Welch Moves Into First Place After Two Rounds at the Pac-10 Championships

April 19, 2005

PLEASANTON, Calif. - After a record setting opening round at the Pacific-10 Conference Women's Golf Championships Monday, senior two-time All-American Kim Welch and the No. 22 Washington State women's golf team raised the bar even higher in the second round, Tuesday.

Welch entered the second round two strokes back of the leader and tied for third place, but after firing a 6-under 66 (including seven birdies) Tuesday, Welch now owns sole possession of first place, and leads Cassandra Kirkland of Arizona and Susie Mathews of UCLA by three strokes with a two-round score of 8-under 136.

In Monday's opening round, Welch tied her own school record for single-round scoring at the Pac-10 Championships with a 70. After eclipsing the record by four strokes with Tuesday's second round 6-under 66, Welch now holds the first, second, third and fourth (tied with three others) best single-round scores in school history at the Pac-10 Championships.

'Kim played really, really well today,' said WSU Head Coach Walt Williams. 'She shot 66 and didn't even birdie any of the par 5's, which are her strong suit. Her score could have been better.'

While Welch continues to rewrite the individual record books at Washington State, the play of the rest of the team has contributed to a record breaking performance by the Cougars as a team as well. Heading into the 2005 Pac-10 Championships, the WSU record for single-round team score was 303, set in the final round of the 2003 Pac-10 Championships. Monday, the Cougars broke the record by four strokes, opening with a team score of 299 (+11). Tuesday, the Cougars shattered the new mark by six strokes, posting a 5-over 293.

Though the Cougars (No. 22/GolfWeek) remained in fifth place after Tuesday's performance, they were able to widen their margin over the teams behind them and narrow the margin with the teams ahead of them. The Cougars now trail third place schools Arizona (No. 17/GolfWeek) and Arizona State (No. 5/GolfWeek) by only three strokes, and trail second place Southern California (No. 20/GolfWeek) by only six strokes. UCLA (No. 2/GolfWeek) leads the tournament with a total of 579 (+3).

Washington State holds an eight-stroke lead over sixth place California (No. 27/GolfWeek), a 10-stroke lead over seventh place Washington (No. 8/GolfWeek) and a 27-stroke lead over Stanford (No. 18/GolfWeek). Heading into the second round the Cougars trailed Washington by a stroke and held only a six-stroke lead over California, and only a five stroke lead over Stanford.

'There are a lot of good teams here, but with a good showing tomorrow, and if we can get Anastasia clicking, we could finish even higher than fifth,' Williams said. 'The girls are not settling for a fifth place finish. They would like to move up six (strokes) into second place.'

Just as has been the case all season, much of the team's success is coming from sisters Anastasia and Maria Kostina. The sisters are tied for 19th with a total of 152 (+8). Maria, a senior, has posted consecutive rounds of 76, and is a previous All-Pac-10 selection. Anastasia, a junior, has recorded top 11 finishes in all 10 of the Cougars' tournaments this season.

Senior Jay-Lee Longbottom has made a habit of recording top 10 finishes over the course of her career, posting 23 top 25 finishes in four years with the Cougars. Entering the Pac-10 Championships on a string of six consecutive top 25 finishes, she is currently tied for 27th, one stroke back of the top 25 with a two-round total of 154 (+10).

Freshman Tracy Broders stepped up in Tuesday's second round, posting a career-low 75. Broders moved up 10 places after Tuesday's round into a tie for 33rd. She is three strokes back of the top 25 with a 156 (+12).

Live scoring is available for Wednesday's final round at www.golfstat.com, and final round results will be posted on www.wsucougars.com.

Pac-10 ChampionshipsApril 18-20, 2005Par 72, 6,315-yardsRuby Hill Golf Club; Pleasanton, Calif.Results after 2 of 3 rounds

WSU Results: 1. Kim Welch (70-66--136, -8), T19. Anastasia Kostina (75-77--152, +8), T19. Maria Kostina (76-76--152, +8), T27. Jay-Lee Longbottom (78-76--154, +10), T33. Tracy Broders (81-75--156, +12).

Team Results: 1. UCLA (289-290--579, +3), 2. USC (291-295--586, +10), T3. Arizona State (297-292--589, +13), T3. Arizona (300-289--589, +13), 5. Washington State (299-293--592, +16), 6. California (305-295--600, +7), 7. Washington (298-304--602, +16), 8. Oregon (308-308--616, +20), 9. Stanford (304-315--619, +43), 10. Oregon State (327-312--639, +63).

Top Five Individuals: 1. Kim Welch, Washington State (70-66--136, -8), T2. Cassandra Kirkland, Arizona (72-67--139, -5), T2. Susie Mathews, UCLA (68-71--139, -5), 4. Louis Stahle, Arizona State (69-71--140, -4), T5. Four others tied at 143 (-1).

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