Women's Golf Begins Fall Play Friday

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Sept. 10, 2003

Tee Box:The Arizona's women's golf team begins its quest for the national title this weekend in Alabama at the NCAA Fall Preview. The tournament will be held at Grand National Lake Course. After a practice round on Thursday, Sept. 11, the competitive rounds start on Friday, Sept. 12 with a tee off at 6:45 a.m. PST and run through Sunday, Sept. 14, with the shotgun start at 6:30 a.m. PST.

Grand National Lake Course: The tournament will be played at par 72, 6,215 yards Grand National Lake Course. The course is located in Opelika, Ala., and also will host this year's national championship for women's golf on May 18-21, 2004. Grand National is a naturalist course with 12 holes touching the lake. Some golf writers consider Grand National course to be the finest course on the face of the planet.

Getting Back in the Swing Thing: This will mark the first time the Wildcats compete have as a team since last year's national championship in West Lafayette, Ind. The Wildcats as a team placed seventh at nationals. Erica Blasberg was the highest Wildcat finished tying for third place.

The Lineup:Erica Blasberg So. 72.37, Lani Elston So. Redshirt during 2002-03 season, Cassandra Kirkland So. 75.26, Mar Garcia Jr. 77.58, Whitney Welch So. 79.00

The Field: Like always the Wildcats will compete with the best. The competition features the defending national champion Southern California along with Pepperdine, Texas and Ohio State who also placed in the top four at last year's championship. The field includes: Arizona, Pepperdine, Auburn, Southern Cal, Duke, UCLA, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, Texas, Ohio State, Tulane, Oklahoma State, Vanderbilt, North Carolina, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Wake Forest

Last Year at the NCAA Fall Preview: Kampen Golf course in West Lafayette, Ind., held last year's Fall Preview. Arizona was victorious, placing first with a 25 over-par, 899. Miriam Kraschinski was the individual champion, shooting 1-under par, 215. Three other Wildcats placed at the tournament: Laura Myerscough tied for 18th, Erica Blasberg tied for 21st, and Whitney Welch tied for 16th.

Wildcat Coaching Staff: The 2003-04 season marks head coach Greg Allen's fourth season leading the Wildcats. His assistant, Jody Niemann-Dansie, joins Allen for her second season with the Wildcats.

Top Cat: Erica Blasberg enters her sophomore year as a pre-season favorite. Blasberg, who placed in the top 10 nine times during her freshman campaign, also was the Pac-10 Golfer and Freshman Golfer of the Year. She capped a phenomenal year by finishing atop Golfstats' Cup with a stroke average of 72.37.

New Wildcat: Alejandra Martin joins UA from Guadalajara, Mexico. Martin, the best friend of former Arizona golfer Lorena Ochoa, is expected to contribute immediately to the team.

Terrific Transfer: Lani Elston, who transferred from the University of Idaho last year but due to transfer policies redshirted last season, competed heatedly with Blasberg this past week to win the team competition to travel with the Cats to this weekend's NCAA Fall Preview. Elston was first-team All-Big West selection during her freshman campaign and led the team with a 76.00 stroke average.

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