April 3, 2008
The top-ranked UCLA women's golf team travels to the PING/ASU Invitational, Apr. 4-6 at the Karsten Course in Tempe, Ariz.
The Karsten Course will play to a par of 72 over 6,230 yards.
The Bruins, who have won three times this season, are looking for their first team title since February when they won the Regional Challenge. UCLA last won the PING/ASU event in 2006. In fact, the Bruins won at Karsten three times from 2004-06 before finishing second last season.
"We're looking forward to some exciting golf this week," said Head Coach Carrie Forsyth. "We've played well at ASU in the past and we'll be up for the challenge this weekend.
"While we'll miss freshman Maria Jose Uribe in our lineup, [junior] Maya Tanaka will have an opportunity to perform," Forsyth continued.
As the defending U.S. Women's Amateur champion, Uribe received an exemption to play in the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Mission Hills Country Club this weekend.
Last season, Tanaka played in six of the seven Spring events and tied for 44th at the ASU/PING tournament. She posted a final round 73 (+1) on the Karsten Course, her best score of the year to that point. This season, Tanaka has played in three events, tying for 19th place in Hawaii, her best career finish.
Joh, Yang and Michaels began the week ranked among the nation's Top 20 players. Joh, ranked third nationally, leads the team in scoring average (71.9), Top 10 finishes (6), rounds under par (10) and rounds under 70 (3). In November, she won the Kent Youel Invitational (tying with Uribe).
Yang, ranked 12th, boasts a scoring average of 73.1 with six Top 20 results and six rounds under par. Michaels ranks 18th and has a scoring average of 73.5 with five Top 20 finishes.
In addition, the Bruins will be seeking to solidify their perch atop the regional rankings with a strong result in Tempe. This will enable them to remain in the West for the NCAA Regional Championship, May 8-10 at Lincoln Hills GC in Lincoln, CA.
"The team understands that everyone needs to step up and play well," said Forsyth. "It's going to be a challenge, but one we're looking forward to taking on."
Since 1993, the Bruins have traveled out of the West Region once, last year, and they finished third in the East Regional.