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Women's golf finishes second at UCF Challenge

March 10, 2009

The No. 1 Arizona State women's golf team was unable to hold onto their lead at the UCF Invitational. The Sun Devils placed second behind No. 2 UCLA. The team shot a 7-under 857 (284-284-289) at the RedTail Golf Club in Sorrento, Fla. They were seven shots behind UCLA. The Sun Devils second-place finish marks their sixth top five finish of the season.

"We played pretty solid," said seventh year head coach Melissa Luellen. "We shot a 1-over par on the final day and on this course you need to shoot under par to win. The difference was UCLA had a girl that shot a 66 today and our lowest score was par."

Two Sun Devils placed in the top 10. Transfer Jaclyn Sweeney earned her first top 10 finish of the year. The sophomore carded a 3-under 213 (71-70-72) over the three rounds to tie for sixth overall.

"Jackie had a wonderful tournament," said Luellen. "It's great to see someone else emerge as the top finisher. It's been a fight all season for who is number one on the lineup and who is in the top five."

In her first tournament back from wrist surgery, Azahara Munoz tied for 10th. Munoz shot a 2-under 214 (72-69-73) for her second top 10 finish of the season.

Carlota Ciganda shot even par for the second straight day and finished 1-under 215 (71-72-72). The freshman tied for 14th. Juliana Murcia placed in the top 25. Murcia finished 2-over 218 (70-76-72) and tied for 23rd. Jennifer Osborn carded a 12-over 228 (82-73-73) to tie for 68th overall.

Giulia Molinaro continued her steady play into the final round. The freshman carded a 1-under 71 in the final round to place in the top 20 for the first time this season. Molinaro tied for 19th after shooting an even 216 (77-68-71) over the three rounds. Unfortunately for the Devils, Molinaro's score did not count in the team total as she was playing as an individual.

"Giulia played great," said Luellen. "With her top 20 finish she earned an exemption from qualifying and will be ready for Texas."

The Sun Devils head to the Lone Star State to compete in the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational. The tournament, held at the University of Texas Golf Club, starts March 20 and concludes March 22.

"At this point in the season I think it's better to be the hunter than the hunted," said Luellen. "It keeps us hungry."