May 22, 2001
HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS, Fla. - The University of Arizona women's golf team opened the defense of its national championship by shooting a 302 in Tuesday's first round at the 2001 NCAA Women's Golf Championships.
The Wildcats' total of 302 (+14) puts the team in a tie for 11th place in the 24-team field. It was also the team's highest score since the opening round of the Ping/ASU Invitational on April 6. Oklahoma leads the field with a 293 total (+5), two strokes ahead of UCLA. USC is third at 296 (+8), while three teams (Georgia, Stanford and Texas) are tied for fifth at 298.
"We got off to a good start, but ran into trouble on holes four through seven," said head coach Greg Allen. "I'm proud of the way the team held it together and finished pretty well. We would have liked to play a little better, but we're confident that we can make up the difference in the next three days.
Leading the way individually for Arizona is freshman Lorena Ochoa. The nation's top-ranked golfer opened the tournament with a 73 (+1) and stands in a tie for 14th place. Ochoa is just four shots off the pace set by UCLA's Laura Moffat, who carded a three-under-par 69. She was the only golfer in the field of 126 to post a score in the 60s.
Junior Cristina Baena tallied a first-round 76 (+4) Tuesday and is tied for 46th place along with teammate Laura Myerscough. Freshman Natalie Gulbis, the 2001 NCAA West Regional champion, shot a first-round 77 (+5) and is tied for 61st place. Rounding out the Wildcat contingent is Anne Lee, who shot a nine-over-par 79 and is tied for 83rd place.
The 2001 NCAA Championship is being contested at the El Campeon Course at the Mission Inn Golf and Tennis Resort. The course is a par 72, 6,119-yard layout. The Championships continue through Friday.