Wildcat Women's Golf Seeks Win at Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational

March 22, 2002

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Now On The Tee: The Arizona Wildcats will travel to Austin, Texas, to compete in the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational held at Barton Creek Resort. The event marks the third tournament on Arizona's spring schedule. Teams will play 36 holes on Monday, March 25, with shotgun starts at 8 a.m. for the first round and 1 p.m. for the second round. The tournament will conclude on Tuesday with the final 18 holes, starting with an 8 a.m. shotgun start.

Some Tournament Themes: Arizona continues its path of improvement to the NCAA Championships in May with a stop in Austin... Can the supporting cast perform and bring the Wildcats their first title of the season without their star, Lorena Ochoa... Ochoa will miss the event due to her participation in the LPGA tournament in Tucson... Will freshman Mar Garcia improve on her collegiate debut last month, a tie for 13th... Playing in the Longhorn Invitational for the first time since 1996, Arizona looks to continue its success at the event, having won it twice and produced individual medalists on three occasions... Head coach Greg Allen returns to an old stomping ground as he was an assistant with the Texas men's golf team for two years before heading west to Pac-10 country with Arizona.

Course: Barton Creek Resort in Austin, Texas, will serve as the site of the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational. The Lakeside Course will play to a par of 71 and a length of 6,318 yards for the 54-hole tournament.

The Field: Arizona will be the lone Pac-10 team competing in Austin. Four teams from Texas also highlight the field, including the Texas Longhorns.

Teams Scheduled to Compete: Arizona, Duke, Missouri, Northwestern, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Southern Methodist, Texas, Texas Christian, Texas Tech, Tulsa, UNLV and Vanderbilt.

A Look at the Rankings: The Wildcat women's golf team stands sixth in the latest Golf World women's coaches poll with 318 points. In the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index, Arizona is seventh. Sophomore Lorena Ochoa tops the individual ratings issued by Golfweek.

Wildcat Lineup:

Golfer Year Avg. Top 10/20 Low Rnd. Events

Laura Myerscough Jr. 75.59 1/1 72 6

Mar Garcia Fr. 73.67 0/1 70 1

Cristina Baena Sr. 76.67 0/0 74 1

Cathie Williamson Sr. 80.00 0/0 72 4

Miriam Kraschinski Fr. 78.50 0/0 75 5

Julia Kraschinski * Jr. 81.79 0/0 72 5

* will compete as an individual

Last Time Out at the Wildcat Invitational: Lorena Ochoa broke the University of Arizona record for most career championships when she won her 10th collegiate tournament at the Wildcat Invitational. The sophomore from Guadalajara, Mexico, had competed in only 16 scoring events at the time, Ochoa used a final-round 71 to complete the tournament at 9-under-par 207. Arizona equaled its best finish of the season, posting a 19-over-par team total of 883 to claim a tie with Auburn for second. Duke took the team championship with a 54-hole team score of 12-over-par 876. Perhaps the most impressive performance for the Wildcats was that of Mar Garcia in her first collegiate tournament and first competitive tournament in nearly a year. The freshman from Castellon, Spain, took 13th place at 5-over-par 221. Senior Cristina Baena, also competing in her first tournament of the season, finished in a tie for 42nd place at 14-over-par 230. Also finishing in the top 25 for Arizona was junior Laura Myerscough, who completed play at nine-over-par 225. Junior Julia Kraschinski rounded out the Wildcat lineup, tying for 93rd place.

Grand Openings: Senior Cristina Baena and freshman Mar Garcia opened their season with impressive performances at the Wildcat Invitational last month. Garcia provided a bright glimpse into the future for her and the rest of Greg Allen's Wildcats. She tied for 13th place with a 54-hole total of 5-over-par 221, which included a final-round of 2-under 70. Baena returned from off-season wrist surgery and used a pair of 2-over 74s as bookends to claim a tie for 42nd place.

