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Women's golf opens up the season at the Dale McNamara Invitational

September 12, 2011

Ranked eighth in the Golf World/NGCA preseason coaches' poll, the Arizona State Sun Devils open the season in a familiar setting for ninth-year head coach Melissa Luellen. ASU will tee off its fall campaign at the 2011 Dale McNamara Invitational hosted by the University of Tulsa.

The Dale McNamara Invitational is named for the NGCA Hall of Fame women's golf coach who pioneered the women's golf program at Tulsa and won NCAA championships in both 1982 and 1988, but to Luellen, she is also mom.

"It's such an honor to have a tournament to be named after [McNamara], my mom," said Luellen. "She'll get to be the shinning star."

McNamara, who paved the way for collegiate women's golf and its incorporation as an NCAA varsity sport, also coached Luellen when she was a college golfer at Tulsa. Under her mother's direction, Luellen won both the NCAA team and individual titles in 1988 for the Golden Hurricane.

"Hopefully these young players will appreciate what people like my mom have done," said Luellen. "That her work helped enable them to be where they are now."

The second-annual Dale McNamara Invitational is a 54-hole format played over the course of three days, Sept. 12-14. The tournament, hosted by the Tulsa Golden Hurricane will be held at the 6,626-yard, par-72 Patriot Golf Club.

The field for the tournament features: Arizona State, Arkansas State, Arkansas-Little Rock, UCF, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Longwood, Middle Tennessee State, Missouri, Northwestern, Oklahoma State, Oral Roberts, Southern Miss, and Tulsa.

Competing in the line-up for Arizona State will be senior Giulia Molinaro, sophomore Daniela Ordonez, freshman Noemi Jimenez, sophomore Justine Lee and sophomore Brittany McKee.

"After our first qualifying, I felt confident from one to six, said Luellen. "It was very competitive. I think they all gained a little confidence in each other. Everyone obviously worked hard over the summer and they're ready to play. "

Live results for the Dale McNamara Invitational will be available at

With the Sun Devils competing against McNamara's own Tulsa Golden Hurricane, Luellen is still unsure which team her mother is going to cheer for.

"My mom loves the girls on the [ASU] team but is she going to pull for ASU or is she going to pull for Tulsa?," asks Luellen. "I think she'll cheer for good golf."