Arizona Shipped Out to NCAA Women's Golf East Regional
May 5, 2003
The Tee Box: A trip to the East Coast awaits Arizona as the Wildcats will travel to Clemmons, N.C., for the 2003 NCAA Women's Golf East Regional. Arizona is the No. 2 seed in the event, which gets underway Thursday, May 8. The 54-hole tournament will be contested at Salem Glen Country Club with 18 holes played each day, Thursday through Saturday. Arizona will get its first glimpse of the course on Wednesday, May 7, in the tournament practice round.
Some Tournament Themes: Postseason play heats up as Arizona looks for its second team title of the season... A change of scenery for the Wildcats, the team heads east for the first time since November... Arizona aims to continue its success against the other squads seeded in the East Regional... The Wildcats try for the university's fifth-ever NCAA Regional Championship... Consistency is the key for Arizona as each member of the lineup has shown flashes of great play, but has not maintained the level necessary for postseason success.
Course: Salem Glen Country Club in Clemmons, N.C. serves as the tournament course for the 2003 NCAA East Regional. The course will be set to a length of 6,114 yards and plays to a par of 71. Last month, the course served as the site of the ACC Women's Golf Championship tournament.
Participating Teams (in order of seed): Duke, Arizona, Auburn, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Georgia, South Carolina, Tulane, North Carolina, Florida State, South Florida, East Carolina, Furman, UNC Wilmington, North Carolina State, Mississippi State, Penn State, Mississippi, Western Carolina, Georgia State, St. Francis. Individual competitors: Jenny Gleason, UNC Greensboro, Tina Miller, Miami, Avery Kiser, Princeton.
Live Scoring: Golfstat will provide live scoring of the Pac-10 Women's Golf Championships. Access the scores in real time at www.Golfstat.com. Full field resultsand hole-by-hole scores will also be available at www.Golfstat.com.
Wildcat Lineup and 2002-03 Statistics:Golfer Year Avg. Top 10/20 Low Rnd. EventsErica Blasberg Fr. 72.13 7/0 68 8Laura Myerscough Sr. 75.60 2/1 71 7Miriam Kraschinski So. 76.80 2/1 68 9Anne Lee Sr. 76.08 2/2 70 9Cassandra Kirkland Fr. 75.08 1/1 70 4
Last Time Out at the Pac-10 Championships: Arizona's bid for a fourth consecutive Pac-10 women's golf championship fell just short as the squad took second place, finishing five strokes behind champion California. The Wildcats and Golden Bears each shot 1-over-par 301 in the final round to finish at 897 (+33) and 892 (+28), respectively. The Golden Bears won their first conference championship on the strength of an individual medalist performance by Vikki Laing, who finished first at even-par 216. Following California and Arizona in third place was UCLA, while Southern California took fourth place. Freshman Erica Blasberg notched her sixth top-five finish of the season, taking third place at 3-over-par 219. Senior Laura Myerscough tied for 10th place at 9-over-par 225. Her final round score of 74 (+2) pushed her into the top 10 finishers at the conference tournament for the second straight year. Anne Lee was unable to hold onto the momentum that had positioned her in fifth place entering the final round. The senior from Northridge, Calif., closed the event at 11-over-par 227. She tied for 14th place. Freshman Cassandra Kirkland tied for 21st at 15-over-par 231. Rounding out the Arizona lineup was sophomore Miriam Kraschinski who tied for 26th at 233 (+17). Freshman Whitney Welch competed as an individual and tied for 33rd.
Last Year at the NCAA West Regional: Lorena Ochoa returned to her winning ways to take medalist honors at the NCAA Women's Golf West Regional as Arizona qualified for the NCAA Championships. Ochoa notched three straight rounds of 70 (-2) at the Stanford Golf Course to close the tournament at 6-under-par 210, five strokes ahead of second-place finishers Katherine Hull of Pepperdine and Mikaela Parmlid of Southern California. As a team, the Wildcats finished in fourth place at 26-over 890 after a final round of 291 (+3). Pepperdine and UCLA shared the top spot, finishing at 19-over-par 883. Arizona received subpar scores from two golfers in both the second and third rounds+only the second and third times the team has accomplished the feat this season. Freshman Mar Garcia shot a final-round score of 1-under-par 71 to finish tied for 45th at 17-over for the tournament, the subpar mark is Garcia's best since her collegiate debut in the Wildcat Invitational where she carded a third-round 70. Senior Cristina Baena wrapped up the tournament tied for 15th, a career-best finish at the NCAA Regionals. She has shared 19th, 34th and 25th places. Miriam Kraschinski posted a career-low round as she finished the tournament with a 2-over 74. Kraschinski tied for 43rd at 16-over-par 232. Junior Laura Myerscough tied for 45th at 17-over-par.
