April 2, 2008
UCLA freshman Maria Jose Uribe will participate in the LPGA's first major championship this weekend, receiving an exemption as the reigning U.S. Women's Amateur champion.
Uribe, 18, will play in the 72-hole Kraft Nabisco Championship at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif. The course plays to a par of 72 and measures more than 6,700 yards.
"We're awfully proud that Maria will be representing UCLA at the Kraft Nabisco Championship," said UCLA Head Coach Carrie Forsyth. "While we'll miss her in the lineup this weekend, we couldn't be happier for her. She's earned it."
The top-ranked Bruins, coincidentally, will be playing at the PING/ASU Invitational in Tempe, Ariz. this weekend, but Uribe, ranked 13th among U.S. collegiate players, won't be in the lineup.
As a benefit to winning the U.S. Women's Amateur title last August, Uribe will receive exemptions this year into several top USGA Championships as well as the LPGA's remaining three major championships: the LPGA McDonald's Championship, U.S. Women's Open and the Women's British Open.
Her participation in the Nabisco Championship is not her first appearance as an amateur in LPGA events. She has played in the last two U.S. Women's Open Championships.
Uribe will be paired with Teresa Lu, a 20-year old professional international player. The twosome tees off at 8:09 a.m. Pacific Time, Thurs., Apr. 3.