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Women's Golf Makes Fall Debut at NCAA Preview
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 09/11/2002
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Sept. 11, 2002

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Teeing Off: The Arizona women's golf team swings into action as it opens the 2002 fall campaign Sunday, Sept. 15, at the NCAA Fall Preview in West Lafayette, Ind. The tournament will be held at Kampen Course at Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex, site of the 2003 NCAA Championships.

Format: The 54-hole tournament will consist of three 18-hole rounds, with 8 a.m. starts on Sunday and Monday and an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start on Tuesday.

Course: The Kampen Course features legendary designer Pete Dye's innovative redesign and was opened to the public in June of 1998. The course will play to a length of 6,225 yards for the Preview. This golf course is like no other in the midwest. The course features bentgrass fairways, tees, and greens, tall heather rough, waste bunkers, pot bunkers and several ponds in an environmental conservation area.


Wildcat Lineup and 2001-02 Statistics:
Golfer                  Year    Avg.    Top 10/20     Low Rnd.    Events
Laura Myerscough        Sr.     75.21        4/1        70          11
Miriam Kraschinski      So.     78.03        0/0        74          10
Anne Lee                Sr.     78.25        0/1        71           7
Erica Blasberg          AJGA All-American makes UA debut
Whitney Welch           AJGA All-American makes UA debut

Last Time Out at the NCAA Championships: Leading the NCAA Championships wire-to-wire proved to be too daunting for the Arizona women's golf team. The Wildcats fell into a tie for second place at the conclusion of the 72-hole tournament after leading after each of the first three rounds. Arizona carded a team total of 18-over-par 1170 to finish behind national champion Duke by six strokes. Duke University won the team title with a four-round score of 12-over-par 1164 behind the individual performance of tournament medalist Virada Nirapathpongporn who finished at 9-under-par 279. Auburn and Texas shared second place with the Wildcats, while Georgia rounded out the top five. Arizona held the lead as late as the 15th hole in the final round, but was unable to hold off hard-charging Duke. Sophomore Lorena Ochoa capped her season and career by placing second at 4-under-par 284. Ochoa completed the tournament with a final-round 73, just her second career round in the NCAA Championships over par. The 5-foot-7-inch star from Guadalajara, Mexico, found herself near the hole in regulation throughout the day, but was unable to sink putts. Junior Laura Myerscough continued her outstanding play as she capped her third year competing as a Wildcat with her finest performance. The native of Charleston, Ill., took seventh place and finished at 2-under-par 286. Myerscough improved 19 strokes from her 53rd place showing in 2001. The remaining members of Arizona's lineup; Cristina Baena, Mar Garcia and Miriam Kraschinski; each carded final-round 76s. Garcia completed the tournament tied for 70th place at 14-over-par 302. Baena shared 75th at 16-over-par, while Kraschinski tied for 88th place at 18-over-par. The UA's average finish at the NCAA Women's Golf Championships over the last seven years is third place.

Last Year at the NCAA Fall Preview: 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 marked 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.

All-American Girl: Senior Laura Myerscough capped her third season competing for the Wildcats with the finest performance of her career, warranting her selection as a NGCA Honorable Mention All-American. She earned four top-10 finishes and eight top-25 finishes in 11 events. Her consistency was crucial to the Wildcats' success as she was the only Arizona golfer to compete in all 11 events in 2001-02.

Fresh Face: Sophomore Miriam Kraschinski showed significant improvement during the course of her first season with Arizona. The native of New Zealand posted three of her career-best 54-hole scores in her final four events. She shot a season- and career-best three-round score of 230 through the first three days of the NCAA Championships. Her stroke average at season's end was 78.03.

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 has been 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: By winning the 2002 Pac-10 Championship in April, Arizona has now won a team title every year for seven straight seasons. The last Arizona team to go winless was the 1994-95 squad, which had five top-five finishes. During the seven-season streak, Arizona has produced two national championship teams, five Pac-10 titles, four NCAA West Regional titles and 34 total tournament championships. Included in that stretch was the 1999-2000 team that won eight consecutive events.

Wildcat Coaching Staff: After his second year with the Arizona golf program, Greg Allen has led the team to seven tournament championships, including 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, 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 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.

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