May 7, 2001
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Teeing Off: The second-ranked Arizona women's golf team continues postseason play as it travels to the NCAA West Regional, held at the Trysting Tree Golf Club in Corvallis, Ore. The Wildcats, the defending West Regional champions, enter this year's tournament as the No. 1 seed. Arizona has finished no lower than 2nd at the NCAA Regionals since 1995. Play begins Thursday and runs through Saturday. Twenty-one teams and two individuals will compete in the tournament.
Format: The teams will play a total of 54 holes, 18 each day. All three rounds begin at 7:30 a.m. PDT from the first and tenth tees. The final groups will begin play at 1:20 p.m. PDT each round.
What's Next: The top eight teams from each of the three Regionals and two individuals will advance to the NCAA Championships, which are scheduled for May 23-26 at the El Campeon Golf Course in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.
Trysting Tree Golf Club: The site of this year's West Regional is a par 72, 6,089 yard layout. Trysting Tree will also serve as host of the NCAA Men's West Regional May 17-19. Golfweek magazine rated the course the third best collegiate facility on the West Coast in 1998.
The Field: Of the 21 teams competing, seven are champions of their
respective conferences and seven are ranked in the top 25 of the latest
edition of the Collegiate Golf Foundation's MasterCard rankings, including
four of the nation's top-10. The regional will also feature eight Pac-10
Teams: Arizona (Pac-10 champ), Southern California, Stanford, Tennessee, Ohio State, Arizona State, UCLA, Michigan State (Big Ten champ), Washington, Furman (Southern Conference champ), Indiana, Oregon, Memphis (Conference USA champ), Missouri, Colorado State, Nevada, Oregon State, Brigham Young, Central Connecticut State (Northeast Conference champ), SW Missouri State (Missouri Valley Conference champ), Weber State (Big Sky Conference champ). Tash Brower of Washington State and Taya Battistella of Portland State will compete as individuals.
Golfer Yr. Avg. Top 10/20 Low Rd. Events Lorena Ochoa Fr. 71.52 8/0 66 9 Natalie Gulbis Fr. 72.42 5/1 67 8 Cristina Baena Jr. 75.13 3/1 70 9 Laura Myerscough So. 76.00 2/0 71 9 Anne Lee So. 76.22 0/1 72 7
Last Year at the NCAA West Regional: The Wildcats captured the title at last year's NCAA West Regionals, posting a team total of 12-over-par 876. The tournament was held at the Karsten Golf Course (par-72, 6,131 yards) in Tempe, Ariz. San Jose State came in second place, carding a 17-over-par 881. Arizona State's Miriam Nagl took home the individual title scoring a 7-under-par 209. UA's Christina Monteiro tied for sixth (1-over-par 217), while Julia Kraschinski tied for 10th (3-over-par 219). Jenna Daniels shot a 5-over-par 221 to tie for 15th. Junior Cristina Baena, the only golfer in this year's lineup who has competed in NCAA Regional play, tied for 34th at nine-over par.
Last Time Out at the Pac-10 Championships: The second-ranked Arizona women's golf team used a final round score of 287 to claim its second consecutive Pacific-10 Conference Championship at the par-72, 6,090 yard Karsten Golf Course. Wildcat freshman Lorena Ochoa outdeuled teammate and fellow freshman Natalie Gulbis in two sudden-death playoff holes for the individual title. Freshmen standouts Ochoa and Gulbis both finished the final round at three-under par 213 for the tournament. After both made par on the first playoff hole, Ochoa drained a 15-foot putt to make birdie on the second playoff hole to claim medalist honors. The Arizona freshmen also finished in first and second places at the TRW Regional Challenge in February, with Gulbis winning medalist honors. Gulbis finished the Pac-10 tournament with three rounds of one-under par 71. Also in the top-20 for Arizona was junior Cristina Baena, who shared 15th place at 223. She carded a final round of even-par 72 to earn her highest finish since October. Sophomores Laura Myerscough and Anne Lee finished in 29th and 31st places, respectively. Senior Christelle Cuzon, who competed as an individual, tied for 42nd.
