Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Wildcat Women's Golf Program Signs Two Players
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: June 22, 2004
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University of Arizona women's golf coach Todd McCorkle has announced that Natalie Gulbis (Citrus Heights, Calif.) and Nancy Abiecunas (Fort Collins, Colo.) have signed national letters of intent and will enroll at the UA in the Fall of 2000.

"Both of these girls will be impact players for us right away," McCorkle said. "I expect them to come in and be a force for Arizona golf in not only the Pac-10 Conference, but nationally as well. Although it will be difficult to replace this year's seniors, Natalie and Nancy will help us maintain and continue -- the success we have enjoyed over the past few years."

Last season as a junior, Gulbis won the national high school championship by 20 strokes and at age 15, she became the youngest person to ever accomplish that feat. A two-time high school All-America performer for Granite Bay High School, she was the 1999 U.S. Amateur medalist in the stroke play portion of the event, recording rounds of 71 and 66. Her second round 66 score was the lowest ever for the U.S. Women's Amateur. She was a quarterfinalist for the 1999 U.S. Public Links Championship and won the 1997 California State Amateur, becoming the youngest player to win that title as well. She also was the youngest player in history to qualify for an LPGA event, when she qualified for the Longs Drugs Classic at age 14.

"As opposed to the junior circuit, Natalie's experience has come on the amateur golf scene, where she has had a remarkable history," McCorkle said. "She has dominated her competition and really made a name for herself at that level. She is a proven winner and will be a tremendous addition for our program."

Abiecunas was an American Junior Golf Association All-American in both 1998 and 1999 and was the runner up at the 1999 United States Junior Championship. A product of Fort Collins High School, in Fort Collins, Colo., she has won five AJGA tournaments, placed second six times and has 20 top-10 finishes in her junior golf career. She is currently the third ranked junior in the country, according to the Izzo National Rankings.

"Nancy has been one of the top two or three junior players in the country the past three years," McCorkle said. "She is one of nation's most dominating junior golfers and should have an outstanding collegiate career. Like Natalie, she too knows what it takes to win and that will help her make the transition to collegiate golf at Arizona next fall."