May 9, 2002
PALO ALTO, Calif.-Arizona fired an opening round 299 (+11) to position itself in fourth place after round one of the NCAA Women's Golf West Regional Thursday at the Stanford Golf Course. Sophomore sensation Lorena Ochoa paced the Wildcats as she carded her 17th subpar round of the season and stands tied for second place.
"We're in a good position, especially considering we didn't play very well today," said second-year head coach Greg Allen of his team's opening-round performance in the 54-hole tournament. "We want to keep the momentum we gained from winning the conference title, but the most important thing about the regional tournament is advancing to the NCAA Championship tournament."
Leading the tournament is Pepperdine, which shot a team total of 1-over-par 289 to claim the first-round lead. Arizona sits 10 strokes behind the tournament leader with 36 holes remaining, Pepperdine's performance was anchored by Katherine Hull who sits in first place after shooting 3-under 69. Ochoa shares second place with Kristi Larson of New Mexico after opening rounds of 2-under-par 70.
Senior Cristina Baena and freshman Miriam Kraschinski posted identical rounds of 4-over-par 76 and are tied with 10 other golfers for 26th place. Kraschinski rebounded from a rough start by playing the final nine holes at one stroke under par, making one birdie and eight pars on the back nine.
Laura Myerscough, coming off a personal career-best performance at the Pac-10 Championships, opened the regional tournament with 5-over-par 77 and is in 38th place. Freshman Mar Garcia completed the Arizona lineup and stands at 52nd place at 7-over 79.
The top eight teams from the NCAA Regional advance to the NCAA Championships to be held May 21-24 at Washington National Golf Course in Auburn, Wash. Arizona has advanced to the national championship year every season except one in the history of the regional format. The 1994 Wildcat squad finished 11th and failed to advance to the NCAA Championship tournament.
Last year, the Wildcats won the NCAA West Regional at Trysting Tree Golf Club in Corvallis, Ore., with a 3-day total of 4-over-par 868. Arizona's Natalie Gulbis won medalist honors, while Lorena Ochoa finished in second, just three strokes behind Gulbis.
Play continues at Stanford Golf Course Friday with the second round tee-times beginning at 7:30 a.m. Arizona will begin second-round play at 11:50 a.m.
Place School Score 1. Pepperdine 289 (+1) 2. UCLA 296 (+8) 3. California 297 (+9) 4. ARIZONA 299 (+11) 5. New Mexico 302 (+14)
Place Golfer, School Score 1. Katherine Hull, Pepperdine 69 (-3) T2. LORENA OCHOA, Arizona 70 (-2) T2. Kristi Larson, New Mexico 70 (-2) T4. Gina Umeck, UCLA 71 (-1) T4. Lindsey Wright, Pepperdine 71 (-1)