Women's Golf Team Heads to Pac-10 Championships Monday-Wednesday

April 17, 2002

TEMPE, Ariz. -

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The 10th-ranked Arizona State women's golf team returns to action next week, heading to Walla Walla, Wash., for the 2002 Pac-10 Championships. Washington State University will play host to the 2002 Pac-10 Championships Monday-Wednesday, April 22-24 at the par 72, 6,199-yard Walla Walla Country Club. Coming off top five finishes in each of their last three events, the Sun Devils will be looking to capture their first Pac-10 title since 1996 and their 10th league title overall. Arizona State earned the No. 1 seed at the championships and will play with No. 3 seed USC and No. 2 seed Arizona in Monday's first round.

ABOUT THE PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS: Eighteen holes will be played each day with tee times beginning at 9 a.m. on Monday and Tuesday and at 8 a.m. on Wednesday. First-round team pairings are seeded based on an average of the Golfweek/Sagarin and Golfstat national rankings, while 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.

Live scoring for the 2002 Pac-10 Championships will be available on the Washington State University web site (www.wsucougars.com) and the Golfstat web site (www.golfstat.com).

PAC-10 HISTORY: Last year, Arizona captured its second straight Pac-10 team championship with a three-stroke victory over Stanford, while Arizona's Lorena Ochoa won the individual medalist honors in a playoff. The Sun Devils finished in third at last year's event, while then true freshman Jimin Kang tied for fifth. Last year, all five Sun Devils finished in the top 25 individually (Kang-T5th, Molly Cooper-T10th, Melanie Hunt-T13th, Lisa Meredith-T18th, Blair O'Neal-T25th).

Five different schools have won Pac-10 titles in the 15-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 four of the last five team titles.

THE FIELD: Seven Pac-10 schools are ranked in the top 30 in the April 16 Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, including six in the national top 20. Arizona is the highest ranked team, checking in at seventh, followed by No. 10 Arizona State, No. 14 USC, No. 16 Washington, No. 17 California and No. 20 UCLA. The field of individuals is just as distinguished featuring six players who are ranked in the Golfweek Top 50, including the nation's top-ranked golfer in Arizona's Lorena Ochoa and 11th-ranked Jimin Kang of Arizona State.

ASU'S LINEUP: ASU's lineup will include sophomore Jimin Kang (Edmonds, Wash.), freshman Erin Tone (Gilbert, Ariz.) and juniors Blair O'Neal (Tempe, Ariz.), Melanie Hunt (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Ga�lle Truet (New Caledonia). Senior Lisa Meredith (Reading, England) will play as an individual.

CONSISTENTLY TOP 10: Arizona State has turned in top 10 finishes in all eight events it has competed in this season. The Sun Devils have earned a total of five top five showings this season, including top five showings in each of its last three events. After leading the nation in team scoring average in the fall at 294.75, the Sun Devils are currently third in the country with an average of 297.54 strokes per round this spring.

ASU is still looking for its first outright tournament win of the year after tying for first and losing in a tiebreaker to Baylor at the New Mexico State Intercollegiate in October and finishing second in two of its last three tournaments (Mountain View Collegiate, PING/ASU Invitational).

IN THE RANKINGS: Arizona State is ranked 10th in the April 16 Golfweek/Sagarin rankings. The Sun Devils were also ranked eighth in the March 29 Golf World poll. Individually, sophomore Jimin Kang is the highest ranked Sun Devil, appearing at 11th in the Golfweek individual poll. Junior Ga�lle Truet is ranked 82nd, while fellow junior Blair O'Neal appears at 88th in the national rankings.

QUICK NOTES: Arizona State is ranked second in the country in stroke average ... sophomore Jimin Kang is third in the country in stroke average and second in the nation in both par 3 and par 4 scoring ... Kang has turned in eight sub-par rounds this season, six in the 60s including a school-record-tying 65 in the first round of the Stanford Intercollegiate in October ... true freshman Erin Tone has finished in the top 15 in each of her last two events and three times this year ... junior Melanie Hunt has turned in top 25 finishes in her last five tournaments.

LAST TIME OUT: Led by freshman Erin Tone who turned in her second straight top 15 finish, the Sun Devils finished fifth at the Peg Barnard Collegiate, held April 13-14 at the par 72, 6,168-yard Stanford Golf Course. Arizona State shot a 13-over 301 in the final round and climbed from ninth to fifth, giving the team a two-round total of 610 and its fifth top five finish of the year. ASU finished 17 strokes off the lead of tournament winner Washington (593). Cal (299), USC (600), Stanford (607) and ASU (610) rounded out the top five teams at the tournament.Tone shot a three-over 75 Sunday to tie for 14th and finish with a two-round total of 151 (76-75). Juniors Melanie Hunt (78-74) and Blair O'Neal (77-75) each tied for 16th with two-round totals of 152. Hunt climbed 21 spots after a rough first round to turn in her fifth consecutive top 25 showing. Senior Lisa Meredith tied for 34th with a two-day total of 157 (80-77), while junior Ga�lle Truet finished in a tie for 40th at 158 (78-80). Freshman Josefin Gustafsson, who was playing as an individual, tied for 51st with a two-day total of 160 (77-83).Individually, USC's Mikaela Parmlid captured medalist honors, firing a two-under 70 on Sunday to finish with a two-round total of one-under par 143.

MICKEY YOKOI: Head coach Mickey Yokoi (pronounced YO-koy) is currently 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. He replaced 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 since 1994. After ending his professional career, Yokoi went back to UCLA to complete his studies and earned his degree in psychology in 1997.

UP NEXT: Following the Pac-10 Championships, Arizona State will travel to Palo Alto, Calif., for the 2002 NCAA West Regional Championships which will be held May 9-11 at the Stanford Golf Course. The University of Washington will host the 2002 NCAA Championships May 21-24 at Washington National Golf Course in Auburn, Wash.

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