No. 1 Women's Golf in Second After First Round of UCF Challenge
March 8, 2009
The top-ranked Arizona State women's golf team finished the first round of the UCF Challenge in second after shooting a 4-under 284. The Sun Devils are currently two shots back from first place UCLA. One of the toughest tournaments of the season, the UCF Challenge is held at the par 72, 6,301-yard RedTail Golf Club in Sorrento, Fla.
Juliana Murcia, who has recently emerged as one of the team's most consistent players, continued her solid play. The junior shot a 2-under 70 to finish tied for eighth. Murcia recorded five birdies on the day.
'July has been playing with so much confidence,' said head coach Melissa Luellen. 'She has been playing both patient and positively and it is showing.'
Freshman Carlota Ciganda and Jaclyn Sweeney also shot under par in the first round. Both newcomers carded 1-under 71 and will enter the second round tied for 12th. An eagle on the 12th Hole highlighted Ciganda's day while Sweeney tallied four birdies throughout the day.
'It was important for Jackie to get off to a good start in this tournament, as she didn't play that well in it last year,' said Luellen. 'She played well.'
In her first tournament appearance of the spring, senior Azahara Munoz finished the first round even par. Munoz knocked in three birdies during her first outing since a wrist surgery in January. The reigning NCAA champion is currently tied for 23rd.
'It is so wonderful to have Aza back in the lineup,' said Luellen. 'She conquered a lot of fears and unknowns today. She played solid and she's back in it. I think she'll actually play more aggressive tomorrow after getting past today.'
The UCF Challenge continues through Tuesday. Live scoring is available on www.golfstat.com.