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Women's golf ahead in finals of Northrop Grumman

February 10, 2009

The No. 1 ranked Arizona State women's golf team will enter the final day of the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge held at the par 71 5,912 Palos Verdes Golf Club. The Sun Devils finished round two 13 strokes ahead of second place USC. Led by junior Juliana Murcia, the Sun Devils moved even further ahead of the pack, carding a 31-over 599 (305-294) over the two days. The next closest team to the Sun Devils is USC, who finished day two with a 44-over 612.

Murcia, who began the tournament as the team's No. 4 player, remained in the lead. The junior shot par today, hitting three birdies to finish with 71 strokes. The only player whose two round total is under par, she finished the second day at 1-under 141 (70-71). Entering the final round, Murcia is six shots ahead of second place.

"July, my goodness, she's just playing with positive and patience," said seventh-year head coach Melissa Luellen. "This golf course requires a lot of patience."

After shooting a 1-over 72 during the second round, Carlota Ciganda currently stands in third. Over the two days, the freshman has carded 6-over 148 (76-72) to move up four spots from the previous day. Ciganda's fellow freshman, Giulia Molinaro had a solid day, shooting a 3-over 74 in the second round. She will enter the final round tied for 14th at 13-over 155 (81-74).

"It was a good finish, with Carlota hitting in birdies in two of the last three holes," said Luellen. "Giulia had a really solid back nine. She managed her emotions well and was a good fifth man for us today."

Jennifer Osborn finished round two at 15-over 157 (80-77). The senior is currently tied for 22nd. Jaclyn Sweeney had a rough outing and finished the day at 18-over 160 (79-81). She enters the final round tied for 39th.

"We know that even though we're leading by 13 shots, we have to really buckle down tomorrow," said Luellen on the team's philosophy going into the final day. "With the teams in the field, anything can happen, especially in course like this. We hope to come back with a team championship and an individual champion."

The Sun Devils look to close out the tournament with a win tomorrow. The team will tee off at 8 a.m.