ASU women's golf heads south of the border
GALLERY from the Sun Devils win at the Northorp Grumman
Coming off a convincing win at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge, the No. 1 Arizona State golf team heads South of the Border to compete in the Wildcat Invitational held at the par 72 6,146 yard Peninsula Golf Club. The Wildcat, which moved from Tucson to Puerto Penasco, will begin Sunday Feb. 22 and conclude Tues. Feb 24. Teams competing include No. 24 Arizona, No. 19 California, No. 13 Denver, No. 8 Duke, No. 37 New Mexico, New Mexico State, No. 6 Oklahoma State, No. 14 Pepperdine, No. 20 Stanford, No. 41 Tennessee, No. 40 Tennessee-Chattanooga, Tulsa, Tulane, No. 3 UCLA, No. 38 UNLV, No. 2 USC and No. 33 Washington. Last season the Sun Devils finished fifth at the Wildcat. Azahara Munoz led the team tying for eighth. The Sun Devils won the Wildcat Invitational in 2006 and 2007.
The Sun Devils are currently ranked No. 1 by Golfweek and No. 2 by Golfworld/NGCA. Senior leader and reigning NCAA Champion Azahara MunozJuliana Murcia moved to No.16 after winning her first collegiate tournament.
finished the fall season ranked third, where she currently stands despite not competing in the Northrop Grumman.
Despite playing without their No. 1 and No. 2 players of the fall, the Sun Devils took home their third tournament championship of the season. Topping No. 2 UCLA and No. 3 USC on one of their local courses, the team shot a 46-over 898 (305-294-299) to win.
Murcia Shows No Mercy
After starting the Northrop Grumman as the team's No. 4 player, junior Juliana Murcia had the best tournament of her collegiate career and finished as the tournament medalist. Battling through rain, near freezing temperatures and 40 mph winds, the junior shot 1-over 214 (70-71-73) to help lead the Sun Devils to their third team title of the season. Her round one score of 70 was a career-low for Murcia. Murcia beat out teammate Carlota Ciganda for first by eight shots for her first collegiate tournament win.
The Sun Devils' stellar spring start was recognized by two national golf publications. Murcia was named Player of the Week by both Golfweek.com and Golf World. The team was also honored as Team of the Week by Golfweek.com. The team had previously been tabbed Team of the Week for their win at the NCAA Fall Preview in September and Anna Nordqvist was named Player of the Week for her win at The Derby.
The Sun Devils will head into the spring after a successful season. Sporting only five players on their roster, the team took home first place trophies in two tournaments. The Sun Devils won the NCAA Fall Preview, which features most of the nation's top teams, for the first time since 1994. After a fifth place finish at the Mason Randolph, the team decided to end the fall the way they started it, with a win. They did just that, capturing first place at The Derby.
The Sun Devils will be without the services of 2008 NCAA Champion Azahara Munoz for the second straight tournament. Munoz is currently recovering from an operation to remove a ganglion cyst. She is expected to be back in action for the UCF Challenge.
Settling In Just Fine
The team's spring roster features three new players, freshmen Carlota Ciganda and Giulia Molinaro and transfer Jaclyn Sweeney. These three have had no problems adjusting to ASU as all three have made the lineup for the past two tournaments. Ciganda, one of the top European amateurs, was runner-up at the Northrop Grumman while Sweeney also placed in top 20 at 16th. Molinaro shot a 74 in the second round and finished tied for 34th.
Much Ado About Munoz
Reigning NCAA Individual Champion Munoz comes back for more as she looks to cap her Sun Devil career in superior fashion. Munoz, whose win at the NCAA Championships last season marked her first collegiate tournament victory, entered the season ranked No. 2 in the Golf World/NGCA poll. The native of Malaga, Spain tied for second at The Derby Invitational, carding 5-under (shot par at the NCAA Fall Preview to tie for fourth.
The Sun Devils will head to Orlando to compete in the UCF Challenge March 8-10.