Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Women's Golf to Host Tournament
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: February 21, 2005
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Teeing Off:  The Arizona women’s golf team will take the course Feb. 21-22 in its home tournament, the Wildcat Invitational at Arizona National Golf Club. The Wildcats returned from the Regional Challenge where they placed ninth.


A Look At The Tournament: The Wildcat Invitational has been home to some of the college golf’s best competition since 1983.  The tournament formerly known as the Conquistadores/Chris Johnson Invitational was moved three years ago from Randolph North to the Wildcats home course, Arizona National. The tournament has given Tucson a chance to see the future stars of the LPGA tour today.


The Course: Arizona National is a desert facility designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. The course is situated in the foothills of Tucson’s Santa Catalina Mountains, and its diverse 6,776-yard, par 71 lay-out provides classic golf in the desert challenges as well as some of the most spectacular scenery of any golf facility in the Southwest. The endless beauty of a panoramic mountain vista scene, forest of giant saguaros, nine natural springs, spectacular city views, and magnificent desert vegetation makes Arizona National an unparalleled golf experience.


The Field: ARIZONA, Arizona State, Nevada, New Mexico State, Northern Arizona, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Oregon State, Pepperdine, Stanford, Tennessee, UCLA, UNLV and Vanderbilt.


The Schedule: All rounds will be contested at Arizona National. February 20 - practice round, 1 p.m. February 21 - 1st and 2nd rounds, shotgun start 8 a.m. February 22, 3rd round - shotgun start 8 a.m.


Last Time on the Course: The Arizona women's golf team finished in ninth place after the final day of play at Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.  The Wildcats shot a 71-over-par 923 to trail tournament champion Pepperdine by 27 strokes after the Waves shot a 44-over-par 896. UCLA finished in second after shooting 46-over-par 898. Duke shot a 48-over-par 900 to finish third. Florida (904) and Washington (906) finished in fourth and fifth. Individually, junior Cassandra Kirkland led the Wildcats. She finished tied for 25th after shooting an 8-over-par 79 in the final round, for a three-round total of 229 (+16).  Senior Miriam Kraschinski and junior Whitney Welch each shot a three-day total 233 (+20) to tie for 42nd.  Junior Lani Elston finished the tournament at 23-over-par 236 and tied for 55th place.  Senior Mar Garcia tied for 66th after she shot a 30-over-par 243.


Wildcat Lineup:

Golfer                          Year            Stroke Avg.     Top 10/20    Low Rnd.     Events

Lani Elston                    Jr.               76.00                0/1                    72           6

Miriam Kraschinski        Sr.              76.13                0/0                    70            6

Mar Garcia                    Sr.              77.60                0/0                    71            6

Whitney Welch              Jr.              77.06                0/0                    73            6         

Cassandra Kirkland        Jr.              73.93                2/0                    67            6

Rachel Gavin*                So.            81.00                0/0                    77            1

Katie Christy*                                      FIRST TOURNAMENT OF SEASON


Last Year at Wildcat Invitational: The Arizona women’s golf team finished in ninth after its final day of competition at their home tournament the Wildcat Invitational at Arizona National Golf Club in Tucson, Ariz.  The Wildcats shot a 925 to trail tournament champion Vanderbilt by 56 strokes after the Commodores shot a 869. Ohio State (873) and UCLA (874) occupy second and third places, respectively. While California (884) and UNLV (897) round out the top five. Individually, Arizona sophomore Erica Blasberg tied for fifth place with UCLA’s Hannah Jun after finishing 217 (+4).  Lani Elston tied for 34th after carding 230. Sophomore Cassandra Kirkland tied for 46th after shooting 21-over-par 234.  Rachel Gavin tied for 61st place after shooting 244 at the tournament, while  Whitney Welch shot a 262 to finish in 74th place. Also competing for Arizona, as an individual was Mar Garcia finished in 19th place after carding 12-over-par 225.  Miriam Kraschinski tied for 34th place after shooting 17-over-par 230 at the tournament, while Katie Christy shot a 52-over-par 265 to tie for 75th place.


Allen’s thoughts on Home Tournament: “It’s always nice to play in front of a home crowd. There is more pressure to play well. They’ve been working hard on the course at Arizona National, it looks great. It will be a good field once again and it’s a great chance for Tucson women’s golf fans to see future stars of the LPGA.”


73s: Juniors Cassandra Kirkland and Lani Elston both shot at least one round of 73 at the Regional Challenge. Kirkland shot a 73 in the first round, after which she was tied for seventh with three other golfers. Elston shot a 73 in the final round to help her move to a tie at 55th place.


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 University in 1993.

Shelly Haywood, hired in September 2004, assists him. Haywood played her collegiate years 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.


2004-05 Women’s Golf Roster


NAME                           CLASS                         HOMETOWN

Katie Christy                 Senior                           Tucson, Ariz.

Lani Elston                    Junior ?- RS                    Spokane, Wash.

Mar Garcia                    Senior                           Borriol, Spain

Rachel Gavin                 Sophomore ?- RS            Tucson, Ariz.

Cassandra Kirkland            Junior                            Saint-Nom-La-Breteche, France

Miriam Kraschinski            Senior                           Whitianga, New Zealand

Whitney Welch              Junior                            Las Vegas, Nev.


Greg Allen, Head Coach

Shelly Haywood, Assistant Coach

Tim Lynch, Manager