Six Sun Devils (past and present) to compete in Women's British Open
Six representatives of the Arizona State women's golf team will be competing this weekend at the Ricoh Women's British Open held at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club in Lancashire, England. Former Sun Devils Jimin Kang, Anna Nordqvist, Louise Stahle and Wendy Ward will be competing. Reigning Pac-10 Champion and All-American Carlota Ciganda and recent graduate and four-time All-American Azahara Munoz have each earned an amateur exemption. The tournament will begin July 30 and conclude August 2.
Ciganda put out one of the best freshman campaigns in Sun Devil history. The Spaniard finished second in the Golfweek rankings and third in the Golf Stat Cup. After winning the Pac-10 individual titles as well as claiming medalist honors at the West Regional, Ciganda helped lead her team to their seventh NCAA Championship in history and first in 11 years.
Munoz earned her exemption after besting teammate and compatriot Ciganda in the Ladies British Amateur earlier this summer. The recent graduate of ASU made the cut at the U.S. Open this past summer. Munoz finished her Sun Devil career as one of the school's finest scholar athletes. A four-time All-American, Munoz won the individual NCAA Championship her junior season before leading the ASU squad to the team title in her senior one.
Kang, who finished tied for 17th at the U.S. Open, was 2002 Pac-10 Champion while competing for the Sun Devils. She was a two-time All-American as an ASU player. In the LPGA, Kang crossed the million-dollar mark last season and has notched one top 10 finish this season.
Nordqvist, the 2007 NGCA freshman of the year, won four tournaments in her two and a half years at ASU. A two-time first-team All-American, the Swede was named Player of the Mid-Season just before turning professional her senior year. A rookie on the tour, Nordqvist won the first major she played in when she placed first at the McDonald's LPGA Championship.
Stahle, another Swede, was also an NGCA Freshman of the Year honoree for the Sun Devils. Stahle won three tournaments in her freshman season, including the 2005 Pac-10 Championship. Since turning professional, Stahle has recorded one top 10 finish, occurring this past year at the Sybase Classic in which she placed eighth.
Ward was one of the finest collegiate golfers in NCAA history. As a player, Ward led the Sun Devils to three consecutive NCAA Championships. A two-time winner of the prestigious Honda Award, Ward recorded 10 tournament wins during her days as a Sun Devil. She was recently inducted into the NGCA Hall of Fame. As a player in the LPGA, Ward has recorded a top-10 finish every season and has won four LPGA events.
Emilee Klein is the lone Sun Devil alum to win the British Open. Klein was victorious in 1996.