Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Wildcats Head to In-State Rival For PING/ASU Invitational
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: June 22, 2004
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    Teeing Off: Arizona will head up I-10 to the Karsten Golf Course on the campus of Arizona State University for the PING/ASU Invitational this weekend. The tournament consists of three rounds of 18 holes played each day. Friday and Saturday’s rounds begin at 8 a.m., while Sunday’s final round will tee off at 7:30 a.m. The Karsten course is a par 72, 6,090 yard layout. The PING/ASU Invitational will preview the Wildcats’ next tournament, the Pac-10 Conference Championships, as all 10 conference teams will compete this week and the tournament will be held at the same course as the conference championships.

    The Field: This year’s PING/ASU Invitational will feature 15 teams, five of which are ranked in the top 10 in the March 28 edition of the MasterCard Collegiate Golf Rankings. Additionally, all 10 conference teams will be present at the PING/ASU Invitational. No. 2 Arizona, No. 4 Southern California, No. 5 Stanford, No. 7 New Mexico State, No. 10 Tulsa, No. 18 Texas Christain, No. 21 UCLA, No. 22 Arizona State, No. 28 New Mexico, No. 32 Washington, No. 40 California, No. 41 San Jose State, Oregon, Oregon State and Washington State will compete.

    Wildcat Lineup:
    Golfer                  Yr.     Avg.    Top 10/20       Low Rd. Events
    Lorena Ochoa            Fr.     71.41   6/0     66      7
    Natalie Gulbis          Fr.     72.20   4/1     67      6
    Cristina Baena          Jr.     75.00   3/0     70      7
    Anne Lee                So.     75.91   0/1     72      5
    Laura Myerscough        So.     76.05   2/0     71      7
    Julia Kraschinski*      So.     78.20   0/0     73      2
    Christina Monteiro*     Sr.     80.35   0/1     70      5
    * will compete as individuals

    Success at ASU’s Karsten Golf Course: The Wildcats have fared well in recent visits to the Karsten Golf Course. Last year, Arizona won two tournaments at Karsten by a combined eight strokes. Arizona took home the title of the 2000 PING/ASU Invitaitonal and also the 2000 NCAA West Regional hosted by Arizona State at Karsten.

    Last Year at the PING/ASU Invitational: Arizona captured its fifth consecutive title of the season at the PING/ASU Invitational last year, shooting a three-day team total of 8-over-par 872. Arizona senior Jenna Daniels took home the individual crown carding a three-day total of 9-under-par 207. Junior Christina Monteiro and freshman Julia Kraschinski tied for 13th at six over-par 222. Sophomore Cristina Baena tied for 32nd shooting 10 over-par 226. Senior Jill Gomric tied for 35th at nine-over-par 227. Freshman Anne Lee played as an individual and tied for 76th at 23 over-par 239.

    Last Time Out at the Dr. Thompson Rainbow Invitational: The Arizona women’s golf team came away with a second-place finish at the Dr. Thompson Rainbow Invitational after shooting a total of 898. Oklahoma State claimed the tournament championship with a three-round team total of 895. Wildcat freshman Natalie Gulbis earned the second tournament championship of her career with a three-day total of 216 (E). Sophomore Laura Myerscough finished in fifth place, the highest showing of her career, after completing the tournament at 222 (+7). Also in the top-20 for Arizona was sophomore Anne Lee. Junior Cristina Baena tied for 24th place, while sophomore Julia Kraschinski finished in 61st place. Arizona freshman Lorena Ochoa, the nation’s top-ranked golfer, did not compete in the Rainbow Invitational because she just wrapped up play in the Nabisco Championship, one of the LPGA tour’s major tournaments.

    Ochoa on the LPGA: Freshman Lorena Ochoa did not participate in the Dr. Thompson Rainbow Invitational with the Wildcats last week because she was in Rancho Mirage, Calif., participating in the Nabisco Championship with the LPGA. The Nabisco is one of the tour’s four major tournaments. Ochoa led all amateurs and tied for 21st place overall. Ochoa fired rounds of 72, 71, 74 and 73, nine strokes off the lead. Last month, Ochoa finished tied for seventh place at the Welch’s/Circle K Championship, the LPGA event held in Tucson. She shot a total of 276 (-12).

    Tiger, Jenna and. . . Lorena: In being named Rolex College Golfer of the Month for February, freshman Lorena Ochoa became just the third golfer in the history of the award to win the honor three times in one season. She was also honored for the months of September and November. Ochoa joins elite company, Tiger Woods won the award three times in 1995-96 and Jenna Daniels won it three times last year.

    The Fountain of Youth: Of the 109 individual rounds played by Arizona golfers this season, freshmen and sophomores have played 66 of them. The Wildcats fielded a lineup consisting of only underclassmen in winning the TRW Regional Challenge. Coach Greg Allen has relied on freshmen and sophomores for leadership and performance on the course. Freshman Lorena Ochoa has played 17 rounds, freshman Natalie Gulbis has played 15, sophomore Julia Kraschinski has played 5, sophomore Anne Lee has played 12 and sophomore Laura Myerscough has played 17 rounds.

