By Scott Bricker
Arizona Daily Wildcat April 25, 1997
Impressive numbers when it counted helped UA win crown
As the Arizona women's golf team enjoys the spoils of its first Pac-10 Conference title since 1992, just let the statistics tell the story of what an impressive job the golfers have done.
The most unbelievable stat is the 19-shot turnaround pulled off by the Wildcats, coming from four shots back to run away with the title by 15 strokes over four-time defending champion Arizona State.
Arizona head coach Rick LaRose said that his team's performance was one of the best he has seen.
"The girls just played spectacular out there," LaRose said. "They really stepped it up when the conditions were the hardest. They just played great."
Next is the amazing team effort compiled by Arizona, as all four scoring golfers recorded their lowest individual totals of the season. Sophomore Marissa Baena tied her low score of the season by shooting a 211, while junior Heather Graff and sophomore Krissie Register each bettered their previous low scores by one shot.
Most impressive, though, was the effort turned in by freshman Jenna Daniels.
Daniels, playing in her first postseason tourney ever, bested her previous season-low by seven shots, en route to carding a 2-under-par 217. She also shot two rounds below par, shooting a 72 and 70 in rounds two and three respectively, her first under-par outings of the season.
Daniels said she is thankful that her coach was there to help the team get over the jitters they felt in their practice round.
"Coach LaRose really helped us all out before the first round and straightened out our swings," said Daniels of her coach's pre-tournament instruction. "We are all really happy right now, but we still have plenty of work ahead before the regionals start."
LaRose said he knew all along that Daniels had the capability to break out.
"Jenna has been playing well all along and that is why she was on the trip," LaRose said. "She really proved herself this week. I predicted she would shoot 72 (in Wednesday's third round) and she went out and bettered that by two shots."
Arizona will now take some time off to get ready to host the Regional Championships on May 8-10 at the Randolph North Golf Course.
Baena said she feels that the team is playing its best golf of the year and will be ready for the regional competition.
"The whole team is real positive right now," Baena said. "It is very important to us to continue winning the team titles because this team is such a close group."
"For now we are just going to concentrate on going to school for a while," LaRose said. "We need to catch up with things around here and get ourselves used to the course."
Nineteen teams will play in the regional tourney, with the top 11 schools advancing to the NCAA Tournament in Columbus, Ohio, on May 21-24.
Baena, last year's national champion, will travel to Daytona Beach, Fla. next weekend to compete in the LPGA's Sprint Titleholders Championship, May 1-4.