Arizona All-Time in NCAA Regional Play: Since Regional play began in 1993, Arizona has finished in the top eight and advanced to the NCAA Championships every year but 1994. The Wildcats missed the 1994 NCAA Championship tournament after an11th-place finish in the Regionals that year. The 2000 season marked Arizona's third Regional championship. The Cats also took home Regional titles in 1996 and 1998 under then-head coach and current Arizona Director of Golf and men's head golf coach Rick LaRose. In the last five years, Arizona has finished no lower than second place at the NCAA Regionals.
Ochoa on the LPGA: Freshman Lorena Ochoa did not participate in the Dr. Thompson Rainbow Invitational with the Wildcats 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.
Wildcat Youngsters: Only one golfer in Arizona's lineup, Cristina Baena, has ever competed in NCAA Regional action. Baena tied for 19th place her freshman year and came away with a 34th place finish last year. The remaining four Wildcats will make their regional debut this weekend. Of the 148 individual rounds played by Arizona golfers this season, freshmen and sophomores have played 90 of them. The Wildcats fielded a lineup consisting of only underclassmen in winning the TRW Regional Challenge.
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 four individual titles so far this season, including the Pac-10 Championship. Other UA golfers ranked in the poll include freshman Natalie Gulbis and junior Cristina Baena. Gulbis is ranked sixth in the latest edition of the poll. Gulbis won the second championship of her career at the Dr. Thompson Rainbow Invitational and has five top-10 finishes in seven scoring events this season. Baena stands at No. 25, she currently owns a stroke average of 75.13 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 3 spots in the Sagarin index, respectively.
Kraschinski Out: Sophomore Julia Kraschinski is out of action in order to receive treatment for a painful degenerated disc that has hapered her since the end of last summer. Kraschinski missed the Wildcats' entire fall schedule because of the injury and competed in only two tournaments during the spring season. She will undergo a cutting edge procedure known as intradiscal electrothermy (IDET) treatment in order to improve stability in her back and decrease pain. As a freshman, Kraschinski competed in all 11 of the Wildcats' tournaments and finished with a stroke average of 74.88. She capped off her initial campaign with a runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships, trailing teammate Jenna Daniels by only three strokes. Arizona will seek a medical hardship year for Kraschinski following the completion of the season.
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.
Golfer Date Tournament Score Marisa Baena May 1996 NCAA West Regionals 65 (-7) Lorena Ochoa 10/20/2000 Stanford Invitational 66 (-6) Natalie Gulbis 10/20/2000 Stanford Invitational 67 (-5) Annika Sorenstam October 1990 Stanford Invitational 67 (-5)
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 Sun River, 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: In just his first year with the Arizona golf program, Greg Allen has led the team to five tournament championships, including the Pac-10 Conference Championship. His team has been ranked no lower than No. 2 in the country all year long. Last month, the Golf Coaches Association of America selected Allen to coach the United States team in the 2001 U.S.-Japan Collegiate Matches. 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.
Coach Allen's Thoughts: "Our goal all year long has been to be a team that plays well in the postseason. We are off to a good start by successfully defending our Pac-10 Championship. Now we're gearing up to defend at Regionals and then on to defending at nationals."
Cristina Baena: Junior 5-3 Pereira, Colombia (Canyon Del Oro H.S./Tucson) ~ Named honorable mention on the All Pac-10 Team... Tied for 15th at the Pac-10 Championships with a total of 223... Finished in a tie for 31st at the Wildcat Invitational... Tied for 9th place at the Stanford/Pepsi Invitational after shooting a three-round total of 219... Shot low round of the year with first-round 70 at the Stanford/Pepsi Invitational... Finished 2nd at the Comcast/Dick McGuire Invitational with a total of 219... Finished 3rd at the rain-shortened NCAA Fall Preview with a two-round score of 147... Began the season with three consecutive top-10 finishes... Opened the year ranked No. 2, but quickly rose to the top spot after fall play began.
