April 2, 2003
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Teeing Off: Arizona travels to Tempe, Ariz., for its final regular season tournament, the PING/ASU Invitational. The Wildcats are in search of their first team tournament championship of the spring season. Play begins Friday and runs through Sunday with 18 holes each day.
Format: Eighteen holes will be played each day with tee times beginning at 8 a.m. MST from tees No. 1 and No. 10 on Friday and Saturday and at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday. Second-round and third-round pairings are based on team total and individual total within the team.
Course: The 2003 PING/ASU Invitational will be played at the par-72, 6,183 yard Karsten Golf Course on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe.
Participating Teams: Arizona, host Arizona State, California, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Northern Arizona, Oregon, Oregon State, San Jose State, Stanford, Texas, TCU, Tulsa, UCLA, USC and Washington.
Live Scoring: Golfstat will provide live scoring of the PING/ASU Invitational on its Web site, www.Golfstat.com. Final full field results will also be available on the same Web site.
Wildcat Lineup and 2002-03 Statistics:
Golfer Year Avg. Top 10/20 Low Rnd. Events Erica Blasberg Fr. 71.88 5/0 68 6 Laura Myerscough Sr. 75.57 1/1 71 5 Cassandra Kirkland Fr. 73.83 1/1 70 2 Miriam Kraschinski So. 76.95 2/1 70 7 Anne Lee Sr. 76.31 2/1 70 7 Mar Garcia* So. 77.66 0/1 73 3 Whitney Welch* Fr. 79.77 0/0 74 3 * competing as an individual
Last Time Out at the Dr. Thompson Rainbow Invitational: Arizona finished in second place at the Dr. Thompson Rainbow Invitational at the Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course. The Wildcats combined to shoot 911 (+47) for the two-day, 54-hole tournament. Overall, UA finished 14 strokes behind the first-place Southern California Trojans. Southern California's Mikaela Parmlid claimed top individual honors for the Trojans with a total score of 2-over-par 218, giving Parmlid a one-stroke victory over Arizona's Cassandra Kirkland. Individually, Kirkland, who posted a 5-over-par 77 in the final round, carded a three-round total of 3-over-par 219 and slipped to second place in the final round. Kirkland led the field after 36 holes with a score of 2-under-par 142, and she held a one-stroke lead over Parmlid (143) entering the final round. Senior Laura Myerscough, who posted a final-round score of 3-over-par 75, tied for third place overall with a two-day total of 223 (+7). Senior Julia Kraschinski finished the tournament in 14th place with a three-round total of 232 (+16). Since Kraschinski competed as an individual, her score did not contribute to the Wildcats' team total. Senior Anne Lee tied for 20th place overall with a three-round total of 235 (+19). Sophomore Mar Garcia finished the tournament with a total score of 236 (+20) and tied for 22nd place. Sophomore Miriam Kraschinski carded a three-round total of 246 (+30) to tie for 47th place.
Last Year at the PING/ASU Invitational: Lorena Ochoa continued her awe-inspiring streak of consecutive victories as she earned medalist honors at the PING/ASU Invitational, her seventh straight championship. The win proved to be the final vicotry of her streak. The impressive performances of Ochoa and the rest of the Wildcat squad led Arizona to post its best 54-hole team score of the season to take third place at 17-over 881. Ochoa closed the tournament with a 4-under 68. She finished at 9-under 207, four strokes ahead of second-place finisher, Jimin Kang of Arizona State. Junior Laura Myerscough notched her second top 10 finish of the season and fourth of her career as she tied for 10th place. Myerscough, from Charleston, Ill., completed action at 4-over-par 220, including a final-round of even-par 72. Senior Cristina Baena continued her return from offseason wrist surgery as she finished in a tie for 19th place at 7-over 223. Freshman Miriam Kraschinski and junior Anne Lee completed the Arizona lineup, finishing in ties for 53rd and 74th places, respectively. Senior Cathie Williamson participated as an individual and tied for 60th.
Pac-10 Preview: As Arizona closes its regular season schedule, the PING/ASU Invitational will provide the squad with a chance to see how it matches up against its conference foes. Nine of the 10 Pac-10 teams will be in action this weekend, with only Washington State not competing in Tempe.
Cassandra's Coming Out: Freshman Cassandra Kirkland has made quite the impact after playing her way into the lineup and out a possible redshirt year. After competing as an individual in her first collegiate event (the Wildcat Invitational) and finishing tied for 19th, Kirkland was inserted into the lineup for the Dr. Thompson Rainbow Invitational. The freshman from France posted the low round of the tournament (70) and led after 18 and 36 holes before finishing in second place at 3-over-par 219.
Lucky Seven: Through seven events this season, seven different Arizona golfers have registered top-20 finishes, making head coach Greg Allen's task of setting the Arizona lineup that much more difficult. With talented golfers all over the UA roster, Allen believes there are eight golfers who can compete for first place any week. This season, five different Wildcats have earned at least one top-10 finish, while two others have registered top-20 finishes.
Success at Karsten: Arizona has won six events at the Karsten Golf Course since 1991, the PING/ASU Invitational (1997 and 2000), the Lady Sun Devil Invitational (1991), the Pac-10 Championship (1992 and 2001) and the NCAA West Regional (2000). Additionally, Arizona finished second at the NCAA Championships held at Karsten in 1992.
Records at Karsten: Two of the best five rounds in Arizona women's golf history have been played at ASU's Karsten Golf Course. Jenna Daniels shot 207 (-9) to win the PING/ASU Invitational in 2000, while Natalie Gulbis matched that score in 2001 to claim the Pac-10 Conference individual championship.
