Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Women's Golf Travels to NCAA Fall Preview
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: September 15, 2004
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Teeing Off: The Arizona women’s golf team will travel to Bend, Ore. on Sept. 20-22 to participate in the NCAA Fall Preview at the Sunriver Resort’s Meadows Golf Course. The team returned from Japan last weekend after placing 4th in the 2004 Topy Cup.


A Look At The Tournament: The NCAA Fall Preview is an opportunity for the nation’s top teams to have a chance to play the course, which will host this year’s national championship. The teams who competed in last year’s NCAA championship are invited to participate.


The Course: The NCAA Fall preview will be contested at the Meadow’s Golf Course on the Sunriver Resort. The Meadow’s course designed by John Fought features variety on its 18 holes, seven holes border the meandering Sunriver. The design tributes the great American courses from the 1920’s and 30’s with its aesthetic grace.


The Field: ARIZONA, Arizona State, California, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Washington, Auburn, Duke, Georgia, New Mexico, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, Washington State


Last Time on the Course: The Arizona women's golf team finished in fourth at the 2004 Topy Cup after its final day of competition in Tokyo, Japan. The Wildcats shot a 37-over-par 901 to trail tournament champion Tohoku Fukushi  by 30 strokes after Tohoku Fukushi  shot a 7-over-par 871. Florida came in second after carding a 17-over-par 881. Senshu (900) finished in third and Nagoya Commerce (938) came in fifth. Individually, junior Cassandra Kirkland lead the Wildcats finishing tied for eighth after shooting a 2-over-par 74 in the final round. By shooting 74 in the final round, Kirkland finished the tournament 6-over-par 222. Senior Mar Garcia tied for 17th after shooting 10-over-par 226. Senior Miriam Kraschinski  tied for 19th at 12-over-par 228. Junior Lani Elston finished in 21st place after shooting 13-over-par 229. While junior Whitney Welch shot a 21-over-par 237 to finish in 27th.


Wildcat Lineup:

Golfer                          Year            Stroke Avg.

Lani Elston                    Jr.               76.33

Miriam Kraschinski        Sr.               76.00

Mar Garcia                    Sr.               75.33

Whitney Welch              Jr.               79.00

Cassandra Kirkland        Jr.               74.00


Last Year at the NCAA Preview: The 2003-04 Arizona women’s golf team wrapped up the team’s first event  at the NCAA Fall Preview, which is being contested over a par-72 layout. Arizona took to the Grand National Lake Course placed atop the leaders board. The Wildcats took third place after shooting 14-over-par 878 in the final round. Sophomore Cassandra Kirkland and sophomore Erica Blasberg tied for third place, as they ended the tournament at 1-under-par 215. Atop the leader board was, Auburn and Duke tied. The Tigers and Devils lead the Wildcats by eight strokes. Duke won on first playoff hole. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State round out the top five, as Oklahoma shot 24-over-par 888 and Oklahoma State posted a score of 31-over-par 895.  On the individual leader board, Pepperdine’s Carolina Llano won the competition, shooting 5-under-par 211. Llano also had a hole-in-one on the 15th hole.  In second was Oklahoma’s Lisa Meldrum posting a 2-under-par 214.  Wildcat sensation Erica Blasberg and sophomore Cassandra Kirkland tied with two other golfers in third at 1-under-par 215. In Sunday’s play Blasberg shot a 2-over-par 74. While yesterday’s leader Kirkland posted 3-over-par 75 on Sunday. Sophomore Whitney Welch tied for 29th with two other golfers after shooting 9-over-par 225. Junior Mar Garcia tied for 32nd with three other golfers. Garcia carded a 226 (10-over-par). Sophomore transfer Lani Elston finished play tied for 36th after posting 11-over-par 227 in her first competition as a Wildcat.


Head Coach Greg Allen’s thoughts on the Topy Cup: “The Topy Cup was a good experience for our team. It is a tremendous honor for us as you can go over once every four years. It was a good way to start the season. It was also the first time most of the girls had played competitively since May. We saw some good signs from all the girls. Obviously Mar [Garcia] and Miriam [Kraschinski] both had good tournaments.”


Allen’s thoughts on the NCAA Fall Preview: “ Sunriver is the place Arizona won it’s last national championship, so we’ve had good success there. It’s a good chance for the girls to go and play the course which will host this year’s national championship.”


Rankings: Arizona is ranked in the Golfworld preseason poll at No. 16. On the other hand Golfweek’s Jay Coffin ranks the Wildcat No. 19.


Fab Four: Arizona has participated three times in the Topy Cup. In two out of the three Topy Cups Arizona has finished fourth. However, Arizona shot better than in 1989 when they claimed the team medalist honors at the Topy Cup. In 1989 Arizona shot 931. In this year’s three rounds the Wildcats shot 901. (Note: in 1998 the Topy Cup had only two rounds.)


Ryden’ to the Cup: Senior Mar Garcia will escort her brother, PGA tour member Sergio Garcia, to this weekend’s Ryder Cup in Bloomfield Township, Mich. Garcia will join the team in Oregon for the start of competition on Monday.


Crackin’ Cassandra: Junior Cassandra Kirkland spent the majority of the summer working with a coach on her swing in her native country of France. Not only did the extra coaching help her compete this summer in the British Women’s Open, but also propelled her to a eighth place tie at the Topy Cup. Kirkland is one of seven Arizona women’s golfers to place in the top-ten at the Topy Cup.


New Faces: New assistant coach Shelly Haywood will travel with the team for the first time after being hired two weeks ago. Haywood has been busy getting settled, while the team was in Japan.


Travel Warriors: The team returned to Tucson, Saturday after spending a week in Tokyo, Japan at the Topy Cup. The girls will report to school this week before leaving this weekend for Oregon.


Tourist Time: Both men’s and women’s Arizona golf teams played tourist on Friday in Tokyo before returning to Tucson on Saturday. The Texas men’s team joined them in their sightseeing adventures.


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