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Spring Season Opens for Arizona Women's Golf
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 06/22/2004
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Feb. 7, 2002

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Now On The Tee: No. 6 Arizona opens the spring portion of its schedule as it travels to Palos Verdes, Calif. for the TRW Regional Challenge. Play begins Monday, Feb. 11, at 9 a.m. Pacific time, Tuesday's second round also begins at 9 a.m.. Wednesday's final round will start with a shotgun start at 8 a.m.

Nice Starts in the Spring: Arizona has opened its spring seasons the last two years with team wins at the TRW Regional Challenge. In 2000, the eventual national champion Wildcats beat second-place finisher Southern California by 10 strokes. Last year, the freshmen duo of Natalie Gulbis and Lorena Ochoa led Arizona to an 11-stroke victory over second-place New Mexico State and the rest of the field.

Course: The TRW Regional Challenge will be contested at the Palos Verdes Golf Club in Palos Verdes, Calif.. The course is a par-71 layout and will play to a distance of 5,912 yards for the tournament.

The Field: The tournament will showcase many of the nation's elite teams. Fifteen of the top 25 teams from last year's NCAA Championships highlight the field and 15 of the 18 teams are ranked in the latest Golfweek top 25 poll. Participants include: Arizona, Arizona State, Florida, Georgia, Michigan State, New Mexico State, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Pepperdine, Purdue, San Jose State, Southern California, Stanford, Texas, Texas Christian, Tulsa, UCLA, Wake Forest.

 
 

A Look at the Rankings: Arizona opens the spring season ranked sixth in the Golf World magazine coaches' poll and 11th in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. Sophomore Lorena Ochoa, winner of four consecutive tournaments, stands atop the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index individual ratings.

Recent Success at the TRW: Arizona has won the TRW Challenge in both of the last two seasons. The Wildcats put together a three-day total of 884 (293-289-302--884) to claim the title in 2001. While the eventual-national champion Arizona team of 2000 won the tournament with a score of 869. This year, Arizona will aim to open its fall season with a team victory for the third straight year.

Wildcat Lineup:

Golfer Year Avg. Top 10/20 Low Rnd. Events

Lorena Ochoa So. 70.27 4/0 67 4

Laura Myerscough Jr. 75.45 1/1 72 4

Anne Lee Jr. 76.18 0/1 71 4

Miriam Kraschinski Fr. 78.87 0/0 76 3

Julia Kraschinski Jr. 80.50 0/0 72 3

Last Year at the TRW Regional Challenge: The Arizona Wildcats women's golf team battled a number of obstacles, but overcame them all as it took home its third tournament championship of the season by winning the TRW Regional Challenge in Palos Verdes, Calif. with a score of 834 (+32). The Wildcats finished 11 strokes ahead of second-place New Mexico State. Arizona freshman Natalie Gulbis took home the individual crown with a three-day-total of 214 (+1). In addition to a field that featured 15 ranked teams, a Wildcat lineup consisting of only freshmen and sophomores fought through cold and rainy weather. Furthermore, the Regional Challenge served as the first tournament for sophomore Julia Kraschinski since the 2000 NCAA Championships. She had been out of action due to serious disc problems in her back. The cold weather eventually took its toll on the 2000 NCAA runner-up as head coach Greg Allen withheld Kraschinski from competing in the final round as a precaution. Individually, Gulbis earned the first tournament championship of her career by shooting rounds of 72, 69 and 73 to close the tournament at one-over-par 214. Teammate Lorena Ochoa continued her wildly successful freshman campaign by finishing in second place, just two strokes back of Gulbis at three-over-par 216. Also scoring for Arizona were sophomores Laura Myerscough and Anne Lee. Myerscough carded a three-round total of 227 (+14) to finish tied for 21st, while Lee shot 231 to finish tied for 37th at 18-over-par.

