May 20, 2008
The second-ranked UCLA women's golf team begins its quest for a third NCAA championship this week, starting with a 11:30 a.m. (PDT) tee time today. The 27th NCAA Women's Golf Championship will be played at the University of New Mexico's Championship Course, which will play to a par of 72 over 6,424 yards.
New Mexico last hosted the women's championship in 1987 and UCLA finished 16th. In the Fall Preview in September, the Bruins finished third at this site with a score of 870 (-6).
In nine seasons under Coach Carrie Forsyth, the Bruins have made eight appearances in the NCAA Championship. In 2004, UCLA won its second NCAA women's golf championship and its first under Forsyth. The Bruins also boast two other podium finishes and two fifth-place results. Last season, UCLA placed third.
Under Forsyth, the Bruins have won 25 tournaments, including four NCAA Regional championships and three conference titles. In the regional tournament, the Bruins boast seven consecutive podium finishes. In 2004, they won the collegiate trifecta of the Pac-10, regional and NCAA titles.
Since the 1999-2000 season, nine different UCLA players have won 15 tournaments. The Bruins have produced three regional medalists and a pair of conference champions.
In addition, Forsyth has tutored three Pac-10 Newcomers of the Year and two conference golfers of the year, including junior Tiffany Joh in 2008. Seventeen different UCLA players have earned spots on various All-Pac-10 teams, including seven first-team selections.
In 2007-08, the Bruins have been ranked among the nation's Top 5 teams all season, including No.1 in the National Golf Coaches Assn. poll on Apr. 9. The Bruins have won four tournaments, including last week's NCAA Central Regional, and have recorded five other podium finishes. In 10 tournaments, UCLA has finished no worse than sixth.
Individually, freshman Maria Jose Uribe, the defending U.S. Women's Amateur champion, has tied for first at two tournaments; and at the Kent Youel Invitational she tied for medalist honors with Joh. Currently ranked third nationally, Joh is on pace to set a school record for single season scoring average. Joh, Uribe and freshman Glory Yang have each been ranked among the nation's Top 20 players all season. Sophomore Sydnee Michaels, the 2007 NCAA East Regional medalist, began the season with 25 consecutive counters. Junior Maiya Tanaka was a UCLA student for two years before Forsyth recruited her out of the student body to join the team in the Fall of 2006. Last week's T10 result was the best of her collegiate career (37 career rounds).
"Winning the regional championship was a big confidence-builder for our team," said Forsyth. "Not only did it give us some momentum, but we now know that we can win on a tough course.
"Maria played extremely well last week, and I was happy that her hard work at practice paid off," Forsyth continued. "I'm also very proud of Maiya. She has come a long way with her golf game in a very short time, and her scores reflect the improvements she's made. Of course, Tiffany remains outstanding, and continues to grow as a player. I feel that we have five players on our team who could be the potential individual NCAA champion, and that is a great way to feel going into the national championship tournament."
The Bruins won their first NCAA women's golf championship in 1991 under Hall of Fame Coach Jackie Steinmann.