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Women's golf battles weather to lead at Wildcat Invitational

February 22, 2010

The No. 1 Arizona State women's golf shrugged off a cold, rainy and windy day in Tucson, Ariz., and finished round one of the Wildcat Invitational on top of the leaderboard. The Sun Devils carded a 6-over 290 on the par-71, 6,166-yard Arizona National Golf Club to finish three shots ahead of Stanford and four shots ahead of host Arizona. Taylor Karle of Pepperdine is the individual leader with 3-under 68. Weather caused the second round to be cancelled, making the tournament 36 holes as opposed to 54. The teams will tee off in a shotgun start tomorrow beginning at 8 a.m.

"This is the day that most people would like to be by fireplace, drinking a cup of coffee," said eighth year head coach Melissa Luellen. "The Sun Devils were out battling the elements and leading the tournament. We battled hard and played great."

Three Sun Devils finished the round in the top 10. Carlota Ciganda rebounded from a tough Northrop Grumman tournament to finish the round tied for fourth. The sophomore All-American shot an even 71. Jaclyn Sweeney also put fourth a strong round, carding 1-over 72 to tie for sixth place. Freshman Jennifer Johnson returned to form as she fired off a 2-over 73 in the first round and is tied for 10th.

Juliana Murcia finished the first round tied for 13th after carding 3-over 74. Giulia Molinaro, who had a stellar tournament in Palos Verdes, struggled in the opening round finishing 12-over 83. The Sun Devils also traveled Larissa Eruera as an individual. After opening the front nine strong, she struggled on the back nine and finished 8-over 79.

The team will finish the tournament Tuesday. They are paired with Stanford and Arizona.