Natalie Gulbis: Freshman 5-9 Citrus Heights, Calif. (Granite Bay H.S.) ~ Named to the All-Pac-10 First Team... Wrapped up play at the Pac-10 Championships tied with teammate Lorena Ochoa for first place at 213... Carded three rounds of one-under par 71... Fell to Ochoa after two sudden-death playoff holes... Won the second tournament championship of her career at the Dr. Thompson Rainbow Invitational in Hawaii... Fired rounds of 71, 71 and 74 to finish at even par... Shot three rounds of even par 72 at the Wildcat Invitational to finish in fifth place... Won the first tournament championship of her career at the TRW Regional Challenge in California in February... Fired rounds of 72, 69 and 73 to finish at two under-par in the TRW Regional Challenge... Won two matches in the CGF Match Play Championships... Defeated Reilley Rankin of Georgia, 2 up, and Lindsey Wright of Pepperdine, 5&4... Tied for 16th at the Golf World Invitational with a 220... Finished tied for fifth in her first collegiate tournament, the Stanford/Pepsi Invitational... Shot 67-73-77=217 at the Stanford/Pepsi Invitational... Her opening round 67 was the third best round ever by a UA freshman, even more impressive the record came in her first round of collegiate golf in her career... Debuted in the MasterCard Collegiate Golf rankings at No. 18, then quickly ascended to the top-10... Named Golf World Collegiate player of the week for the week of February 14-21.
Anne Lee: Sophomore 5-3 Northridge, Calif. (Notre Dame H.S.) ~ Honorable Mention on the All-Pac-10 team... Tied for 1st place at the Pac-10 Championships with a three-round total of 229... Earned her second top-20 finish of the year at the Dr. Thompson Rainbow Invitational, where she tied for 18th... Shot rounds of 74, 73 and 72 at the Wildcat Invitational where she finished tied for eighth, the highest finish of her career... Low round and low tournament scores both came at the Wildcat Invitational with her third round of 72 and total of 219... Tied for 37th place at the TRW Regional Challenge in February... Won one match in the CGF Match Play Championships, defeating Kate Waggoner of Pepperdine, 4&3... Competed as an individual at the Stanford/Pepsi Intercollegiate where she tied for 45th at 232.
Laura Myerscough :Sophomore 5-7 Charleston, Ill. (Charleston H.S.) ~ Honorable Mention on the All-Pac-10 team... Finished in a tie for 29th place at the Pac-10 Championships... Earned highest finish of her career with a fifth-place showing at the Dr. Thompson Rainbow Invitational... Carded rounds of 75, 71 and 76 to finish at 222... Tied for 29th place at the Wildcat Invitational with a three-round score of 233, including a second-round 73... Shot 227 at the TRW Regional Challenge to tie for 21st... Won two matches at the CGF Match Play Championships... Defeated Diana Ramage of Auburn, 3&2, and Dominique Bleichenbacher of Pepperdine, 2&1... Finished tied for 54th at the Stanford/Pepsi Invitational with a total of 235... Earned a sixth-place showing at the Comcast/Dick McGuire Invitational... Shot 224, which included the low round of her UA career, an opening round 71... Tied for 22nd at the NCAA Fall Preview with rounds of 74 and 78 in the rain-shortened event.