Somewhat Familiar Faces: Arizona has faced off against 11 of the teams in the NCAA East Regional this season, having beaten them all. The Wildcats have faced off Wake Forest, Furman, Tulane, North Carolina State, Mississippi, UNC-Wilmington and South Carolina each on one occasion this season. Georgia has competed in three tournaments on Arizona's schedule, while Duke and Auburn have been at two of Arizona's events. Vanderbilt has competed in five tournaments that the Wildcats have participated in. None of those teams, except Vanderbilt, has posted a better score than Arizona in any of those events. Vanderbilt won its own tournament, the Mason Rudolph Championships, while Arizona placed second. A month later, Vanderbilt took second as Arizona placed fifth at the Stanford-Pepsi Intercollegiate.
Honored: Freshman Erica Blasberg was named the inaugural Pac-10 Conference Golfer of the Year on the heels of a season that has seen her finish in the top-10 in her last seven tournaments. 2003 marks the first year that the conference awarded Golfer of the Year honors. Previously, the Pac-10 only named a freshman of the year--which Blasberg also won this year. After a tie for 21st place in her collegiate debut, Blasberg has finished no lower than sixth and in first, second or third places on six occasions. she owns a stroke average of 72.13.
The Magnificent Seven: Through nine events this season, seven different Arizona golfers have registered top-20 finishes, making head coach Greg Allen's task of setting the Arizona lineup that much more difficult. This season, five different Wildcats have earned at least one top-10 finish, while two others have registered top-20 finishes.
If It Were Bowling...: By totaling rounds of 299 and 297 in the first and second rounds of the Pac-10 Championship, Arizona posted back-to-back rounds under 300 in a tournament for the first time in the spring season. Arizona had not done so since its third-place finish at the Auburn Tiger-Derby Invitational in November.
Smart Move: Freshman Cassandra Kirkland ranks second on the squad with a 75.08 scoring average, showing that head coach Greg Allen's decision not to use a redshirt year for the freshman from Saint-Nom-La-Breteche, France, was a good one. After competing as an individual in her first collegiate event (the Wildcat Invitational) and finishing tied for 19th, Kirkland was inserted into the lineup for the Dr. Thompson Rainbow Invitational. She posted the low round of the tournament (70) and led after 18 and 36 holes before finishing in second place at 3-over-par 219. Kirkland was one of four Arizona golfers to register a top-25 finish at the Pac-10 tournament.
Westerners: This year's NCAA Regional tournament will mark the first time that Arizona has not competed in the West Region in the 10-year history of the current format. The Wildcats are the only team from west of the Mississippi River to be assigned to the East Region.
LPGA Action: Freshman Erica Blasberg missed the Dr. Thompson Rainbow Invitational due to her participation in the LPGA's Welch's/Fry's Championship in Tucson. Blasberg's appearance marks the third consecutive year a current Wildcat has entered the field after Lorena Ochoa competed as an amateur in 2001 and 2002. Blasberg made the cut and tied for 49th place at 275 (-5).
Out of It: Arizona's ninth-place finish at the Wildcat Invitational was the first time in nine tournaments that the team has finished an event out of the top five. In March 2002, the Wildcats took ninth place at the weather-marred Betsy Rawls Invitational, marking the last time Arizona finished out of the top five.
Foreign Flavor: The Arizona women's golf team has boasted a number of foreign stars in recent years and the 2003 squad is no exception. Four Wildcats call countries other than the United States home. Mar Garcia is a native of Spain, Julia and Miriam Kraschinski hail from New Zealand, and Cassandra Kirkland is from France.
Wild Weather: The high scores from Arizona's spring-opening tournament reflect the poor conditions in Palos Verdes, Calif., at Palos Verdes Golf Club. Heavy rain, strongs winds and harsh temperatures hampered play throughout the tournament and eventually caused the cancellation of the tournament's final round.
