Pac-10 Announces Individual Women's Golf Awards
May 26, 2009
USC'S LIZETTE SALAS NAMED PAC-10 GOLF OF THE YEAR
USC'S JENNIFER SONG NAMED PAC-10 FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
ARIZONA STATE'S MELISSA LUELLEN NAMED PAC-10 COACH OF THE YEAR
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- In a vote of the league's coaches, USC sophomore Lizette Salas was named Pac-10 Golfer of the Year, USC freshman Jennifer Song was named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and Arizona State head coach Melissa Luellen was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced today.
Salas, who spent much of the season as the top-ranked golfer, finished the season ranked fourth in the nation according to Golfweek. The Azusa, Calif., native, who won two tournaments on the year, earned her first collegiate victory at the 2009 Stanford Intercollegiate, shooting a 7-under 206 for the three-day tournament. In eight of the 10 events Salas competed in, the Trojan finished under-par. The only exceptions being the inclement weather laden Northrop Grumman and the NCAA Championships, in which no golfer individually finished under par. On the season, the sophomore has shot six rounds in the 60s, including a career-low 65 in the final round of the Pac-10 Championships, one-stroke off the all-time USC record.
Song who finished the season as the No. 1 ranked player in the nation according to Golfweek, led the nation with her 71.55 stroke average, helping the freshman win the 2009 Golfstat Cup. Her stroke average also set a new USC school record. In addition, the Deajon, Korea, native was recognized as the NGCA Freshman of the Year. Song led the field heading into the final hole at the 2009 NCAA Women's Golf Championship. Unfortunately, the freshman hit her approach shot into a bunker on 18 and three-putted to finish second. Song also finished second at the 2009 Pac-10 Championships, falling in a close play-off to Arizona State freshman Carlota Ciganda. On the season, Song has carded five second-place finishes in 10 starts for USC. Additionally, the Trojan shot a 9-under 209 at the 2009 West Regional, for the fourth-lowest three-round total in school history.
Luellen, in her seventh season as the head coach at Arizona State, led the top-ranked Sun Devils to their NCAA-record seventh National Championship and the first since 1998. Luellen was awarded the SkyCaddie NGCA National Coach of the Year, a distinction her mother, Dale McNamara won in 1985 while serving as head coach of Tulsa. Luellen and McNamara were also the first mother, daughter pair to each win a national championship. Additionally, Luellen was named the West Regional Coach of the Year. The Sun Devils won six tournaments on the season including the NCAA Fall Preview, The Derby Invitational, the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge, the 2009 Pac-10 Championship, the NCAA West Regional and the 2009 NCAA Championship. Luellen coached four players to All-American status. The Sun Devils finished the season ranked first by both Golfweek and by Golf Stat. This is her third Pac-10 Coach of the Year accolade, receiving the honor both in 2006 and 2007.