Lorena Ochoa: Freshman 5-7 Guadalajara, Mexico (Torreblanca H.S.) ~ Named Pac-10 Freshman/Newcomer of the Year... Also named to the All-Pac-10 Conference First Team... Won the Pac-10 Conference Championship in a playoff after carding a score of 213... Defeated teammate and fellow freshman Natalie Gulbis after two sudden death playoff holes at the Pac-10 Championships... Tied for 3rd at the PING/ASU Invitational with a three-day total of 218... Missed action at the Dr. Thompson Rainbow Invitational because she had just wrapped up play in the LPGA's Nabsico Championship... Competed as an amateur in the Nabisco Championship, one of the LPGA's major tournaments... Finished in a tie for 21st place with a 290 (+2) at the Nabisco Championship, high amateur finish at the event... Tied for seventh place in the Welch's/Circle K Championship, the LPGA event held in Tucson... Her 12 under-par 276 seventh place finish at the Welch's/Circle K was the highest finish by an amateur in the event.. Named Rolex College Golfer of the Month for February, becoming only the third golfer to win the honor three times in one season... Joins Tiger Woods and UA alumna Jenna Daniels as the only golfers to be so honored... Won medalist honors at the Wildcat Invitational with a total of 213, including rounds of 72, 71 and 70... Defeated Candy Hannemann of Duke in the first playoff hole at the Wildcat Invitational... Finished 2nd behind teammate Natalie Gulbis at the TRW Regional Challenge... Named Rolex College Golfer of the Month for November... Won second tournament of career at Golf World Invitational in November with career best 211... Defeated Katherine Hull of Pepperdine in a one-hole playoff for the Golf World Invitational championship... Named Rolex College Golfer of the Month for September... Finished 2nd at the Stanford/Pepsi Invitational... Shot opening-round 66 at the Stanford/Pepsi Invitational... 66 at the Stanford/Pepsi Invitational was the second-best round ever by a UA freshman... Named Golf World magazine Player of the Week for the week of Sept. 29... Earned first tournament championship of career at the Comcast/Dick McGuire Invitational in her second ever collegiate tournament... Opened UA career with a ninth-place showing at the NCAA Fall Preview... Shot one over-par in her first round of collegiate golf.
NCAA FALL PREVIEW - 2nd Place
Sept. 15-17, Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.:
The Wildcats came away with a second place finish at the NCAA Fall Preview in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. after battling extremely hot and humid conditions on day one and then facing heavy rains on day two. The third round of the tournament was cancelled due to the threat of Hurricane Gordon. Arizona's 14-over-par 598 left them three shots back of tournament champion Duke. The Wildcats were led individually by junior Cristina Baena who placed third with a one-over-par 147, just one stroke behind co-champions Marta Prieto and Maria Beautell both of Wake Forest. Two Arizona freshmen made their collegiate debuts at the NCAA Preview. Lorena Ochoa finished tied for ninth at 149, three shots over par. Nancy Abiecunas shot a 13-over, 159 to finish tied at 63rd. Christina Monteiro, Arizona's lone competing senior, finished tied for 15th at 150, four shots over. Finally, Laura Myerscough in her first collegiate competition since Feb. `99 shot a six-over 152 to claim a tie for 22nd. The Wildcats shot the low score each day, with Cristina Baena's 71 on day one and Christina Monteiro's 70 on day two.
COMCAST/DICK MCGUIRE INVITATIONAL - 1st Place
Sept. 21-23, Albuquerque, N.M.:
With a dominating performance from freshman Lorena Ochoa in just her second collegiate tournament, the Arizona Wildcats earned their first tournament championship at the Comcast/Dick McGuire Invitational. The team shot a combined 892 (+16), five strokes ahead of second-place Tulsa. Arizona jumped out to an early lead with a first round total of 291 (-1). The Wildcats then shot rounds of 299 and 302 to finish the tournament at sixteen-over-par. Individually, Lorena Ochoa led the way. She shot a three-round total of 212, seven strokes under par to claim the first championship of her young collegiate career. Ochoa set or tied a number of records at the University of New Mexico Championship Course, including tying the 54-hole individual record held by former Wildcat Marisa Baena. Not to be overshadowed by Ochoa's dominant performance, junior Cristina Baena turned in an outstanding weekend of play. She finished in second place at even-par, seven strokes behind teammate Ochoa. Sophomore Laura Myerscough carded a five-over par 224 to come in tied for sixth place. Senior Christina Monteiro tied for 56th-place at 238, while freshman Nancy Abiecunas tied for 62nd-place at 239. Senior Christelle Cuzon competed as an individual for the Wildcats and completed action tied for 27th with an 18-over-par 230, including a second round score of 74.