Last Time Out at the Auburn Tiger-Derby Invitational: Lorena Ochoa continued her dominant sophomore season by winning her fourth consecutive tournament as she carded a final-round 70 to finish six strokes ahead of Georgia's Summer Sirmons and Tennessee's Young-A Yang at the Auburn Tiger-Derby Invitational. Arizona finished fourth at 35-over-par 899. Georgia took first place with a three-day team total of 21-over-par 885. Eight of the top-10 ranked teams in the nation competed in the 54-hole tournament. Ochoa's six-stroke victory gives her eight career wins. The final round saw Ochoa shoot par or better for the ninth time in 11 rounds this season. The sophomore posted a 54-hole total of 6-under-par 210. Junior Anne Lee contributed to the Wildcats' success with a three-round score of 12-over-par 228, good for a tie for 24th place. Laura Myerscough, a junior from Charleston, Ill., closed the tournament tied for 21st place at 11-over-par. Freshman Miriam Kraschinski tied for 39th place at 18-over-par, while junior Julia Kraschinski tied for 52nd at 26-over-par. Senior Cathie Williamson competed as an individual and tied for 60th place.

Garcia Comes Aboard: Upon enrolling in classes at UA at the beginning of the spring semester, freshman Mar Garcia, the younger sister of PGA Tour and European PGA Tour star Sergio Garcia, became eligible to compete for the Wildcats. Garcia, a 5-foot-5-inch freshman from Castellon, Spain, hails from a family full of accomplished golfers. In addition to her brother Sergio, her father Victor competes on the Senior PGA Tour and another brother, also named Victor, played golf at Francis Marion University. Her accomplishments include a first-place performance in the 21 and under group at the 1999 Spanish Junior.

Looking at Lorena: Sophomore Lorena Ochoa completed one of the most impressive fall seasons ever, winning every tournament she competed in. The 5-foot-7-inch star from Guadalajara, Mexico claimed medalist honors four times, winning the tournaments at a combined total of 19-under-par. Her four titles in the fall bring her career total to eight.

Oregon Trail Proves Successful for Lee: Trysting Tree Golf Club in Corvallis, Ore., has been the site of two of junior Anne Lee's career-best rounds. At the Oregon State Invitational held at Trysting Tree in early October, Lee fired a 1-under-par 71 to set a new career low. The mark eclipsed her old personal best of even-par 72, which she shot on two occasions. Most recently, Lee carded a 72 at Trysting Tree during the Wildcats' 20-stroke victory at the NCAA West Regional. The junior from Northridge, Calif., also shot 72 at the 2001 Wildcat Invitational.

Re-Writing The Record Books: Ochoa's three-round total at the Oregon State Invitational of 10-under-par 206 set a new Arizona record for individual 54-hole score. The previous mark of 207 was shared by former Wildcat standouts Leta Lindley (Feb. 24-25, 1992, Arizona Inv., Randolph North GC), Jenna Daniels (April 7-9, 2000, PING/ASU Inv., Karsten GC) and Natalie Gulbis (May 10-12, 2001, Pac-10 Chmps., Karsten GC).

All-Time Tournament Championships: The four titles won by sophomore Lorena Ochoa in the fall season brings her career total to eight, which places her second on the all-time ranks of most individual tournament championships for an Arizona woman. Marisa Baena claimed nine titles during her three seasons as a Wildcats, including six in the 1995-96 season. Ochoa passed former Arizona great and current LPGA Player of the Year Annik Sorenstam, who ranks third with seven individual titles.

Sister, Sister: With freshman Miriam Kraschinski joining the squad, the Wildcats added another pair of sisters to the Arizona golf family. Miriam joins her sophomore sister Julia in the program. They join current Wildcat Cristina Baena and her sister, LPGA star Marisa, as the only siblings to have competed for Arizona.

Wildcat Coaching Staff: Now in his second year with the Arizona golf program, Greg Allen has led the team to six tournament championships, including the 2001 Pac-10 Conference Championship and a 20-stroke victory at the 2001 NCAA West Regional. This summer, he paired with Arizona men's head coach Rick LaRose to coach the United States team to victory in 2001 U.S.-Japan Collegiate Matches. Allen, who was hired in July 2000, came to the University of Arizona from Texas where he was the assistant coach for the Longhorns' men's golf team. Allen helped guide Texas to the 1999-2000 NCAA Central Region championship and a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championships. Prior to coaching at Texas, Allen served as Director of Tournament Operations with the American Junior Golf Association. Allen graduated from Murray State University in 1993. He is assisted by Holly Carriker, who joined the staff in September 2001. Carriker competed collegiately at USC for two years before transferring to Texas, where she completed her remaining eligibility. The Texas native is a member of the LPGA's Teaching & Club Professional Division.

