April 22, 2013
Noemi Jimenez and Jon Rahm
VALENCIA, Calif.—The 12th-ranked Arizona State women’s golf team opens up the 2013 Pac-12 Championships, hosted by UCLA, in fourth place, Monday, in Valencia, Calif. The Sun Devils shot a team total of 7-over 295 in the first round. USC leads the first round of competition at eight under through 18 holes at the Valencia Country Club.
Sophomore Emilie Alonso leads ASU on the first day shooting a total of three birdies through 18 holes and finished with a total of 1-under 71 to start out the tournament. Alonso is tied for third place and has two-top 10 finished on the season so far for the Sun Devils.
Junior Laura Blanco, playing in the top spot of ASU’s line-up, shot a 1-over 73 in the first round. Blanco finished tied for 10th place overall at the PING/ASU Invitational two weekends ago at the ASU Karsten Golf Course among a field of the top players in the country. Fellow junior Daniela Ordonez, who also finished 10th at the PING/ASU Invitational, opened up day one of Pac-12’s with a 3-over 75 on the course.
The Sun Devils are between two-five shots behind second and third place competitors UCLA and Washington and hold a three stroke lead over fifth-place Stanford.
Under Luellen, the Sun Devils won the Pac-12 title in 2007 and 2009. The Sun Devils were a top the leader board in 2010 until two golfers came down with food poisoning and were forced with 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 actually tied for first, but were mandated to move into a play off rather than to be named co-Pac-12 Champions. With her individual win in 2009 and 2010, Ciganda is the only player in Conference history to win back-to-back Pac-12 titles. ASU golfer also won two Pac-12 titles, non-consecutively, in 1993 and 1995.
The Pac-12 Tournament 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, something the team is eager to change this week in Valencia. Currently ASU leads UA 7.5-5.5 in the Territorial Cup Standings with No. 22 women's tennis' victory, Saturday.
The second round of the Pac-12 Women’s Golf Championships continues tomorrow at the par-72, 6,300-yard Valencia Country Club, with the Sun Devils teeing off from the first tee beginning at 9:10 with the University of Washington.