Feb. 10, 2013
PALOS VERDES, Calif.--The 10th-ranked Arizona State women's golf team returns to action for the spring season at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge, hosted by Ohio State, in Palos Verdes, Calif. Held Feb. 11-13, the tournament will be played at the par-71, 6,017-yard Palos Verdes Golf Club.
The Sun Devils begin the spring season without junior Justine Lee, who earned honorable mention All-American honors last season. Lee is still healing after having wrist surgery in the offseason. Despite the loss of Lee, head coach Melissa Luellen is optimistic in the direction the team is heading to start the spring season.
"We hope to have Justine return to the lineup on late March after wrist surgery recovery which will give the team a positive boost," said Luellen. "After a solid fall, our team is looking forward to the spring. Our schedule is amazing with the locations of the tournaments and the strength of schedule. The girls are confident they can beat any team ranked ahead of them."
Arizona State's line-up is not without its offensive weapons. Juniors Noemi Jimenez all have scoring averages within two-tenths of a stroke of one another. Ordonez currently holds the lowest scoring average for the Sun Devils with a 72.33 average after nine rounds. The line-up for the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge consists of: Jimenez, Blanco, freshman Emilie Alonso, Ordonez and junior Nicole Jones.
"[The whole team] has improved their tournament scoring averages significantly and have gained a lot of confidence in their ability under pressure," said Luellen. "They are challenged daily in practice to accomplish difficult drills. This group is very good under pressure and they will be ready for any challenge presented to them."
The field for the tournament features some of the toughest competition in collegiate golf with four of the top five teams in the nation, according to Golfweek, vying for the team title. Competing are: No. 7 Arizona, No. 10 Arizona State, No. 24 Baylor, Colorado, No. 4 Duke, No. 5 Florida, No. 12 Michigan State, Ohio State, No. 18 Oklahoma State, Oregon, Pepperdine, Texas, UCLA, No. 3 USC, and No. 1 Washington.
Live scoring is available for the tournament at www.golfstat.com.
"The goal is to continue to learn and grow with every opportunity and then utilize that experience in the post season," said Luellen. "One day at a time, one shot at a time."