Fall Tournament Summaries:

NCAA FALL PREVIEW - 8th Place

Sept. 24-26, Auburn, Wash.:

Sophomore Lorena Ochoa won her first tournament championship of the season at the NCAA Fall Preview, after tournament officials cancelled the third round due to rain and determined the 36-hole totals would be the final results. The Wildcats finished in 11th place as a team with a two-round total of 606. Ochoa used consecutive sub-par rounds of 71 and 68 to claim her first title of the season with a two-round total of 5-under-par 139. The 2001 NCAA Fall Preview marks Ochoa's fifth career championship. Junior Laura Myerscough wrapped up play with a two-round total of 8-over-par 152, while junior Anne Lee shot a two-round score of 11-over-par 155. Myerscough and Lee finished tied for 41st and 64th places, respectively. Also scoring for Arizona were the Kraschinski sisters. Freshman Miriam Kraschinski tied for 93rd, while junior Julia finished in 118th place.

OREGON STATE INVITATIONAL - 2nd Place

Oct. 8-10, Corvallis, Ore.:

Sophomore Lorena Ochoa won individual medalist honors for the sixth time in her career and the second time of the season at the Oregon State Invitational after posting a career-best 54-hole total of 10-under-par 206. Arizona finished tied with tournament champion California at 18-over-par 882, but took second place by virtue of the NCAA tie-break policy. The Wildcats closed action at the Oregon State Invitational, held at Trysting Tree Golf Club, with a third-round of 17-over-par 305. Despite posting identical scores, California was awarded first place over Arizona as the low score from each team's fifth player broke the tie. Ochoa used rounds of 72, 67 and 67 to finish nine strokes ahead of Anne Walker and Sarah Huarte of California and Kim Kouwabunpat of Stanford, who tied for second at 1-under-par 215. Earning top-15 finishes for Arizona were juniors Laura Myerscough and Anne Lee. Myerscough completed play tied for 10th place, while Lee tied for 14th.

HAWAII FALL INVITATIONAL - 2nd Place

Oct. 30-31, Honolulu, Hawaii:

The fourth-ranked Wildcats claimed second place after finishing 21 strokes behind tournament champion New Mexico at the Hawaii Fall Invitational. Sophomore Lorena Ochoa won her third tournament championship of the season as she closed action at 2-over-par 218. Arizona shot a final-round 302, its best round of the 54-hole tournament. California posted a three-round team total of 911 to wrap up the tournament six strokes back of the Wildcats in third place. The win was the seventh of Ochoa's career. The Guadalajara, Mexico, native's streak of consecutive top-three finishes reached 12 tournaments after competing in Hawaii. Junior Laura Myerscough posted another top-15 finish, closing the tournament at 12-over-par 228 to tie for 14th. Junior Anne Lee, from Northridge, Calif., finished tied for 22nd place at 14-over-par 230. Also scoring for Arizona were senior Cathie Williamson and freshman Miriam Kraschinski. Williamson tied for 36th, while Kraschinski took 54th place.

AUBURN TIGER-DERBY INVITATIONAL - 4th Place

Nov. 9-11, Auburn, Ala.:

Lorena Ochoa continued her dominant sophomore season by winning her fourth consecutive tournament as she carded a final-round 70 to finish six strokes ahead of Georgia's Summer Sirmons and Tennessee's Young-A Yang at the Auburn Tiger-Derby Invitational. Arizona finished fourth at 35-over-par 899. Georgia took first place with a three-day team total of 21-over-par 885. Eight of the top-10 ranked teams in the nation competed in the 54-hole tournament. Ochoa's six-stroke victory gives her eight career wins. The final round saw Ochoa shoot par or better for the ninth time in 11 rounds this season. The sophomore posted a 54-hole total of 6-under-par 210. Junior Anne Lee contributed to the Wildcats' success with a three-round score of 12-over-par 228, good for a tie for 24th place. Laura Myerscough, a junior from Charleston, Ill., closed the tournament tied for 21st place at 11-over-par. Freshman Miriam Kraschinski tied for 39th place at 18-over-par, while junior Julia Kraschinski tied for 52nd at 26-over-par. Senior Cathie Williamson competed as an individual and tied for 60th place.

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