Fresh-Faced Wildcats Debut as Arizona Women's Golf Sits in Sixth at NCAA Fall Preview

Sept. 15, 2002

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.-The University of Arizona women's golf team opened its 2002 fall schedule Sunday by posting a first-round score of 11-over-par 299 at the NCAA Fall Preview. Arizona is in sixth place, 11 strokes off the lead. Freshman Erica Blasberg led the way for the Wildcats as she stands tied for eighth place after she shot even-par 72 in her collegiate debut.

The 18-team tournament, being held at Purdue University's Kampen Course, features 18 of the 24 participants in last season's NCAA Championships. After round one, Oklahoma State holds the lead with a first-round 288 (E). Vanderbilt and Texas are in second and third at 290 (+2) and 293 (+5), respectively. Individually, Oklahoma State's Karin Sjodin is in first after shooting 4-under-par 68. Sarah Jacobs of Vanderbilt, Janice Olivencia of Texas and Celeste Troche of Auburn are tied for second at 2-under 70.

'We didn't shoot ourselves in the foot,' said third-year head coach Greg Allen. 'But we did dig ourselves a hole. We're still in it, we just have some work to do.'

Blasberg, who is competing in her first collegiate tournament, played a tremendously consistent round as she made 16 pars along with one birdie and only one bogey. The freshman from Corona, Calif., is a former American Junior Golf Association All-American. She is tied for eighth place with 36 holes remaining.

Senior All-American Laura Myerscough and sophomore Miriam Kraschinski, the only golfers from last year's national runner-up performance competing this week for Arizona, both posted identical marks of 3-over-par 75 and are tied for 25th place.

Whitney Welch, a freshman from Las Vegas, Nev., who is also making her NCAA debut, carded a 5-over 77 to claim a tie for 45th. Senior Anne Lee shot a 7-over 79, but was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard. Lee's first round will not count, however, her second- and third-round scores will be eligible to be added to the Wildcats' team mark.

Second-round action begins Monday at 8 a.m. EST. Arizona finished 11th in the rain-shortened 2001 NCAA Fall Preview and Lorena Ochoa won the first of her NCAA record seven consecutive championships.

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