Women's Golf Opens the 2001-02 Season at the NCAA Fall Preview Sept. 24-26

Sept. 20, 2001

TEMPE, Ariz. - The Arizona State women's golf team will open the 2001-02 season at the NCAA Fall Preview Monday-Wednesday, Sept. 24-26 at the Washington National Golf Club in Auburn, Wash. The 54-hole event is the precursor to the 2002 NCAA Championships, which will be held at the par 72, 6,250 yard course May 21-24. Play begins at 8:30 a.m. Pacific Time each day next week with the University of Washington serving as the tournament host.

LINEUP: ASU's lineup will include sophomore Jimin Kang (Edmonds, Wash.), junior Blair O'Neal (Tempe, Ariz.), freshman Josefin Gustafsson (Falkoping, Sweden), senior Lisa Meredith (Reading, England) and freshman Erin Tone (Gilbert, Ariz.).

PRESEASON RANKING: Arizona State begins the season ranked seventh in the preseason Golf Week poll and 19th in the Golf World preseason coaches' rankings. ASU's top returner, sophomore Jimin Kang, is ranked 10th in Golf World's list of the top 50 players to watch and is listed on the second team of Golf Week's players to watch.

THE FIELD: The NCAA Fall Preview will feature 18 of the top 20 teams from last year's NCAA Championships: Arizona (8th), Arizona State (18th), Auburn (4th), California (19th), Duke (2nd), LSU (12th), Michigan State (12th), New Mexico State (11th), Ohio State (22nd), Oklahoma State (5th), Pepperdine (14th), Purdue (20th), Stanford (9th), Texas (3rd), Tulsa (10th), UCLA (5th), USC (7th) and Washington (16th). Rounding out the field will be Oregon, Oregon State, Tennessee, TCU and Washington State.

LAST YEAR AT THE FALL PREVIEW: ASU finished in a tie for 14th in the rain-shortened NCAA Fall Preview, last year at the Mission Inn Golf and Tennis Resort's El Campeon course. Heavy rains pounded the area over the first two days and cancel Sunday's final round. The Sun Devil squad shot a 27-over 319 on Saturday to finish at 45-over 629 for the tournament, 24 strokes behind Duke which won the NCAA Fall Preview for the second consecutive season. Jimin Kang turned in the best performance of the day for the Sun Devils, finishing in a tie for 27th.

WHO'S BACK, WHO'S NEW: Arizona State returns four players from last year's NCAA Championships squad in junior Melanie Hunt, sophomore Jimin Kang, senior Lisa Meredith and junior Blair O'Neal. A trio of newcomers also joins the squad including junior Ga�lle Truet, who transferred to ASU from Northern Arizona and is originally from New Caledonia (an island in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Australia). Freshman Josefin Gustafson comes to Tempe from Falkoping, Sweden, and local product Erin Tone joins the squad from Gilbert (Ariz.) High School.

MICKEY YOKOI: Head coach Mickey Yokoi (pronounced YO-koy) enters his first season as at the helm of the Sun Devil women's program after spending the last five years as an assistant coach for the men's team. Yokoi replaces five-time National Coach of the Year Linda Vollstedt who retired in June after leading the Sun Devils to six NCAA championships in her 21-year career.During Yokoi's five years as a Sun Devil assistant, ASU won four Pac-10 Conference titles and produced 2000 U.S. Amateur Champion Jeff Quinney and 2001 U.S. Pub Links Champion Chez Reavie. Prior to ASU, Yokoi oversaw all golf operations as head golf professional at the Country Club of the North in Dayton, Ohio, from 1994-95 and assisted the head professional from 1993-94. Yokoi played collegiate golf at UCLA from 1977-82 before beginning a professional career. At UCLA, he earned All-America and All-Pac-10 honors, playing on the Bruins' 1982 Pac-10 Championship team which included Corey Pavin and Steve Pate. After leaving UCLA, Yokoi went on to play on the Asian Tour, the Canadian and Australian PGA Tours and the PGA Hogan Tour. He has been a member of the PGA Tour since 1994. After ending his professional career, Yokoi went back to UCLA to complete his studies and earned his degree in psychology in 1997.

LAST YEAR: ASU concluded the 2001-02 season with an 18th-place finish at the NCAA Championships in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. ASU's trip to the national tournament marked its 10th straight NCAA appearance, the third-longest active streak in the country. True freshman Jimin Kang led the team, earning honorable-mention All-America honors from the National Golf Coaches Association, second-team All-Pac-10 accolades and first-team All-NCAA West Region laurels. In addition to Kang, two other Sun Devils were named to the All-Pac-10 team with graduating senior Molly Cooper and junior Lisa Meredith earning honorable-mention accolades.

POSTPONED: The Sun Devils originally planned to open the season at last weekend's Dick McGuire Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M., but withdrew from the tournament due to the tragic events in New York City and Washington.

- www.TheSunDevils.com -

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