Feb. 23, 2007
The seventh-ranked UCLA women's golf team prepares to play in the Arizona Wildcat Invitational, Feb. 26-27 at Arizona National GC.
Arizona National GC will play to a par of 71 over 6,238 yards.
"Our team is really looking forward to playing at Arizona this week," said Head Coach Carrie Forsyth. "The field is very strong this year, including Duke as well as many of the best teams in the country."
The 54-hole stroke play tournament features one of the strongest fields in the nation this year with 11 of the country's Top 20 teams competing. Two-time defending NCAA champion and third-ranked Duke highlights the field along with No.2 Arizona State, No.4 Pepperdine and fifth-ranked Vanderbilt.
The top players include defending individual medalist Jacqui Concolino of Vanderbilt, plus Duke's Jennie Lee and Amanda Blumenherst, Arizona's Alison Walshe and Arizona State's Jennifer Osborn -- all ranked in the Top 10 nationally.
"We are really looking forward to having a strong finish in Arizona, and are very motivated after our disappointing start at the Regional Challenge," Forsyth continued.
At the Regional Challenge last week, the Bruins finished 10th, their lowest result of the 2006-07 season. Their score of 69-over par 921 also was their highest score of the year. Other than senior Hannah Jun's Top 10 finish, no other player finished in the Top 30.
"I think our poor performance last week is something we can really use as motivation for the upcoming events," said Forsyth. "We are growing as a team, and trying to learn from our disappointments as well as from our successes."
In tying for eighth place at the Regional Challenge, Jun recorded her first Top 10 finish in 15 months, completing a comeback from a serious neck injury. She ranked second on the team with a scoring average of 73.6 and was ranked 42nd nationally by GolfWeek.
Sophomore Tiffany Joh tied for 34th place at the Regional Challenge, but fired a final round 70 (-2) to move up 20 spots on the leaderboard. She leads the team with a scoring average of 73.0 and was ranked 23rd nationally.
Freshman Sydnee Michaels was ranked 67th after tying for 41st place at the Regional Challenge. Her stroke average of 74.6 includes one Top 20 finish and two rounds under par.
Sophomore Ryann O'Toole improved the most since her freshman season. She dropped her scoring average three strokes (to 74.5) since last year and boasts three Top 20 finishes and three rounds under par.
Junior Maiya Tanaka played in her first collegiate tournament at the Regional Challenge. A year ago, Tanaka was a student at UCLA; now she is the fifth player on the nation's seventh ranked team. She tied for 51st place at the Regional Challenge to earn a spot on this weekend's travel squad.