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Azahara Munoz claims individual NCAA Championship

May 23, 2008

Arizona State junior golfer Azahara Munoz made her first career tournament win an important one as she shot a 1-under 287 (69-72-73-73) to claim the NCAA individual championship at the 6,424-yard, par-72 University of New Mexico Championship Golf Course on May 23. Munoz defeated UCLA's Tiffany Joh in a tie-breaker to be declared winner.

Munoz is ASU's first individual champion since Grace Park in 1999 and ninth overall. Other previous winners include Kristel Mourgue d'Algue (1995), Emilee Klein (1994), Danielle Ammaccapane (1985), Cathy Gaughan (1970), Jane Bastanchury-Booth (1969), Carol Sorenson (1962) and Joanne Gunderson-Carner (1960). Munoz is sixth-year head coach Melissa Luellen's first individual champion.

Munoz was named Golf World's Best Player You've Maybe Never Heard Of this past December, as well as being named a Mid-Season All-American. She has now recorded 13 top-five appearances in her career at ASU. The Malaga, Spain native had previously been named an NGCA second-team All-American in her first two seasons as a Sun Devil. This is her 10th top-10 finish this season. Munoz recorded a 71.97 stroke average. At last season's NCAA Championships, Munoz finished 65th.

The team placed fifth overall. The Sun Devils shot a 37-over 1189 (290-301-301-297) over the four day tournament. The tournament proved to be an interesting one as inclement weather delayed play numerous times. Luellen has now led the team to four top-10 national finishes. USC won the tournament, shooting a 16-over 1168.

Sophomore All-American Anna Nordqvist shot a 3-over 291 (75-73-72-71) to tie for fifth overall. Nordqvist shot a 1-under 71 in the final round. Her fifth place finish is her ninth top-10 finish of the season. The Sun Devils were the lone team in the tournament to have two players finish in the top-five.

Juliana Murcia was the third lowest-scoring Sun Devil. The sophomore finished the tournament at 16-over 304 (73-79-75-77) to tie for 54th overall. Jennifer Osborn shot a 24-over 312 (73-77-86-76) to tie for 89th overall while Liisa Kelo recorded a 32-over 320 (76-84-81-79).

Arizona State Women's Golf Individual National Champions:
2008- Azahara Munoz
1999-Grace Park
1995-Kristel Mourgue d'Algue
1994-Emilee Klein
1985-Danielle Ammaccapane
1970-Cathy Gaughan
1969-Jane Bastanchury-Booth
1962-Carol Sorenson
1960-Joanne Gunderson-Carner