Sept. 13, 2007
The UCLA women's golf team, guided by Head Coach Carrie Forsyth, begins the 2007-08 season ranked among the nation's Top 5 teams before traveling to Tennessee to participate in the Mason Rudolph Championship at the Legends Club Ironhorse Course.
This year's field includes 15 teams ranked among the nation's Top 25 by GolfWeek, including top-ranked Duke, No.2 Arizona State, No. 3 USC and fourth-ranked UCLA. In the GolfWorld coaches poll, the Bruins are ranked third.
Forsyth is brimming with optimism and excitement regarding her team's prospects for the upcoming season.
"We're going into our first event very confident in our ability to win," she said. "The team is really sharp, and our scores [in qualifying] are the best I've ever seen. The Mason Rudolph Championship is a great event to start [the season] because it's one of the strongest fields we'll play all year."
This season, the Bruins return four players from the group that finished third at the 2007 NCAA Championship. The Bruins also add two freshmen expected to make an immediate impact to the roster. In addition, one other letterwinner returns, giving the Bruins five players with solid collegiate experience.
Highlighting the list of returnees is junior Tiffany Joh, a two-time All-American, who tied for 22nd at the LPGA Safeway Classic last month. She also won the Pac-10 title last season and placed fifth at the NCAA Championship.
"I would not be surprised to see Tiffany win multiple events this season," said Forsyth.
Junior Ryann O'Toole, recently voted team captain, earned All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention honors last season after improving her scoring average more than two strokes from 2006. She recorded a pair of Top 10 finishes and added six rounds under par as a sophomore.
Sophomore Sydnee Michaels won the 2007 NCAA East Regional, setting a UCLA 54-hole record of 203 (-13). As a freshman, 94% of her rounds counted in team scoring.
The Bruins' two freshmen -- Maria Jose Uribe and Glory Yang -- are experienced junior players. Uribe won the U.S. Women's Amateur last month by beating two-time player of the year Amanda Blumenherst of Duke. Yang advanced to the second round of the U.S. Women's Amateur Publinks Championship in June.
Junior Maiya Tanaka, who finished 20th at the 2007 Pac-10 Championship, will play as an individual this weekend.
"Not only is this squad loaded with talent, but there is a true bond of friendship and camaraderie among [the] players," said Forsyth, who guided the Bruins to the 2004 NCAA title. "It's fun to coach a team like this."
The Ironhorse Course plays to par of 72 over 6,217 yards. Format includes 54 holes of stroke play to determine team and individual champions. Last season, the Bruins finished third.