The Stage is Set for the 2010 Pac-10 Women's Golf Championships
April 16, 2010
2010 PAC-10 WOMEN'S GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP
With the Pac-10 Conference boasting four of the top six teams in the country according the the most recent Golfweek rankings, the 2010 Pac-10 Women's Golf Championship will be a showcase of the best golfers in the nation. The golf world will be watching as events unfold in Eugene, Ore., as the results will have major implications come delegate seeding for the NCAA Regionals.
No. 6 Arizona is led by Margarita Ramos, who is rated No. 24 with a personal rating over 71.70. She finished 2-under to tie for 11th place overall at the PING/ASU Invitational. The Wildcats are a very balanced team, with all five players competing at the Pac-10 Championships having turned in low numbers this season. The fivesome of Ramos, sophomore Isabelle Boineau, junior Alejandra Llaneza, sophomore Nikki Koller and freshman Sherlyn Popelka have carded 30 rounds on the season of par or better.
No. 1 ranked Arizona State's Juliana Murcia is ranked No. 9, freshman Jennifer Johnson is ranked No. 10 and Carlota Ciganda is ranked No. 13. Ciganda is the defending Pac-10 Champion. Last weekend at the PING/ASU Invitational, Murcia, Johnson and Jaclyn Sweeney all shot 2-under 214 to tie for 11th place and to help lead the squad to a second place finish overall. The reigning NCAA Champions have placed first at three events this season, the Wildcat Invitational, the Stanford Intercollegiate and the TOPY Cup. At the TOPY Cup three ASU golfers went 1-2-3 as Sweeney took first followed by Murcia as runner-up and Ciganda tying for third. Johnson was only one of two collegiate golfers to make the cut at the 2010 Kraft Nabisco Championship as an amateur acception at the LPGA event. She was recently named to the 2010 Curtis Cup team, which represents eight of the top American amateur women's golfers who will compete against amateur golfers from Great Britain and Ireland.
No. 17 California is led by sophomore Joanne Lee, who was the top Bear finisher at the PING/ASU Invitational. Lee is ranked No. 22 in the nation. The Bears won the Juli Inkster Spartan Invitational, with Lee as the top finisher for the squad, coming in fourth and posting an even-par 72 in the final round. At the Peg Barnard Invitational, the Bears finished second behind rival Stanford, with Lee tying for the low score overall with a 144.
Host Oregon has been led in recent weeks by freshman Cheyenne Hickle, who finished tied for 23rd at the Betsy Rawls Invitational (73-73-81) and sixth at the Baylor Spring Invitational (78-77-74). Junior Kendra Little became only the second Duck to repeat All-Pac-10 second team honors after she took 12th at the Pac-10 Championships last season with a score of 219.
The Beavers are led by seniors Brittany Stewart and Lauren Archer, who turned in scores of 236 and 238, respectively to help lead the Beavers to a eighth place finish overall at the Anteater Classic. Sophomore Whitney French has been strong lately, pacing the Beavers at the Anteater Classic with her first top-five finish of her career, with a score of 222 to land her in fifth place.
No. 13 Stanford is led by freshman Sally Watson who is ranked 28th in the country. At the PING/ASU Invitational, Watson fired a final round of 69 to finish in eighth place and lead the Cardinal to a tenth place finish overall. The Cardinal finished in first place at the Peg Barnard Invitational in February, coming back from an eight-shot deficit to take the win.
The No. 2 ranked Bruins are riding high after overcoming a 12-shot deficit to win the PING/ASU Invitational. Sophomore Stephanie Kono led the way for the Bruins, turning in a final round score of 6-under 66. Kono won the overall with a nine-under 207. This was the Bruins' second team victory of the season after winning the Betsy Rawls Invitational with a score of 884 (+20). The team had four players finish in the top ten, with sophomore Brittany Do and Kono tied for third with a score of four-over 220, senior Sydnee Michaels tied for fith place at over-five 221 and freshman Tiffany Lua finished tied for 10th at seven-over 223.
USC sophomore Jennifer Song is the No. 2-ranked golfer and junior Lizette Salas is ranked No. 12. Song leads the nation in stroke average (70.63) and has won two titles this year along with two second-place finishes. Song was invited to the 2010 Kraft Nabisco Championship, the LPGA's first major of the season, where she tied for 21st with a 1-over 289. Song has 14 career rounds in the 60s, the most in school history and one more than teammate Mozo (13). She comes into the 2010 Pac-10 Championships having finished third in 2009. Salas has four top 6 finishes this season and five in the top 12. She is second on the squad with a stroke average of 72.16, good for ninth-best in the country. USC has four All-Americans on its roster, including seniors Belen Mozo, Stefanie Endstrasser, Salas and Song.
No. 36 Washington is getting some senior leadership from Molly Aronsson, who is coming into the Pac-10 Championships after posting her second top-10 finish of the season at the PING/ASU Invitational. Aronsson finished 3-under 213 overall (71-70-72) and tied for ninth. At the Bruin Wave Invitational, Aronsson also earned a top-10 finish, coming in tied for fifth at 1-under 215 overall (67-73-75-215). Junior Anya Alvarez has also performed well for the Huskies, finishing fourth overall at the Peg Barnard Classic wtih a 7-over, 149 overall (72-77-149) and leading the squad to a fourth place finish overall.
Washington State will travel the lineup of redshirt junior Allison Travis, sophomore Kristen Allard and freshmen Ali Thompson, Emma Betland and Ellen Park. The Cougars are coming into the Pac-10 Championships having finished 17th at the PING/ASU Invitational with a score of 933 (+69). The Cougars were led by Betland who carded a three-round total of 230.
LAST YEAR IN PAC-10 WOMEN'S GOLF
The Sun Devils also added a national championship to their impressive 2009 resume. Arizona State shot a 30-over 1182 en route to the program's seventh NCAA team title. The Pac-10 swept the top three spots in the standings at the NCAA Championships, with UCLA and USC finishing within one stroke of one another to finish second and third, respectively, behind ASU.
Spending a large part of the year as the No. 1 ranked golfer according to Golfweek, USC sophomore Lizette Salas was named Pac-10 Golfer of the Year. USC's Jennifer Song was named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, finishing the season with the lowest stroke average in the nation. Arizona State head coach Melissa Luellen was named the 2009 Pac-10 Coach of the Year.