California to host 2016 Pac-12 Conference Women’s Golf Championship
SAN FRANCISCO -- Ruby Hill Golf Club in Pleasanton, Calif., will be the site of the 2016 Pac-12 Women’s Golf Championships on April 18-20, and will feature again some of the top collegiate golf teams and individuals in the country.
The Pac-12 Women’s Golf teams have continued their competitive excellence. This year’s championship will feature some of the best collegiate women’s golf teams and individuals in the country. Seven Pac-12 teams are ranked in the top-15, and sixteen athletes have been placed on the nation’s collegiate top-50 rankings.
Golfweek’s top-ranked team, UCLA looks to junior Bronte Law, the 2015 Pac-12 Golfer of the Year, for phenomenal play against the top competition in the country. Law is currently atop the Golfstat rankings with a 70.95 stroke average. UCLA finished the season winning the PING/ASU Invitational where Law, Golfweek’s top-ranked player, collected her fifth career win. Law set a tournament record at the PING/ASU Invitational with a 12-under 204 (64-71-69). Freshman Lilia Vu (72.14 avg) finished second at the PING/ASU Invitational (9-under) and has six top-20 finishes this season.
USC has put together another amazing season as the Trojans are ranked No. 2 in the nation coming into the Pac-12 Championship. Andrea Gaston, in her 20th season as head coach, has put together four titles this season. The Trojans, who returned seven letterwinners from last year, are charged by juniors Karen Chung and Gabrielle Then and freshman Robyn Ree. With a 71.58 stroke average, Ree finds herself ranked 5th in the nation according to Golfstat, with Chung at No. 13 (72.00 avg) and Then at No. 36 (72.47 avg)
WASHINGTON, Golfweek’s No. 13 ranked team, will look to finish their season the way they played in February. Showing signs of a peak, the Huskies won two straight team titles besting top seed UCLA and USC at the Northrup-Grumman Regional Challenge and defeating Stanford at the Peg Barnard Invitational. They are led by senior Charlotte Thomas (73.00 avg) who posted her 23rd career top 10 finish.
OREGON STATE has five returners and look to win it’s first title of the year. The Beavers finished third at the Bay Area Intercollegiate. In the Bay Area Intercollegiate, coach Sammie Chergo saw success as she led her team past No. 13-ranked Washington. Senior Ashley Pickerell (75.90) and sophomore Haley Nist (74,57 avg) prepare to finish their season topping some of the top talent in the nation.
Placing in the top 10 of every tournament during the 2015-16 season, CALIFORNIA had a solid season. The Golden Bears are ranked No. 15 and will lean on senior Hannah Suh (73.50 avg) and junior Lucia Gutierrez (73.86 avg). Suh who was crowned Bay Area Classic individual champion, the first collegiate individual title in her career.
ARIZONA, the defending Pac-12 Champions, are coming off a fourth-place finish at the Ping/ASU Invitational, the Wildcats count on their five returners to help guide them to a back-to-back championship. Sophomore Krystal Quihuis (72.92 avg) finished strong, completing the last three tournaments in the top 15. Senior Lindsey Weaver (73.00 avg) and junior Jessica Vasilic (73.24 avg) have been key in leading coach Lauren Ianello’s squad to a top 15 finish in each tournament played this season.
Last year’s runner-up at the Pac-12 Championship, OREGON, has had an amazing season. At the Silverado Showdown, junior Cathleen Santoso (73.84 avg) collected medalist honors for the second time in her career going 5-under and edging Lauren Kim of Stanford. Senior Caroline Inglis (72.96 avg) also shot well finishing the showdown at 3-over and is capable of having another historic performance as she did in last year’s championship. The Ducks have recorded five top-five performances this season.
Coach Kelli Kamimura looks to move her team up the leaderboard at this year’s Pac-12 Championship. Competing with the top talent in the nation, WASHINGTON STATE finished their season tied 8th at the Ping/ASU Invitational. The Cougars got off to a good start winning their tournament in September. Sophomore Alivia Brown (73.97 avg) and junior Cherokee Kim (74.37 avg) add a one-two punch for the Cougars. Kim took medalist honors at the Cougar Cup earlier this season.
With six top-ten finishes, including a second-place spot at the Bay Area Invitational, COLORADO heads into the championship behind No. 40 ranked Esther Lee (72.54 avg). Lee is a prominent threat after earning five top-10 performances this year and grabbing the title at the East & West Match Play Challenge.
Coming in at No. 6 in the latest Golfweek team rankings, STANFORD will look to make it back to the top as the Cardinal have put together an impressive season. Led by standout seniors No. 6 Lauren Kim (71.60 avg) and No. 30 Mariah Stackhouse (72.40 avg), Stanford captured three tournament titles and recorded top-ten performances in all but one tournament this season.
Under the direction of first-year coach Missy Farr-Kaye, No. 10 ARIZONA STATE has had an incredible season and is coming off a second-place finish at the ASU/PING Invite that included seven top-20 teams. Junior Monica Vaughan (72.04 avg) will lead a talented squad that includes freshman Linnea Strom (72.42 avg). Vaughn was champion at the Northrup-Grumman Regional tournament, while Strom recently placed third at the ASU/PING Invite.
The Pac-12 Championship will run from Monday, April 18 to Wednesday, April 20 at Ruby Hill Golf Club in Pleasanton, Calif. For more information on the event please visit the pac-12.com.