Sun Devils Slip to Second Place at PING/ASU Invitational
April 1, 2006
TEMPE, Ariz. - The No. 3 Arizona State women's golf team slipped to second place after shooting a 10-over 298 in the second round of the 2006 PING/ASU Invitational being played at Karsten Golf Course in Tempe. No. 2 UCLA claimed the top spot after shooting a one-over 289 to take a four-stroke lead (577-581) heading into Sunday's final round.
ASU began the day with a five-stroke lead over UCLA after shooting a five-under 283 during Friday's opening round. In direct contrast to Friday's round when ASU had three players shoot even par or better, the Sun Devils had four players shoot over par on Saturday, enabling UCLA to pass them for the top spot despite the Bruins totaling a second-round score that was one stroke higher than yesterday.
'I think as a team with struggled with judging the wind and that should be our strength,' said ASU women's golf coach Melissa Luellen. 'I think the course was tough to play today and that was evidenced by most of the teams shooting higher than they did yesterday.'
No. 17 Texas A&M shot a five-over 293 (two-day total of 587) to climb three spots from sixth place to third place. No. 6 USC also moved up three places from seventh to fourth after carding a 10-over 298 (593). No. 5 Pepperdine fell from fourth to fifth place after shooting a 20-over 308 (600). Rounding out the top 10 of the 16-team tournament were No. 19 Stanford (603), Tulsa (606), No. 10 UNLV (607), Missouri (608) and Texas (610).
Individually speaking, junior Tiffany Tavee fell one spot from first to second place after carding a three-over 75, which gave her a two-day total of 141, one stroke behind Ashley Knoll of Texas A&M (140), who had the second-lowest score of the day with a two-under 70. Tavee is tied with Pepperdine's Eileen Vargas, who shot an even-par 72 on Saturday to give her a two-day score of 141.
'I was really proud of the way Tiffany played again today,' said Luellen. 'She was still playing like there was nothing bothering her out there.'
Freshman Jennifer Osborn had ASU's best score of the day, shooting an even-par 72 to move up three spots from 10th to seventh place with a two-day total of (144). Other Sun Devil scores from Saturday's second round included senior Alissa Kuczka, who shot a three-over 75 on Saturday (147, t-12th place); freshman Azahara Munoz, who shot a four-over 76 (149, t-19th place); sophomore Brooke Todare, who shot a five-over 77 (153, t-41st place); junior Charmaine Erasmus, who shot a four-over 76 (149, t-19th place); junior Lindsay Anderson, who shot a five-over 77 (160, t-73rd place); and junior Danielle Perata, who shot an 11-over 83 (164, t-85th place). Anderson's score was six strokes lower than her round on Saturday.
The one-two finish by UCLA and ASU is nothing new to the PING/ASU Invitational. Last year the two teams were also separated by four strokes heading into the final round. In fact, the two-day scores of both teams (577-581) is only one stroke off of last year's two-round total when UCLA had a 578 and ASU had a 582 heading into the final round. Although the two teams would end up tied after the final round last year, ASU prevailed as the winner by virtue of winning the tournament tie breaker (fifth score).
Despite no longer being in the top spot Luellen said the position her team is currently in will be a good experience as it prepares for the postseason.
'This is so good for our players to be in this position,' said Luellen. 'This team often plays better when it has to come from behind.
'They have been getting a good experience this weekend. They have learned what it is like to play as the tourney leader and now they will once again get the experience of playing from behind going into the final round of a tournament. We use every experience to help prepare us for what we will be facing in the postseason.'
The third and final round of the ASU/PING Invitational kicks off at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday. Admission is free to the public.