Women's golf journeys to Lone Star State
The No. 1 Arizona State women's golf team heads to the Lone Star State to compete at the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational in Austin, Texas. Held March 20-22, the tournament will take place at the par 72 6,324 yard University of Texas Golf Club. Teams competing include No. 9 Duke, No. 13 Vanderbilt, No. 14 Purdue, No. 20 Arizona, No. 22 Arkansas, No. 26 Notre Dame, No. 34 New Mexico, No. 35 Texas A&M, No. 42 UCF, No. 44 Furman, No. 46, South Carolina, NO. 61 Chattanooga, No. 55 Texas, No. 56 Tulsa, No. 57 Florida State and No. 66 Oklahoma.
The Sun Devils currently hold the top spot in both polls. The Sun Devils maintained their first place position in the Golfweek.com rankings and moved ahead of UCLA in the Golf World/NGCA poll.
Three Times On Top
Despite playing without their No. 1 and No. 2 players of the fall, the Sun Devils took home their third tournament championship of the season in Palos Verdes, Calif., earlier this year. Topping No. 2 UCLA and No. 3 USC on one of their local courses, the team shot a 46-over 898 (305-294-299) to win the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge.
ASU freshman Carlota Ciganda recently earned an exemption into 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. The tournament will take place at the Papago Golf Course, March 23-29.
Much Ado About Munoz
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 shot a 2-under 214 (72-69-73) to tie for 10th at the UCF Challenge. Munoz, whose win at the NCAA Championships last season marked her first collegiate tournament victory, entered the season ranked No. 2 in the Golf World/NGCA poll. The native of Malaga, Spain tied for second at The Derby Invitational, carding 5-under (shot par at the NCAA Fall Preview to tie for fourth.
Jaclyn Sweeney earned her first top 10 finish of the season by tying for sixth place at the UCF Challenge. The sophomore transfer used two days of shooting under par to finish 3-under 213 (71-70-72). Sweeney earned first-team All-American honors from Golfweek.com last season while at Oklahoma.
Settling in Just Fine
Carlota Ciganda has finished in the top three in her first two collegiate tournaments. The Spanish freshman tied for second in her ASU debut at the Northrop Grumman. Ciganda followed that performance up with a one-shot-out-of-first third place finish at the Wildcat.
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. Her round one score of 70 was a career-low for Murcia. 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.
All About Osborn
After a tough junior season, Jennifer Osborn has came on strong in her final year at ASU. The senior has finished in the top 20 three times this season including two top-10 performances. At the Wildcat, Osborn shot two rounds under par to jump up to seventh on the final day.
Making Her Way in the Lineup
Freshman Giulia Molinaro secured her place in the lineup for the Betsy Rawls after placing in the top 20 at the UCF Invitational. Playing as an individual, Molinaro carded an even 216 (77-68-71). Her score of 68 in the second round marks a career-low for the Italian.
Defending NCAA Champion Munoz recently accepted an invitation to compete in the Kraft Nabisco Invitational held at the Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Munoz will miss ASU's home tournament to compete in the LPGA event. Jennifer Johnson, a 2009 NLI signee, was also given an exemption to the Kraft Nabisco Invitational.
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 host the annual PING/ASU Invitational at the Karsten Golf Course, their home course. The tournament, which always features the finest teams in college golf, will be held April 3-5.