Teeing Off: The Arizona women’s golf team will take the course this Thursday-Saturday, May 5-7, in the NCAA West Regional. The Wildcats finished fourth in the Pac-10 Championships April 18-20 in Pleasanton, Calif.
The Course: The 2005 NCAA West Regional will be contested at the New Mexico State University Golf Course in Las Cruces, N.M. The course is set across 6,119 yards and is a par 72.
The Field: (in order of seeding) UCLA, Georgia, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, Southern California, ARIZONA, California, Washington State, Stanford, UNLV, Oregon, San Francisco, UC Irvine, BYU, Colorado State, Portland State, Northwestern, Oral Roberts, Illinois State, Georgia State and Denver. There are also individuals from Long Beach State, Fresno State and Idaho.
The Schedule: Eighteen holes will be played each day with tee times beginning at 7:30 a.m. (MST) from the No.1 and No. 10 tees. A practice round will be held on Wednesday, May 4, beginning at 8:40 a.m. (MST).
Coming To You Live: Live scoring during the three-day event will be provided on www.golfstat.com.
Golfer Year Stroke Avg. Top 10/20 Low Rnd. Events
Lani Elston Jr. 75.12 1/2 68 10
Miriam Kraschinski Sr. 76.44 0/0 70 10
Mar Garcia Sr. 76.59 1/1 70 10
Whitney Welch Jr. 76.55 1/0 71 10
Cassandra Kirkland Jr. 73.44 4/2 67 10
Last Time on the Course: The Arizona women’s golf team finished in fourth place at the 2005 Pac-10 Championships in Pleasanton, Calif. The Wildcats shot a three-day total of 886 (+22) to trail Pac-10 champion UCLA after the Bruins shot a three-day total of 874 (+10). Arizona State carded an 878 (+14) to finish in second, while USC shot 16-over-par 880 to finish third. California (894) rounded out the Top 5. Individually, junior Cassandra Kirkland finished the Pac-10 Championship tied for third place with Washington State’s Kim Welch. The Saint-Nom-La-Breteche, France, native finished the tournament with a three-day total of 211 (-5). Joining Kirkland in the Top 10 was senior Mar Garcia, who shot a Wildcat career-low tournament of 217 (+1), to tie her for sixth with two other golfers. Junior Lani Elston finished the tournament 13-over-par (229) to tie for 23rd. Senior Miriam Kraschinski finished tied for 34th with a three-day total of 233 (+17). Junior Whitney Welch finished the tournament tied for 37th after carding a 234 (+18).
Allen’s thoughts on NCAA West Regional: “I feel that the West Regional is the strongest of the three regions with 11 of the Top 30 ranked teams playing in Las Cruces. Because our strength of schedule is ranked the toughest, we should be prepared for this tournament. This is the most pressured-packed three rounds of golf any team plays all year long because if you don’t finish in the top eight, your season is finished. With two seniors and three juniors, and the way we have played in the last four tournaments, I like our chances.”
Last Year at the NCAA Central Regional: Arizona came from behind to finish second at the NCAA Central Regional in Normal, Ill. The Wildcats shot a 50-over-par 902 to trail central regional champion Vanderbilt by nine strokes after they shot a 41-over-par 893. Michigan State (906) and Southern California (910) occupied third and fourth, respectively. Baylor shot a 63-over-par 915 to round out the Top 5. Individually, Erica Blasberg won the individual medalist honors after shooting a 1-under-par 212 for the tournament. It was her fourth individual honor of the season, by winning this tournament. Mar Garcia joined Alejandra Martin in a tie for 10th after carding a 14-over-par 227. Lani Elston tied for 63rd place after shooting 25-over-par 238, while Cassandra Kirkland tied for 69th after shooting a 26-over-par 239.
Rankings: Arizona is currently ranked 17th in the team Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. Individually, junior Cassandra Kirkland ranks No. 16 in the individual Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. Junior Lani Elston is No. 51, senior Miriam Kraschinksi is No. 163, senior Mar Garcia is No. 171 and junior Whitney Welch is No. 175.
Top Flight: Arizona has placed in the top five in the Regional every year since 1996. The Wildcats were victorious in 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2001.
Pac-10 Honors: Junior Cassandra Kirkland was selected to the second team All-Pac-10. Senior Mar Garcia and junior Lani Elston were selected Pac-10 honorable mention.
Magical Mar: Senior Mar Garcia shot her career-low tournament during the Pac-10 Championships. The native of Spain carded a 217 (+1) to tie for sixth, her first Top 10 finish of the year.
Incredible Individuals: Five Wildcat individuals have won the individual medalist honors at the NCAA Regional since 1996. The last Arizona individual to claim the honor was Erica Blasberg in last year’s Central Regional, where she shot 1-under-par 212. The other four are Lorena Ochoa (2002), Natalie Gulbis (2001), Jenna Daniels (1999), Marisa Baena (1996).
Best in the Bay: Junior Cassandra Kirkland has played her best in the Bay Area this season. In October, Kirkland shot her career-low round (67) during the Stanford-Pepsi Invitational, in addition to claiming her career-low 54-hole tournament score, a 207 (-3). At the Pac-10 Championships, Kirkland tied her career-low round (67) in the second round.
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 Arizona from the University of 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 in 1993.
Shelly Haywood, hired in September 2004, assists Allen. Haywood played collegiately at New Mexico State, where she was a two-time All-Big West Conference performer. For the past 11 years, Haywood was the assistant golf professional at Tucson Country Club.