Second-ranked Bruins Prepare for Regional Challenge

Feb. 10, 2006

The second-ranked UCLA women's golf team prepares to compete in the Regional Challenge, hosted by Ohio State and USC, Feb. 13-15 at the Palos Verdes Golf Club.

The Bruins, who won two Fall tournaments, will feature one senior, one sophomore and three freshmen in their opening lineup.

'We are very excited about the Regional Challenge,' said Head Coach Carrie Forsyth. 'The field is always one of the strongest we compete against all season, and Palos Verdes is an incredibly challenging golf course.'

Hosts USC and Ohio State are ranked seventh and 19th, respectively. Pepperdine enters the event ranked fifth. Thirteen of the 15 teams entered are ranked in the Top 25.

'The entire team is excited to kick off the Spring with a strong finish,' continued Forsyth. 'Everyone has put in a lot of time and effort into preparing for this event.'

Senior All-American Susie Mathews enters the Regional Challenge with a pair of Top 10 finishes the last two seasons. In 2004 she tied for second place and last season she placed sixth. Despite a slow start this season, her scores have improved with a pair of Top 20 finishes in UCLA's last two events. She also won all four of her matches at the Collegiate Match Play Championship in November.

'Susie's swing looks better than it's ever looked,' said Forsyth. 'She worked hard over the (Holiday) break, and I expect her to have a strong Spring.'

Sophomore All-American Amie Cochran begins the Spring schedule ranked 16th in the country after recording a pair of Top 20 finishes in the Fall. Her average of 72.8 ranks fourth on the team.

'Amie is a really solid player,' said Forsyth. 'She definitely has a winning mindset and she has a lot of belief in herself.'

The Bruins' three freshmen all have their strong points. Two of the three -- Jane Park and Tiffany Joh -- are ranked in the Top 15.

Park is ranked fifth in the country on the strength of her second place finish at the Las Vegas tournament. Her average of 72.0 ranks third on the team.

'Jane has the most well-rounded game on the team,' said the headcoach. 'All of her accomplishments speak for themselves.'

Joh leads the team with an impressive 71.7 stroke average. Ranked 12th nationally, she recorded a pair of Top 10 finishes in the Fall, including a tie for third at Las Vegas.

'Tiffany is probably one of the most naturally gifted players I've ever seen,' said Forsyth. 'She hits the ball so well -- it's outstanding.'

Ryann O'Toole recorded one Top 20 finish at the Mason Rudolph Invitational in the Fall. Relatively new to competitive golf, her athleticism and competitiveness are her strong suits, according to Forsyth.

'She's relatively young as a golfer, but she's a veteran competitor and team player,' said Forsyth.

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