    Cats In the Polls: Arizona currently stands at No. 2 in the College Golf Foundation’s MasterCard Collegiate Golf Rankings. Despite finishing 13 strokes ahead of top-ranked Duke in their last meeting, the Cats still trail the Blue Devils in the poll. Freshman Lorena Ochoa occupies the nation’s top spot in the individual rankings after capturing three individual titles so far this season. Other UA golfers ranked in the poll include freshman Natalie Gulbis and junior Cristina Baena. Gulbis is ranked ninth in the latest edition of the poll. Gulbis won the second championship of her career at the Dr. Thompson Rainbow Invitational and has four top-10 finishes in just five scoring events this season. Baena stands at No. 21, she currently owns a stroke average of 75.00 and has three top-10 finishes. The Wildcats also occupy the No. 2 spot in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. Arizona’s freshmen duo of Ochoa and Gulbis hold the Nos.1 and 2 spots in the Sagarin index, respectively.

    Freshmen Hitting the (Record) Books: The Wildcats’ two freshmen combined to go 11 shots under par in round one of the Stanford/Pepsi Invitational. Ochoa shot a 66 (-6) and Gulbis, in her first round of collegiate golf ever, checked in with a 67 (-5), both rounds rank near the top on the all-time record list for Arizona freshmen. Marisa Baena shot a seven-under-par 65 in May 1996 for the lowest round ever by a Wildcat freshman and Annika Sorenstam carded a five-under 67 at the Stanford Invitational in October 1990 for the third-best round by a UA freshman.

    Ochoa’s Accolades: The personal honors have begun to pour in for Arizona freshman sensation Lorena Ochoa. Golf World magazine named Ochoa its Player of the Week for the week of Sept. 29, 2000. Ochoa was later honored by the College Golf Foundation as the Rolex College Golfer of the Month for September. The CGF again named Ochoa Golfer of the Month for November and February, becoming only the third golfer in the history of the award to be so honored.

    Princess Christina: Senior Christina Monteiro did not travel with the team the weekend of Nov. 10-12 to Estero, Fla. for the Match Play Championships in order to remain in Tucson for UA’s annual homecoming festivities. Monteiro was selected as the athletic department’s nominee for homecoming queen.

    Hello, Old Friend: UA squared off against Georgia in the first round of November’s Match Play Championships. The Georgia Bulldogs are coached by former Wildcat head coach Todd McCorkle. The Cats and McCorkle’s Bulldogs have compteted in three of the same tournaments since he left Tucson in late June.

    Fall Season Wrap-Up: The Wildcats completed a successful fall season by capturing two team titles and two individual titles. Four Arizona golfers garnered a total of nine top-10 finishes in just four scoring events. The Wildcats opened the fall with a second-place showing at the NCAA Fall Preview, shooting 598 and finishing just three strokes behind champion Duke. The following weekend saw the Wildcats earn their first title with an 892 at the Comcast/Dick McGuire Invitational. Freshman Lorena Ochoa won the individual title with a three-round score of 212 (-7). In October, Arizona won its second team championship of the year by shooting 873 at the Stanford/Pepsi Invitational. Arizona’s two freshmen, Ochoa and Natalie Gulbis, opened the tournament with rounds of 66 and 67. The Wildcats wrapped up the fall season with a sixth-place finish at the Golf World Invitational and a seventh-place finish at the CGF Match Play Championships. Ochoa again earned medalist honors at the Golf World Invitational. Junior Cristina Baena notched three top-10 finishes, including second place at the Comcast/Dick McGuire Invitational and third place at the NCAA Fall Preview. Arizona finished the fall season ranked No. 2 by the College Golf Foundation and had three golfers ranked individually in the top 15.

    2000 National Champions: The Wildcats topped off a dominant season in which they won nine tournaments by a combined total of 73 shots by capturing the 2000 National Championship in May. The title is the school’s second in the last five years. Arizona turned in one of the most dominating performances in the 19-year history of the national championship tournament. Second-place Stanford finished trailing Arizona by 21 strokes, the third-largest margin in NCAA Championship history. Three Wildcat golfers finished in the top 10 at the championships, held at Crosswater Course in Sunriver, Ore. Alumna Jenna Daniels took the individual title with a one-under par 287, sophomore Julia Kraschinski finished in second, and junior Cristina Baena tied for tenth.

    Wildcat Coaching Staff: Coach Greg Allen, who was hired in late July, comes 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. Allen graduated from Murray State University in 1993. Coach Allen is assisted by Amy Solfisburg who is in her eighth year with the Wildcat women’s golf program. Solfisburg attended the University of Arizona and is a native of Michigan.


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