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Women's golf fourth after start of NCAA Championships

May 20, 2008

The No. 4 Arizona State women's golf team got off to a solid start of their 17th consecutive NCAA Championships. The Sun Devils are in fourth place after shooting a 2-over 290 in the first round of the NCAA Women's Golf Championships held in Albuquerque, N.M., at the 6,424-yard, par-72 University of New Mexico Championship Golf Course.

The Sun Devils, who hold the nation's longest active streak of NCAA Championship appearance, are six strokes behind leader USC (4-under 284) and one stroke behind second place Auburn and UCLA. Going in as the No. 1 seed last season, the Sun Devils had finished day one tied for 16th at last season's NCAA Championships.

"The main goal of today was to play solid golf," said head coach Melissa Luellen. "It was really key for us to get past last year and get the monkey off our back."

Azahara Munoz finished the day tied for second at 3-under 69. The junior All-American recorded four birdies in the first round to lead the Sun Devils.

"It has been wonderful to see the continued display of talent from Aza," said Luellen, "She played great."

Sophomore Juliana Murcia and junior All-American Jennifer Osborn each shot a 1-over 73 to close out the first round tied for 73. Osborn carded an eagle on Hole 10.

Sophomore All-American Anna Nordqvist shot a 3-over 75 to finish the first round tied for 53rd. Liisa Kelo finished the day tied at 68th after carding a 4-over 76.

"Anna had a bit of an off day," said Luellen. "She would boogey one hole then birdie the next. We struggled a bit as a team on our par threes."

"The conditions were great and, looking ahead at the forecast, it seems to be the same way the entire week," said Luellen. "We just need to continue playing good, solid golf. Starting out with a great first round will help us."

The NCAA Championships will continue through Friday, May 23.