April 25, 2001
TEMPE, Ariz. - The second-ranked Arizona women's golf team used a final round score of 288 to claim its second consecutive Pacific-10 Conference Championship Wednesday at the par-72, 6,090 yard Karsten Golf Course. Wildcat freshman Lorena Ochoa outdeuled teammate and fellow freshman Natalie Gulbis in two sudden-death playoff holes for the individual title.
"I'm extremely happy for the team because of what we have been through this year," first-year head coach Greg Allen said. "With all the adversity, injuries, having a new coach and so many different lineups, this is especially rewarding. One thing we've talked about is peaking at the right time, we've wanted to be a post-season team. It's all about these three tournaments."
Stanford finished second, three strokes behind Arizona. While tournament-host Arizona State slipped to third place and finished 10 shots behind the Wildcats.
Freshmen standouts Ochoa and Gulbis both finished today's final round at three-under par 213 for the tournament. After both made par on the first playoff hole, Ochoa drained a 15-foot putt to make birdie on the second playoff hole to claim medalist honors. The Arizona freshmen also finished in first and second places at the TRW Regional Challenge in February.
Through five holes today, Arizona was a combined seven strokes under par for the third round, then withstood a late surge by second-place Stanford to wrap up action at one-under par for the day.
"There was a lot of pressure out there today," Allen said. "Being the program that we are and being the defending conference and national champs, there has always been a lot of pressure and a lot of expectations. The team certainly withstood that pressure today."
Ochoa led the Wildcats with a final round of 69, the lowest individual round of the tournament by any golfer. The tournament win is the fourth of her career and seventh consecutive top-three finish.
Gulbis continued her consistent play by finishing the tournament with three rounds of one-under par 71. The Pac-10 Championships mark the second time this season that Gulbis has shot the same score in all three rounds, she fired three rounds of even-par 72 at the Wildcat Invitational in February. A native of Sacramento, Calif., Gulbis carded the lowest three-round total of her career with the 213 total.
Also in the top-20 for Arizona was junior Cristina Baena, who shared 15th place at 223. She carded a final round of even-par 72 to earn her highest finish since October.
Sophomores Laura Myerscough and Anne Lee finished in 29th and 31st places, respectively. Senior Christelle Cuzon, who competed as an individual, tied for 42nd.
The Wildcats next travel to Corvallis, Ore., for the NCAA West Regional Championships on May 10 where they will attempt to win their sixth tournament championship of the season. Last year, Arizona followed its conference championship with a five-stroke victory at the NCAA Regionals.
|1.||Lorena Ochoa**||70-74-69=213 (-3)|
|2.||Natalie Gulbis||71-71-71=213 (-3)|
|T15.||Cristina Baena||76-75-72=223 (+7)|
|T29.||Laura Myerscough||77-72-79=228 (+12)|
|T31.||Anne Lee||79-75-75=229 (+13)|
|T42.||Christelle Cuzon*||75-83-78=236 (+20)|
*competing as an individual
** playoff winner