Women's golf to host NCAA West Regional
Coming off their eighth Pac-10 team title, the No. 1 Arizona State women's golf team will stay in the Valley of the Sun to host the NCAA West Regional. The tournament will be held at the par-72, 6,230-yard Karsten Golf Course. The field features four of the nation's top five players. In order of seeding, the NCAA West Regional field includes No. 1 Arizona State, No. 3 USC, No. 10 LSU, No. 13 Pepperdine, No. 16 Arkansas, No. 17 San Jose State, No. 20 Arizona, No. 25 California, No. 35 UC Irvine, No. 32 San Francisco, No. 31 UNLV, No. 37 TCU, No. 39 Texas A&M, No. 36 Oregon, No. 48 Long Beach State, No. 47 Colorado, No. 40 Texas, No. 58 Baylor, No. 66 Oral Roberts, No. 107 Texas A&M Corpus Christi and No. 109 Northern Arizona. (Rankings by Golfweek) Individuals Miki Ueoka (Santa Clara), Chelsea Stelzmiller (UC Davis) and Alice Kim (UC Davis) will also be teeing off at Karsten. The Sun Devils will tee off at 9:50 a.m. PT. Live stats will be available on www.golfstat.com.
Leaders of the Pac-10
Setting the tone right for the post-season, the ASU women's golf team swept past the competition to win their eighth Pac-10 title by nine strokes. The Sun Devils were led by freshman Carlota Ciganda, who won her first collegiate title, and senior Jennifer Osborn. Ciganda made par on the hole 18 to defeat teammate Osborn and USC's Jennifer Song in a playoff and become ASU's ninth Pac-10 Medalist. In addition to Ciganda and Osborn, Azahara Munoz placed fifth while Juliana Murcia took 19th.
ASU Against the West Regional Field
ASU has competed against 12 of the teams in the NCAA West Regional. In head-to-head competition against those teams, ASU is 36-1-1. The Sun Devils are 5-1-1 against Pac-10 rival USC. Other teams the Sun Devils have competed against are LSU (ASU, 1-0), Pepperdine (4-0), Arkansas (3-0), Arizona (6-0), California (4-0), UNLV (1-0), Texas A&M (4-0), Oregon (2-0), Colorado (1-0), Texas (2-0) and Baylor (1-0).
At Last Year's NCAA West Regional
The Sun Devils placed second at last year's NCAA West Regional. ASU shot 6-over 870 (296-285-289) to finish second to eventual NCAA Champions USC. Munoz tied for third while Osborn placed eighth.
The five players in the Sun Devils lineup received Pac-10 All-Conference honors. Ciganda, Munoz and Murcia were each awarded First-Team honors while Osborn and Sweeney received Honorable Mention. This was Munoz's fourth time on the Pac-10 First-Team.
Playing With the Pros
Munoz competed as an amateur at the Kraft Nabisco Invitational held at the Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif. The 2008 NCAA Champion made the cut after the first two rounds and finished tied for 40th. Jennifer Johnson, a 2009 NLI signee, was also given an exemption to the Kraft Nabisco Invitational. As earning an amateur exemption, ASU freshman Carlota Ciganda competed at the J Golf Phoenix LPGA International. The Spaniard carded a 3-under 69 at the Amateur Qualifier to claim her spot at the prestigious event. She carded a 12-over 156 (77-79) before missing the cut.
Did You Know?
The last time the Sun Devils both won the Pac-10 team title and had the individual medalist was in 1995 when the Sun Devils went on to win the NCAA Championship.
Four Times On Top
The Sun Devils have won four tournaments this season. The team started the 2008-09 campaign with a win at the NCAA Fall Preview and ended the fall season by taking the team title at The Derby. The Sun Devils picked up where they left off in February when they won the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge. Recently the Sun Devils won their eighth Pac-10 Title.
After taking medalist honors at the Pac-10 Championship, freshman Carlota Ciganda solidified herself as not only Freshman of the Year possiblity but Player of the Year as well. Ciganda has placed in the top 10 in five tournaments this season, including four in the top 5.
All About Osborn
After a tough junior season, Jennifer Osborn has come on strong in her final year at ASU. The California girl made it to a playoff hole at the Pac-10 Championship and finished tied for second behind teammate Carlota Ciganda. The senior has finished in the top 20 five times this season including three top-10 performances. At the Wildcat, Osborn shot two rounds under par to jump up to seventh on the final day. Osborn recorded her third top-10 performance at the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational. Playing as an individual, Osborn reclaimed her spot in the lineup with a ninth place finish.
The Reign from Spain
Reigning NCAA Individual Champion Munoz comes back for more as she looks to cap her Sun Devil career in superior fashion. After resting for two tournament as she recovered from a minor wrist surgery, the senior has placed in the top 10 in all three tournaments competed in thus far this spring. Munoz, whose win at the NCAA Championships last season marked her first collegiate tournament victory, is currently ranked second in the Golf Stat Cup. Recently, Munoz placed fifth at the Pac-10 Championship.
Jaclyn Sweeney has placed in the top 10 in two tournaments this spring and likely could have placed in a third had she not been forced to withdraw from the PING/ASU Invitational due to extreme illness. After tying for sixth at the UCF Challenge, Sweeney carded a 4-over 220 (73-74-73) to tie for 10th at the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational. Sweeney earned first-team All-American honors from Golfweek.com last season while at Oklahoma State. Sweeney is healthy now and will take the fifth spot in the lineup for this week's NCAA Regional.
Murcia Shows No Mercy
After starting the Northrop Grumman as the team's No. 4 player, junior Juliana Murcia had the best tournament of her collegiate career and finished as the tournament medalist. Battling through rain, near freezing temperatures and 40 mph winds, the junior shot 1-over 214 (70-71-73) to help lead the Sun Devils to their third team title of the season. Murcia beat out teammate Carlota Ciganda for first by eight shots for her first collegiate tournament win. Aided by a career-low 5-under 67 in the first round, Murcia carded her second top 10 finish of the season with a seventh place finish at the Wildcat and was the Sun Devils top finisher at their home tournament coming in at sixth place.
Ciganda became the third Sun Devil golfer to be named Golfweek's Women's Player of the Week this season with her win at the Pac-10 Championship. Previously, the Sun Devils' stellar spring start was recognized by two national golf publications. Murcia was named Player of the Week by both Golfweek.com and Golf World. The team was also honored as Team of the Week by Golfweek.com. The team had previously been tabbed Team of the Week for their win at the NCAA Fall Preview in September and Anna Nordqvist was named Player of the Week for her win at The Derby.
The Sun Devils will head into the spring after a successful season. Sporting only five players on their roster, the team took home first place trophies in two tournaments. The Sun Devils won the NCAA Fall Preview, which features most of the nation's top teams, for the first time since 1994. After a fifth place finish at the Mason Randolph, the team decided to end the fall the way they started it, with a win. They did just that, capturing first place at The Derby.
The Sun Devils will await their selection for their 18th consecutive trip to NCAA Championships.