By Lindsay Gaesser, SDA Media Relations
TULSA, Okla.—The fifth-ranked Arizona State women’s golf team heads to Tulsa, Okla., May 20-23, for the program’s 23rd consecutive NCAA Championship appearance. The 2014 NCAA Championships will be held at the par-70, 6,194-yard Tulsa Country Club, and is co-hosted by Tulsa and the Tulsa Sports Commission.
The Sun Devils, who hold the NCAA record for total appearances with 32 and the longest consecutive championship appearance streak in NCAA history, are paired with No. 3 Duke and No. 27 Mississippi State for the first two rounds. The group tees off at 12:00 p.m. CT on Tuesday and at 7:30 a.m. CT on Wednesday. Pairings will be seeded by score for rounds three and four.
Arizona State has recorded nine top-five finishes in 11 tournaments this season. These include second place finishes in the Mason Rudolph Championship and the Betsy Rawls Invitational in the fall, and a tie for second in the PING/ASU Invitational this spring. In postseason play, the Sun Devils finished fifth at the Pac-12 Championships and took third place in the NCAA West Regional behind top-ranked Southern California and No. 6 Washington (ranked 11th at the time).
The Sun Devils have relied on several golfers this season. Leading the team is junior standout Noemi Jimenez. Jimenez, who is ranked fourth in the nation according to Golfstat, won her first individual title of the season at the NCAA West Regional and earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors. With seven top-five finishes in 11 tournaments this season, Jimenez will be a driving force behind Arizona State’s success at the NCAA Championships next week.
Freshman Monica Vaughn has also shined for the Sun Devils in her debut season. Vaughn, who made All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention, has four top-10 finishes this season, including a tie for fifth place at the Pac-12 Championships last month.
Seniors Justine Lee and Laura Blanco and junior Emilie Alonso round out the Sun Devil lineup. Lee and Blanco both finished in the top 25 at the NCAA West Regional, where Blanco tied her season-low 69 in the second round of play. Lee has been carding consistent scores throughout the season for Arizona State and will be a key factor in the lineup in Tulsa. Although Alonso struggled at the NCAA West Regional, she has been a solid contributor for the Sun Devils all season. Alonso recorded a top-20 finish at the SDSU Farms Invitational earlier this spring, where she shot a career- and season-low 68 in the second round.
Live scoring for all four rounds of the tournament is available at www.golfstat.com. For the third and fourth rounds of the tournament, the NCAA will provide a live webcast from holes 16, 17, and 18, with highlights and a recap provided once play has concluded each day.
Arizona State is a name synonymous with dominance in collegiate women’s golf. In addition to holding the record for most championship appearances, ASU holds a total of seven records in the NCAA Records book. The Sun Devils have won the most national championships in NCAA history with seven, including six in the span of eight years in the 1990s under then head coach Linda Vollstedt.
|Arizona State NCAA Records (through 2013)|
|Best Score, One Round||65, Grace Park - 1st & 2nd rounds, 1998|
|Best Score After Two Rounds||130, Grace park - 1998|
|Best Score After Three Rounds||207, Grace Park - 1998|
|Number of Championship Appearances||31|
|Number of Consecutive NCAA Appearances||22|