Record-Setter: By winning medalist honors at the Wildcat Invitational, Lorena Ochoa became the most accomplished golfer in UA history. The win brought her career total of individual tournament victories to 10, eclipsing the mark of nine held by Marisa Baena who won nine titles from 1996-1998.

Oregon Trail Proves Successful for Lee: Trysting Tree Golf Club in Corvallis, Ore., has been the site of two of junior Anne Lee's career-best rounds. At the Oregon State Invitational held at Trysting Tree in early October, Lee fired a 1-under-par 71 to set a new career low. The mark eclipsed her old personal best of even-par 72, which she shot on two occasions. Most recently, Lee carded a 72 at Trysting Tree during the Wildcats' 20-stroke victory at the NCAA West Regional. The junior from Northridge, Calif., also shot 72 at the 2001 Wildcat Invitational.

Baena Back in Action: Senior Cristina Baena made her season debut at the WIldcat Invitational, after missing the entire fall season and the first event of the spring season due to wrist surgery. The fourth-year senior had three top-10 finishes in 2000-01.

Garcia Comes Aboard: Upon enrolling in classes at UA at the beginning of the spring semester, freshman Mar Garcia, the younger sister of PGA Tour and European PGA Tour star Sergio Garcia, became eligible to compete for the Wildcats. Garcia, a 5-foot-5-inch freshman from Castellon, Spain, hails from a family full of accomplished golfers. In addition to her brother Sergio, her father Victor competes on the Senior PGA Tour and another brother, also named Victor, played golf at Francis Marion University. Her accomplishments include a first-place performance in the 21 and under group at the 1999 Spanish Junior.

Re-Writing The Record Books: Ochoa's three-round total at the Oregon State Invitational of 10-under-par 206 set a new Arizona record for individual 54-hole score. The previous mark of 207 was shared by former Wildcat standouts Leta Lindley (Feb. 24-25, 1992, Arizona Inv., Randolph North GC), Jenna Daniels (April 7-9, 2000, PING/ASU Inv., Karsten GC) and Natalie Gulbis (May 10-12, 2001, Pac-10 Chmps., Karsten GC).

Lorena on the LPGA: Lorena Ochoa received sponsor exemptions to participate in the first three LPGA tournaments held in the continental United States this season, PING Banner Health, Welch's/Circle K Championship and the Kraft Nabisco Championship. Ochoa tied for 37th at the PING Banner Health held in Phoenix last week after posting a total of 5-over-par 293. Ochoa competed in the 2001 Welch's/Circle K Championship where she tied for seventh place at 12-under-par. She also tied for 21st place at the 2001 Nabisco Championship with a four-round total of 2-over-par. Ochoa was the low amateur finisher in both events in 2001.

Sister, Sister: With freshman Miriam Kraschinski joining the squad, the Wildcats added another pair of sisters to the Arizona golf family. Miriam joins her sophomore sister Julia in the program. They join current Wildcat Cristina Baena and her sister, LPGA star Marisa, as the only siblings to have competed for Arizona.

Wildcat Coaching Staff: Now in his second year with the Arizona golf program, Greg Allen has led the team to six tournament championships, including the 2001 Pac-10 Conference Championship and a 20-stroke victory at the 2001 NCAA West Regional. Last summer, he paired with Arizona men's head coach Rick LaRose to coach the United States team to victory in 2001 U.S.-Japan Collegiate Matches. Allen, who was hired in July 2000, came to the University of Arizona from Texas where he was the assistant coach for the Longhorns' men's golf team. Allen helped guide Texas to the 1999-2000 NCAA Central Region championship and a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championships. Prior to coaching at Texas, Allen served as Director of Tournament Operations with the American Junior Golf Association. Allen graduated from Murray State University in 1993. He is assisted by Holly Carriker, who joined the staff in September 2001. Carriker competed collegiately at USC for two years before transferring to Texas, where she completed her remaining eligibility. The Texas native is a member of the LPGA's Teaching & Club Professional Division.

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