STANFORD/PEPSI INVITATIONAL - 1st Place
Oct. 20-22, Palo Alto, Calif.:
The Wildcats raced to a 15-shot lead after one round of the Stanford/Pepsi Invitational, then held on to come away with their second tournament title of the season. Individually, three Arizona golfers finished in the top 10. The Wildcats' freshmen duo of Lorena Ochoa and Natalie Gulbis shot a combined eleven strokes under par in the first round. Ochoa's 66 was the second-lowest round ever by Arizona freshman, while Gulbis' 67 was good for the third best round ever by a Wildcat freshman. Ochoa finished competition in second place with a three-under par 213, three strokes back of individual champion Stacy Prammanasudh of Tulsa. Gulbis tied for fifth after closing the tournament with rounds of 73 and 77 for a one-over-par total of 217. Junior Cristina Baena, the nation's top-ranked individual, earned a tie for ninth place with her five-over-par 221. Also scoring for the Wildcats were senior Christina Monteiro, 78-78-82=232 (+11), and sophomore Laura Myerscough, 80-73-82=235 (+19). Sophomore Anne Lee competed as an individual and finished in a tie for 54th with a 16-over-par 232. The tournament victory was Arizona's second of the young season.
GOLF WORLD INVITATIONAL - 6th Place
Nov. 3-5, Hilton Head Island, S.C.:
Arizona simply didn't have it, as coach Greg Allen put it. The Wildcats finished sixth at the Golf World Invitational, shooting 888 as a team. Freshman Lorena Ochoa continued her outstanding first year, winning the tournament in a one-hole playoff with Katherine Hull of Pepperdine. The win was Ochoa's second of the season and her career. Freshman Natalie Gulbis earned her second top-20 finish in as many events, she wrapped up action tied for 16th with a four-over-par 220. Junior Cristina Baena, ranked No. 3 in the country at the time, tied for 40th by shooting rounds of 74, 72 and 74. Seniors Christelle Cuzon and Christina Monteiro also participated for the Wildcats, finishing tied for 36th and 60th, respectively. The tournament marked Arizona's lowest finish of the season, thus far. Additionally, it was the first time since Sept. 26-28, 1997, that the Arizona women's golf team has finished a tournament out of the top five.
ROLEX MATCH PLAY TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS - 7th Place
Nov. 10-12, Estero, Fla.:
After a dropping its first two matches of the tournament to Georgia and Auburn, Arizona rebounded and salvaged a 7th place finish with its final round victory over Pepperdine by a score of 4-1. The opening round featured a match-up with former Wildcat head coach Todd McCorkle and his Georgia Bulldogs. Freshman Natalie Gulbis was the only Arizona golfer to win her match, defeating Reilley Rankin, 3-2. The second round saw the Wildcats fall to Auburn, 4-1. Sophomore Laura Myerscough defeated Diana Ramage, 3&2, for Arizona's only point. In the seventh-place match, the Wildcats knocked off Pepperdine with a final tally of 4-1. Gulbis and sophomore Anne Lee registered big wins, scoring 5&4 and 4&3 victories respectively.
TRW Regional Challenge - 1st Place
Feb. 12-14, Palos Verdes, Calif.:
The Arizona Wildcats women's golf team battled a number of obstacles, but overcame them all as it took home its third tournament championship of the season by winning the TRW Regional Challenge in Palos Verdes, Calif. with a score of 834 (+32). The Wildcats finished 11 strokes ahead of second-place New Mexico State. Arizona freshman Natalie Gulbis took home the individual crown with a three-day-total of 214 (+1).
In addition to a field that featured 15 ranked teams, a Wildcat lineup consisting of only freshmen and sophomores fought through cold and rainy weather. Furthermore, the Regional Challenge served as the first tournament for sophomore Julia Kraschinski since the 2000 NCAA Championships. She had been out of action due to serious disc problems in her back. The cold weather eventually took its toll on last year's NCAA runner-up as head coach Greg Allen withheld Kraschinski from competing in the final round as a precaution.
