April 5, 2002
TEMPE, Ariz. - Lorena Ochoa returned to action on the college level Friday and has her teammates just three shots out of the lead after one round of play at the Ping/ASU Invitational.
Ochoa, who is a perfect 6-for-6 in NCAA competition during the 2001-02 season, carded a 34-34=68 (-4) to take a two-stroke lead over a group of four golfers in her first collegiate competition since the Wildcat Invitational, Feb. 25-26. She has competed in three LPGA Tour events in that span, including an eighth-place finish at last week's Kraft Nabisco Championship in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Due to her efforts, Arizona tallied a 295 (+7) team total and is tied for eighth place. That total, however, is just three shots out of the lead in the 15-team field, as the top eight places are separated by those three strokes. The day could have been brighter for the Wildcats, as the team played the final four holes in a cumulative nine-over par. Texas, New Mexico and Stanford share the team lead at 292 (+4).
"Overall, I'm pleased with today's round," said UA head coach Greg Allen. "We left a lot of strokes out there, but this is a very scorable course and I feel like there are birdies out there for us tomorrow."
A native of Guadalajara, Mexico, Ochoa was one of just 16 golfers in the field of 85 to break par. It also marked her 15th collegiate round at par or better this season and her 10th round in the 60s. Highlighting Ochoa's round was a hole-in-one on the 12th hole. She notched the ace with a six iron from 155 yards.
A win in this event for Ochoa would be her seventh consecutive, a feat which is unprecedented in collegiate golf. It would also be Ochoa's 11th career win, which would tie her for third place on the all-time NCAA victories list with Nancy Lopez, who won 11 while at the University of Tulsa from 1975-77.
Also competing for the Wildcats was Laura Myerscough, who is tied for 17th place at 73 (+1), Cristina Baena, who is tied for 26th at 74 (+2), Miriam Kraschinski, who is tied for 70th at 80 (+8), and Anne Lee, who is tied for 81st at 84 (+12). Cathie Williamson, who also competed as an individual, is tied for 26th place at 74 (+2).
The 54-hole tournament continues through Sunday at Karsten Golf Course, a par 72, 6,122-yard layout.
Top 5 Teams Top 5 Individuals 1. Texas 292 (+4) 1. Lorena Ochoa, Arizona 34-34=68 (-4) New Mexico 292 (+4) 2. Stacy Prammanasudh, Tulsa 35-35=70 (-2) Stanford 292 (+4) Kailin Downs, New Mexico 35-35=70 (-2) 4. Arizona State 282 (+5) Vikki Laing, California 33-37=70 (-2) USC 293 (+5) Bianca Clark, Washington 33-37=70 (-2)
Arizona Finishers 1. Lorena Ochoa 34-34=68 (-4) T17. Laura Myerscough 36-37=73 (+1) T26. Cristina Baena 35-39=74 (+2) Cathie Williamson* 35-39=74 (+2) T70. Miriam Kraschinski 37-43=80 (+8) T81. Anne Lee 37-47=84 (+12)
* competed as an individual