By Lindsay Gaesser, SDA Media Relations
CORVALLIS, Ore.—The fifth-ranked Arizona State women’s golf team looks to add another conference title to its collection when the team competes at the 2014 Pac-12 Championships, April 25-27, in Corvallis, Ore. Arizona State currently holds the Pac-12 record for most conference titles, with eight.
The Conference Championships, hosted by Oregon State, will be held at the par-72, 6,256-yard Trysting Tree Golf Club. The Sun Devils are the No. 3 seed heading into the competition, and will tee off Friday at 9:00 a.m. on the first hole with 10-seed Oregon State. Seeding of teams for the Championship was determined by an average of the Golfstat, Golf World, and Golfweek rankings. Defending Pac-12 Champion USC nabbed the top seed overall. For the second and third rounds of the tournament, teams will be seeded by score.
The 11-team field features five of the top-10 teams in the nation according to Golfstat, the most for any conference. The tournament also showcases 10 individual players ranked in the top 20, including ASU junior Noemi Jimenez.
Jimenez, ranked third in the nation by Golfweek, has a 71.22 scoring average this season through 27 rounds of golf. In March, she was named the Pac-12 Women’s Golfer of the Month. In her first tournament of the spring, the junior shot a career-low 66 in the final round of the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge to help vault Arizona State to a third-place finish. She repeated this incredible low again at the PING/ASU Invitational, the Sun Devils’ only home event of the season. Of the nine tournaments in which she has competed this season, Jimenez has eight top-10 finishes, which include six top-five finishes.
Freshman Monica Vaughn is golfing in the No. 2 spot for the Sun Devils. Vaughn has had a strong debut season for Arizona State, earning three top-10 finishes. She shot a career-low 69 in the second and third rounds of the Betsy Rawls Invitational last fall, and repeated this low in the final round of the Pac-12 Preview at the exclusive Nanea Golf Club in Hawaii. Vaughn is second on the team behind Jimenez, with a scoring average of 73.52 through 27 rounds of golf.
Junior Emilie Alonso and seniors Justine Lee and Laura Blanco round out the Sun Devil lineup. Alonso shot a career-low 68 in the second round of the SDSU Farms Invitational in March, and has two top-20 finishes this season. Lee, a 2013 Pac-12 All-Academic first team member, has had a solid senior season for the Sun Devils. With three top-20 finishes and a 74.54 scoring average through 24 rounds of golf, Lee will be a big contributor for Arizona State in the postseason. Blanco, sidelined for a majority of the spring season due to injury, heads into the Conference Championships with a strong finish at the PING/ASU Invitational. Competing as an individual in that tournament, Blanco tied for 12th overall.
Under three-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year Melissa Luellen, the Sun Devils won the then Pac-10 title in 2007 and 2008. In 2010, Arizona State was on top of the leader board until two golfers came down with food poisoning and were forced to withdraw from the team competition. In fantastic fashion the remaining three golfers Carlota Ciganda, Juliana Murcia, and Jennifer Johnson finished 1-2-3 in the individual competition. Murcia and Ciganda finished tied for first, but were mandated to move into a playoff rather than be named co-Pac-10 Champions. With her individual wins in 2009 and 2010, Ciganda is the only player in conference history to win back-to-back Pac-10 titles. ASU golfer Wendy Ward also won two Pac-10 titles, non-consecutively, in 1993 and 1995.
The Pac-12 Championship also serves as the Territorial Cup point for golf. Ever since the team was unable to compete in 2010, the point for golf has been in the hands of the Wildcats. The Sun Devils are eager to change that and win back the point this weekend in Corvallis. Arizona State currently leads Arizona 7.5-7 in the Territorial Cup Standings.
Live scoring for the tournament is available at www.golfstat.com.
FIRST ROUND • Friday, April 25
No. 3 Arizona State, No. 10 Oregon State
1st Tee – 9 a.m./9:08 a.m./9:16 a.m./9:42 a.m./9:32 a.m.
No. 2 UCLA, No. 4 Stanford
10th Tee - 9 a.m./9:08 a.m./9:16 a.m./9:24 a.m./9:32 a.m.
No. 1 USC, No. 7 Oregon
1st Tee - 9:40 a.m./9:48 a.m./9:56 a.m./10:04 a.m./10:12 a.m.
No. 6 Arizona, No. 9 Colorado, No. 11 Washington State
10th Tee - 9:40 a.m./9:48 a.m./9:56 a.m./10:04 a.m./10:12 a.m.
No. 5 Washington, No. 8 California
1st Tee - 10:20 a.m./10:28 a.m./10:36 a.m./10:44 a.m./10:52 a.m.
Following the first round, seedings and pairings will be determined by team scores.
SECOND ROUND • Saturday, April 26
Seeds 5 and 6 – 1st Tee – 9 a.m.
Seeds 7 and 8 – 10th Tee – 9 a.m.
Seeds 3 and 4 – 1st Tee – 9:40 a.m.
Seeds 9, 10 and 11 – 10th Tee – 9:40 a.m.
Seeds 1 and 2 – 1st Tee – 10:20 a.m.
THIRD ROUND • Sunday, April 27
Seeds 5 and 6 – 1st Tee – 8:30 a.m.
Seeds 7 and 8 – 10th Tee – 8:30 a.m.
Seeds 3 and 4 – 1st Tee – 9:10 a.m.
Seeds 9, 10 and 11 – 10th Tee – 9:40 a.m.
Seeds 1 and 2 – 1st Tee – 9:50 a.m.