Individually, Gulbis earned the first tournament championship of her career by shooting rounds of 72, 69 and 73 to close the tournament at one-over-par 214. Teammate Lorena Ochoa continued her wildly successful freshman campaign by finishing in second place, just two strokes back of Gulbis at three-over-par 216.
Also scoring for Arizona were sophomores Laura Myerscough and Anne Lee. Myerscough carded a three-round total of 227 (+14) to finish tied for 21st, while Lee shot 231 to finish tied for 37th at 18-over-par.
Wildcat Invitational - 1st Place
Feb. 19-21, Tucson, Ariz.:
The second-ranked Arizona women's golf team claimed the championship at its lone home tournament, the Wildcat Invitational held at The Raven Golf Club at Sabino Springs., by shooting a team total of 875. Arizona out-dueled No. 1 Duke and No. 5 Stanford to earn the title. Head coach Greg Allen's squad held a four-stroke lead entering Wednesday's final round, but still needed a strong performance down the stretch to claim the title. With only nine holes remaining, the Wildcats were three shots back of the top-ranked Blue Devils. However, Arizona shot four-under-par as a team on the final nine holes to surge ahead of Duke as it combined to shoot 12-over-par on the back nine.
Leading the late charge for Arizona was stellar freshman Lorena Ochoa, who earned medalist honors for the third time in her young career. Ochoa completed the tournament with a total of 213 (-3).
Ochoa, like the entire Arizona team, needed a late push down the stretch to position herself in first place. With only 13 holes to play, the freshman from Guadalajara, Mexico trailed Duke's Candy Hannemann by six strokes. Ochoa tied Hannemann and won the individual title in a sudden-death playoff with a birdie on the first extra hole.
Also playing a large part in the Wildcats' success was Arizona's other standout freshman Natalie Gulbis. Named Golf World Collegiate Player of the Week on Feb. 21, Gulbis finished in fifth place with a three-day total of 216 (E). Sophomore Anne Lee finished the tournament tied for eighth place with a three-round total of 219 (+3). Lee's previous high finish was a tie for 26th place at last year's Pac-10 Conference Championships. Arizona junior Cristina Baena tied for 31st place at 13-over-par 229, while sophomore Laura Myerscough tied for 52nd place with a tournament total of 233 (+17).
Dr. Thompson Rainbow Invitational - 2nd Place
March 27-29, Honolulu, Hawaii:
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). Gulbis, a native of Sacramento, Calif., also won medalist honors at the TRW Regional Challenge in February.
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 with a three-round total of 231, while sophomore Julia Kraschinski finished in 61st place with a total of 243.
v 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 tied for 21st at the Nabisco with a score of 290 (+2).
PING/ASU INVITATIONAL - 4th Place
April 6-8, Tempe, Ariz.:
The Arizona women's golf team posted a team-total 896 to finish in a tie for fourth place at the PING/ASU Invitational. Entering the final round with a three-stroke lead, the Wildcats posted a team total of 299 (+11) and fell into a fourth-place tie at 896 with Stanford. No UA player shot better than 73 in the final round.
USC won the event with a three-round total of 889, four strokes in front of tournament-host Arizona State. TCU finished third at 895.
Freshman Lorena Ochoa was Arizona's top golfer, finishing in a tie for third place at 218 (+2). Ochoa, who held a one-shot lead heading into the final round, posted a 75 and finished two strokes off the pace of Stanford's Stepahanie Keever, who carded a final-round 69 to finish at 216 (E).
Also competing for Arizona was Natalie Gulbis, who finished tied for 22nd place at 225 (+9), Laura Myerscough, who finished tied for 35th at 227 (+11), Christina Baena, who finished tied for 44th at 230 (+14) and Anne Lee, who finished tied for 49rd place at 232 (+16).
Two Wildcat golfers also competed as individuals in the event. Christelle Cuzon finished tied for 44th place at 230 (+14) and Christina Monteiro finished in 81st place at 249 (+33).