Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Women's Golf Looks To Rebound at Mason Rudolph Championship
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: September 29, 2004
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Teeing Off: The Arizona women’s golf team will travel to Nashville, Tenn., Oct. 1-3, to participate in the Mason Rudolph Women’s Championship at the Vanderbilt Legends Club. The team tied for 15th place at the NCAA Fall Preview last week.


A Look At The Tournament: This is the third consecutive year that the Wildcats have participated in the Mason Rudolph Championship, and Arizona has seen its share of success at the tournament. In 2002, Arizona came in second behind tournament host Vanderbilt. In 2003, Erica Blasberg won the individual medalist honors by shooting a 213 (-3).


The Course: The 2004 Mason Rudolph Championship will be held at the Vanderbilt Legends Club. The course is located 20 miles south of downtown Nashville in Franklin, Tenn., and features two 18-hole championship courses. The competition will be contested on the par 72 Ironhorse course layout with a length of 7,200 yards.


The Field: ARIZONA, Vanderbilt, Duke, Furman, LSU, North Carolina St., SMU, Tulane, UCLA, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Wake Forest


The Schedule: the tournament will run for three days, with 18 holes being contested each day. On Friday and Saturday Arizona will tee off between 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. (EST) on either the first or 10th tee. The tournament concludes on Sunday, Oct. 3, with a shot-gun start at 8:00 a.m. (EST). On Thursday, Sept. 30, teams will participate in a practice round at 8 a.m. (EST).



Wildcat Lineup:

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

Lani Elston                    Jr.               75.16                0/0                    73                    2

Miriam Kraschinski        Sr.               76.33                0/0                    71                    2

Mar Garcia                    Sr.              75.83                0/0                     71                    2

Whitney Welch              Jr.              77.83                0/0                     73                    2         

Cassandra Kirkland        Jr.              74.50                1/0                     72                    2


Last Time on the Course: After a 45 minute delay due to frost, the Arizona women’s golf team finished tied for 15th with Vanderbilt at the NCAA Fall Preview in Bend, Ore. The Wildcats shot a 50-over-par 902 to trail tournament champion Duke by 44 strokes. The Blue Devils shot a 6-over-par 858. Washington finished in second after carding a 12-over-par 864.  Oklahoma State (866) finished in third and Arizona State (868) grabbed the fourth position. Auburn rounded out the topfive after shooting a 17-over-par 869. Individually, junior Lani Elston led the Wildcats by finishing tied for 35th after shooting a 2-over-par 73 in the final round. This was the Spokane, Wash. native’s, best over-all tournament score (222) since last season’s PING/ASU Invitational, where she shot a 219.  Junior Cassandra Kirkland had two good rounds, but shot a 79 in today’s final round, dropping her to a tie for  52nd. Senior Mar Garcia tied for 74th at 16-over-par 229. Senior Miriam Kraschinski and junior Whitney Welch tied for 78th after both shot a 17-over-par 230.


Last Year at the Mason Rudolph Championship: The Arizona in 2003, took fifth place at the Mason Rudolph Invitational in Nashville, Tenn.  The Wildcats shot a 27-over-par 891. Arizona finished 17 strokes behind tournament champion Georgia after the Bulldogs shot a 10-over-par 874. UCLA (878) and Vanderbilt (886) occupied second and third places, respectively. Florida placed fourth with a 25-over-par 889. Individually Erica Blasberg placed first, after shooting a 213 (-3). In 2002, Blasberg finished second, and it was the first of nine consecutive top 10 finishes, including two victories, for the Corona, Calif. native. Cassandra Kirkland tied at 28th after shooting 10-over-par 226. Whitney Welch tied for 41st at 13-over-par 229. Lani Elston finished 44th after shooting 14-over-par 230. Mar Garcia tied for 50th after shooting 17-over-par 23. Also competing for Arizona as an individual was Miriam Kraschinski, who tied at 57th place after carding 19-over-par 235.


Allen’s thoughts on the Mason Rudolph Championship:  “This is a stronger field than the preview. We’ve played this course before and should feel comfortable on it. We should have a good chance to go in and compete with everyone.”


Rankings: Arizona is currently ranked No. 29 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. Individually, Cassandra Kirkland is ranked 80th with a rating of 73.48.


Crusin’ Cassandra: Junior Cassandra Kirkland shot a season low round of 72 the first day of the Fall Preview. Over the entire tournament, Kirkland shot five birdies. In the second round she had three birdies and two in the final round.


Excellent Elston: With the conclusion of the NCAA Fall Preview junior Lani Elston improved her stroke average to second best on the team with a 75.16 avg.


Double Dose: Throughout the 2003-04 season, Vanderbilt and Arizona often placed in the Top-10 in most of the tournaments they competed in. Most recently, Vanderbilt and Arizona finished one, two at the NCAA Central Regional. They both tied for 15th to open this season


Disappointing Drop: Arizona had not finished outside of the Top 10 at the NCAA Fall Preview since 2001-02, when it finished tied for 11th.


Back Nine Bogey: The team played poorly on the back nine of the Meadow’s course in Bend, Ore. In the three days of the tournament, they bogeyed 44 times.


Freezing Fall Preview: The weather in Bend, Ore., was is much cooler than Tucson. The temperature was in the high 60s throughout the tournament, with a frost delay occurring everyday and postponed play by an hour each day.


Golfin’ Garcia: Senior Mar Garcia had not seen the golf course before Monday’s first round. Garcia got in late Sunday after spending later part of last week at the Ryder Cup with her brother, PGA tour member Sergio Garcia. On her first day, Garcia made a 150-yard eagle on hole six.


Wonderful Welch: Junior Whitney Welch (73) shot her best round in the first round of the Fall Preview since participating this summer in the U.S. Women’s Amateur.


Wildcat Coaching Staff:  A seven-year college coaching veteran, Greg Allen has led the Arizona Wildcats to nine tournament championships in just five years at the helm of the program. Included in the team’s accomplishments under Allen are the 2001 and 2002 Pac-10 Conference Championships, a national runner-up finish and a 20-stroke victory at the 2001 NCAA West Regional. Allen, hired in July 2000, came to the University of Arizona from Texas where he was the assistant coach for the Longhorn’s men’s golf team. 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. Shelly Haywood hired in September 2004, assists him. Haywood played her collegiate years at New Mexico State where she was two-time all Big West conference. For the past 11 years Haywood has been the assistant golf professional at Tucson Country Club.


2004-05 Women’s Golf Roster


NAME                           CLASS                         HOMETOWN

Katie Christy                 Senior                           Tucson, Ariz.

Lani Elston                    Junior ?- RS                    Spokane, Wash.

Mar Garcia                    Senior                           Borriol, Spain

Rachel Gavin                 Sophomore ?- RS            Tucson, Ariz.

Cassandra Kirkland        Junior                            Saint-Nom-La-Breteche, France

Miriam Kraschinski        Senior                           Whitianga, New Zealand

Whitney Welch              Junior                            Las Vegas, Nev.


Greg Allen, Head Coach

Shelly Haywood, Assistant Coach

Tim Lynch, Manager