Fab Freshmen: Following the tradition of freshmen success in the UA women's golf program, Erica Blasberg has emerged as the Wildcats' most consistent performer and is rated No. 1 nationally. She joins other freshmen phenoms such as Annika Sorenstam, Marisa Baena, Natalie Gulbis and Lorena Ochoa as individuals who have won tournaments in their first season in the program.
Career Best: Senior Anne Lee notched a career best low round when she shot 2-under-par 70 in the second round of the Auburn Tiger-Derby Invitational. Her 54-hole score (220, +5) at the Auburn tournament was only two shots off of her 54-hole career best, set at the 2001 Wildcat Invitational. By placing 10th at the Auburn Tiger-Derby Invitational, Lee posted her second top-10 of the season and third of her career.
Tough Room: Freshman Erica Blasberg is around top-notch student-athletes while on the golf course and in McKale Center. But even at home in her dorm, Blasberg is still accompanied by another elite student-athlete. Blasberg shares her dorm room with Kim Glass of the UA volleyball team. Glass was named national freshman of the year and a second-team All-American for her efforts this season.
Myerscough in Malaysia: Senior Laura Myerscough missed action at the Stanford-Pepsi Intercollegiate beacuse of her participation in the World Amateur Golf Championships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Myerscough tied for 21st place individually and helped the United States' three woman squad to fifth place in the 39-team tournament. The Stanford-Pepsi Intercollegiate marked the first Arizona tournament Myerscough missed since the Golf World Invitational in November of 2000.
Doing the Solo Thing: With individual victories by Erica Blasberg and Miriam Kraschinski so far this season, 17 Arizona women have won medalist honors in the history of the program. Dating to 1977, those 17 golfers have combined for 59 tournament championships. The 2002-03 season is the 10th time in the last 15 years that at least two Wildcats have each won an individual tournament title.
Grand Opening: Arizona kicked off its 2002-03 season in style, taking the title at the Fall Preview. The Wildcats received consistent performances from each member of the lineup--helping the team to card three sub-300 rounds. The team only accomplished that feat twice in the 2001-02 season, at the PING/ASU Invitational and in its second-place showing at the NCAA Championships.
Kool Kraschinski: Sophomore Miriam Kraschinski won her first career individual title at the Fall Preview in September, the tournament saw her set a number of career bests. In addition to her career best first place finish, the sophomore from Whitianga, New Zealand shot her best single round score (70 in the second and third rounds of the Preview) and her best three-round tournament score (215). Her subpar performances in the final two rounds of the Preview marked the first time in her career that she has broken par.
On From the AJGA: Freshmen Erica Blasberg and Whitney Welch enter the University of Arizona with impressive junior golf resumes and are expected to have a significant impact on the Wildcat lineup immediately. Both have been named to the American Junior Golf Association's All-America teams on multiple occasions. Welch was named to the AJGA's All-America first-team in 2001 and won honorable mention honors in 2000. Blasberg was honored as an All-American by the AJGA three consecutive years; winning first-team honors in 2000 and second-team honors in 2001 and 1999.
Arizona Championship Streak: Arizona extended its streak of years in which it has won a team title to eight after it captured the title at the NCAA Fall Preview in September. The last Arizona team to go winless was the 1994-95 squad, which had five top-five finishes. During the eight-season streak, Arizona has produced two national championship teams, five Pac-10 titles, four NCAA West Regional titles and 35 total tournament championships. Included in that stretch was the 1999-2000 team that won eight consecutive events.
Wildcat Coaching Staff: A five-year college coaching veteran, Greg Allen has led the Arizona Wildcats to eight tournament championships in just two-and-a-half years at the helm of the program. Included in the team's accomplishments under Allen's watch are the 2001 and 2002 Pac-10 Conference Championships, a national runner-up finish and a 20-stroke victory at the 2001 NCAA West Regional. In the summer of 2001, 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, 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 Jody Niemann-Dansie, who was hired in July 2002. Niemann-Dansie played two years on the LPGA after completing her collegiate eligibility. She is a graduate of Arizona State University and was a member of the 1997 and 1998 NCAA National Championship teams in Tempe.