Individual Triumphs: Three Wildcats have claimed medalist honors at the PING/ASU Invitational, most recently in 2002 when Lorena Ochoa won the event. Jenna Daniels claimed the title in 2000 and Marisa Baena won it in 1997.
Cats in the Polls: The Wildcats stand seventh in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index, while freshman Erica Blasberg maintains the poll's top ranking with a ratings score of 69.75. Senior Laura Myerscough joins Blasberg in the top 50 as Myerscough is 42nd with a performance rating of 73.34. Freshman Cassandra Kirkland owns a performance rating of 72.39, but is unranked due to having only competed in two events this season.
LPGA Action: Freshman Erica Blasberg returns to collegiate action this weekend after missing the Hawaii tournament due to her participation in the LPGA's Welch's/Fry's Championship in Tucson. Blasberg's appearance marks the third consecutive year a current Wildcat has entered the field after Lorena Ochoa competed as an amateur in 2001 and 2002. Blasberg made the cut and finished tied for 49th place at 5-under-par 275.
Out of It: Arizona's ninth-place finish at the Wildcat Invitational marks the first time in nine tournaments that the team has finished an event out of the top five. In March 2002, the Wildcats took ninth place at the weather-marred Betsy Rawls Invitational, marking the last time Arizona finished out of the top five.
Foreign Flavor: The Arizona women's golf team has boasted a number of foreign stars in recent years and the 2003 squad is no exception. Four Wildcats call countries other than the United States home. Mar Garcia is a native of Spain, Julia and Miriam Kraschinski hail from New Zealand, and Cassandra Kirkland is from France.
Wild Weather: The high scores from Arizona's spring-opening tournament reflect the poor conditions in Palos Verdes, Calif., at Palos Verdes Golf Club. Heavy rain, strongs winds and harsh temperatures hampered play throughout the tournament and eventually caused the cancellation of the tournament's final round.
Fab Freshmen: Following the tradition of freshmen success in the UA women's golf program, Erica Blasberg has emerged as the Wildcats' most consistent performer and is rated No. 1 nationally. She joins other freshmen phenoms such as Annika Sorenstam, Marisa Baena, Natalie Gulbis and Lorena Ochoa as individuals who have won tournaments in their first season in the program.
Career Best: Senior Anne Lee notched a career best low round when she shot 2-under-par 70 in the second round of the Auburn Tiger-Derby Invitational. Her 54-hole score (220, +5) at the Auburn tournament was only two shots off of her 54-hole career best, set at the 2001 Wildcat Invitational. By placing 10th at the Auburn Tiger-Derby Invitational, Lee posted her second top-10 of the season and third of her career.
Tough Room: Freshman Erica Blasberg is around top-notch student-athletes while on the golf course and in McKale Center. But even at home in her dorm, Blasberg is still accompanied by another elite student-athlete. Blasberg shares her dorm room with Kim Glass of the UA volleyball team. Glass was named national freshman of the year and a second-team All-American for her efforts this season.
Myerscough in Malaysia: Senior Laura Myerscough missed action at the Stanford-Pepsi Intercollegiate beacuse of her participation in the World Amateur Golf Championships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Myerscough tied for 21st place individually and helped the United States' three woman squad to fifth place in the 39-team tournament. The Stanford-Pepsi Intercollegiate marked the first Arizona tournament Myerscough missed since the Golf World Invitational in November of 2000.
Doing the Solo Thing: With individual victories by Erica Blasberg and Miriam Kraschinski so far this season, 17 Arizona women have won medalist honors in the history of the program. Dating to 1977, those 17 golfers have combined for 59 tournament championships. The 2002-03 season is the 10th time in the last 15 years that at least two Wildcats have each won an individual tournament title.
Grand Opening: Arizona kicked off its 2002-03 season in style, taking the title at the Fall Preview. The Wildcats received consistent performances from each member of the lineup--helping the team to card three sub-300 rounds. The team only accomplished that feat twice in the 2001-02 season, at the PING/ASU Invitational and in its second-place showing at the NCAA Championships.
Kool Kraschinski: Sophomore Miriam Kraschinski won her first career individual title at the Fall Preview in September, the tournament saw her set a number of career bests. In addition to her career best first place finish, the sophomore from Whitianga, New Zealand shot her best single round score (70 in the second and third rounds of the Preview) and her best three-round tournament score (215). Her subpar performances in the final two rounds of the Preview marked the first time in her career that she has broken par.
On From the AJGA: Freshmen Erica Blasberg and Whitney Welch enter the University of Arizona with impressive junior golf resumes and are expected to have a significant impact on the Wildcat lineup immediately. Both have been named to the American Junior Golf Association's All-America teams on multiple occasions. Welch was named to the AJGA's All-America first-team in 2001 and won honorable mention honors in 2000. Blasberg was honored as an All-American by the AJGA three consecutive years; winning first-team honors in 2000 and second-team honors in 2001 and 1999.
Arizona Championship Streak: Arizona extended its streak of years in which it has won a team title to eight after it captured the title at the NCAA Fall Preview in September. The last Arizona team to go winless was the 1994-95 squad, which had five top-five finishes. During the eight-season streak, Arizona has produced two national championship teams, five Pac-10 titles, four NCAA West Regional titles and 35 total tournament championships. Included in that stretch was the 1999-2000 team that won eight consecutive events.
Wildcat Coaching Staff: A five-year college coaching veteran, Greg Allen has led the Arizona Wildcats to eight tournament championships in just two-and-a-half years at the helm of the program. Included in the team's accomplishments under Allen's watch 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. In the summer of 2001, 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, 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 Jody Niemann-Dansie, who was hired in July 2002. Niemann-Dansie played two years on the LPGA after completing her collegiate eligibility. She is a graduate of Arizona State University and was a member of the 1997 and 1998 NCAA National Championship teams in Tempe.