie for seventh place with a four-over 220 (74-72-74). Senior Molly Cooper also finished in the top 10, tying for ninth at 221 (71-75-75). Other Sun Devil scorers included sophomore Melanie Hunt who finished in a tie for 122nd (76-76-73=225), freshman Jimin Kang who tied for 35th (81-75-71=227) and senior Michaela Friberg who finished tied for 62nd (83-80-76=239).

Coming on StrongArizona State has turned in six of its best seven rounds of the season in the team's last three tournaments, including a season-low one-under 287 in the second round of the San Jose State Spartan Invitational on March 6. The Sun Devils opened that tournament with a then-season-low 290 but bested that the next day with a 287. The Sun Devils have finished in the top 10 in each of their last three tournaments and the top three in the last two. Individually, the Sun Devils have shot nine rounds at or below par in the last three events, including a season-low 67 by freshman Jimin Kang in the second round of the Spartan Invitational and a career-best 69 by sophomore Melanie Hunt in the second round of the Arizona Invitational on Feb. 20. At the PING/ASU Invitational, ASU has three rounds at or below par including a pair of one-under 71s by senior Molly Cooper and Kang.

Molly Cooper (Senior * Tumwater, Wash.)Has appeared in all eight tournaments for the Sun Devils this year ... carded her second top 10 finish of the season at the PING/ASU Invitational, tying for ninth with a five-over 216 ... is ranked 101st in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin rankings ... shot a season-low one-under 71 in the first round of ASU's tournament which tied for the lowest score of the day ... finished in a tie for eighth at the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational with a nine-over par 225 ... also cracked the top 25 with a 24th-place showing at the Palmetto Dunes Intercollegiate, carding a 72 in the final round en route to a seven-over par 223, and then a 25th-place finish at the Arizona Invitational (231).

Michaela Friberg (Senior * Rydeback, Sweden)Has made six appearances this season, five as an individual ... stepped into the lineup at the PING/ASU Invitational in place of the ill Lisa Meredith ... shot a season-low 76 in the final round of the PING/ASU Invitational en route to a tie for 62nd ... had her best showing of the year in the Palmetto Dunes Intercollegiate, finishing in a tie for 56th (82-81-82=245).

Lisa Meredith (Junior * Reading, England)Consistent player who has seen action in seven tournaments this season ... missed the PING/ASU Invitational with a bout of the flu ... is third on the team in stroke average at 76.45 ... is ranked 82nd in the latest individual polls ... turned in her best performance of the year at the San Jose State Spartan Invitational, finishing in a tie for 14th with a five-over 221 ... carded a season and career-low 71 in the first round of the Spartan Invite ... cracked the top 20 at the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational, finishing in a tie for 19th with a 15-over par 231 (78-75-78) ... turned in 12-over 228's in each of her last fall appearances, tying for 27th at the Stanford Intercollegiate and for 36th at the Palmetto Dunes Intercollegiate ... matched her career-low round with a one-under 71 at Stanford.

Melanie Hunt (Sophomore * Phoenix, Ariz.)Transferred to Arizona State in December from Texas Tech University... a local product who attended Horizon High School in Phoenix... has immediately made an impact at ASU, jumping to No. 2 in the lineup with a 76.00 stroke average ... is ranked 79th individually ... has played in four tournaments for the Sun Devils ... tied for 22nd at the PING/ASU Invitational at nine-over 225 ... finished at one-under 215 to take fifth place at the San Jose State Spartan Invitational ... shot a career-low 69 in the second round of the Arizona Invitational ... played in all five fall tournaments for Texas Tech, averaging 76.47 strokes per round... won the first tournament of her career at the Big 12 Fall Preview... carded an even-par 216 at that tournament including a career-low 71 in the second round (72-71-73) ... was named Golf World Collegiate Player of the Month for September ... also cracked the top 25 in two other tournaments this fall.

Blair O'Neal (Sophomore * Tempe, Ariz.)A local product from Tempe's Corona del Sol High School... has played in all eight tournaments this year... carded her best effort of the season at the PING/ASU Invitational, finishing in a tie for seventh at four-over 220 ... her best finish of the fall came at the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational with a tie for 32nd... carded a season-low 71 in the second round of that tournament.

Jimin Kang (Freshman * Edmonds, Wash.)Has made a major impact as a true freshman ... leads the team in stroke average at 74.87 ... is ranked 33rd in the latest individual polls ... has five top 25 showings this season ... took third at the Spartan Invitational after finishing at four-under 212 ... shot a career-low 67 in the season round of the San Jose State tournament ... has turned in four rounds at or under par ... was ranked 24th in the country before playing a round of collegiate golf ... finished in a tie for 27th in her first collegiate event, the NCAA Fall Preview, with a seven-over 153... cracked the top 10 with an eighth-place showing at the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational in her home state of Washington (225)... finished in a tie for 15th at the Stanford Intercollegiate (224) and a tie for 24th at the Palmetto Dunes Intercollegiate (223) ... also cracked the top 25 at the Arizona Invitational ... runner-up at the 1999 U.S. Women's Amateur ... earned exemptions to play in two LPGA events.

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