KONA, Hawaii—In a regular season showdown of the nation’s best women’s golf teams, six of the top-10 ranked teams will compete head-to-head in conference competition in the inaugural Pac-12 Preview, Nov. 4-5, at the prestigious Nanea Golf Club in Kona, Hawaii. The University of Hawaii will also compete in the tournament to bring total field to 12 teams.
The 54-hole event is the first non-member tournament ever to be held at par-73, 6,112-yard Nanea Golf Club in the 10-year history of the course. The golfers will play 36 holes on Mon. Nov. 4th and 18 holes on Tues. Nov. 5th, with each morning round beginning with a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m. HT (10:30 a.m. PT).
“We have an incredibly strong conference – top to bottom – and [the coaches] felt like it would be a great opportunity for all of our players to compete with the same passion that we see in our Conference Championship in April,” said Stanford head coach Anne Walker. “Hosting the event in Hawaii was an exciting thought and it really unfolded from there.”
Added Arizona State head coach Melissa Luellen, “When you have one of best Conferences in the country, it is nice to be rewarded with a treat like going to Hawaii and playing at Nanea.”
The field for the Pac-12 Preview features six teams ranked in the top-10 according to Golfweek (Oct. 20), including the top-three teams in the nation: Arizona (9), Arizona State (10), California (25), Colorado (43), Hawaii, Oregon (30), Oregon State, Stanford (3), UCLA (1), USC (2), Washington (5) and Washington State.
Individually, the Pac-12 Conference has eight golfers ranked in the top-25, five of the top-10, according to Golfweek: 1) Allison Lee, UCLA; 2) Kyung Kim, USC, 5) Mariah Stackhouse, Stanford; 8) Lindsey Weaver, Arizona; 9) SooBin Kim, Washington; 20) Noemi Jimenez, Arizona State; 21) Charlotte Thomas, Washington; 22) Bronte Law, UCLA.
“Nanea Golf Club is an extremely exclusive and private venue,” said Walker. “The opportunity to play the golf course is a once in a lifetime deal, so hosting a tournament there is almost surreal. Jim Saunders and the Nanea golf staff have been terrific and I have no doubt that this event will be the highlight of our year.”
Because layout of the golf course is not easily traversable by foot, the golfers will be shuttled in carts at designated spots and each team will be provided with a caddy.
“[The caddies] are going to be decked out in each team’s school colors and gear,” said Luellen. “They may become our best friends after finding balls in the course’s lava fields.”
The member’s only golf course, built in 2003, is the creation of financiers George Roberts and Charles Schwab. The clubhouse at Nanea was constructed to resemble Kona Island’s five volcanoes, while the course, designed by David McLay Kidd, was carved from a mountainside on the Big Island with lava rock lining the far stretches of playable area before it drops into the Pacific Ocean.
“Mr. Roberts is a terrific supporter of women's golf and the Pac-12 Conference teams owe him a great deal of thanks for supporting our request to play at Nanea Golf Course,” said Walker.
“[Mr. Roberts] follows college golf closely and is extremely excited that the "Pac-12 Preview at Nanea" will showcase the nation’s top teams. I know that I speak on behalf of all the coaches in the Conference when I say we are extremely humbled and appreciative for the opportunity to compete on one of the world's finest golf courses. We are impressed by and thankful for the generosity of Mr. Roberts and his co-developer, Mr. Schwab; it is unmatched.”
Results for the tournament will be available following each round of golf at www.golfstat.com.