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Wednesday December 6, 2000

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Ochoa, Gulbis lead UA women

The Arizona men disappoint in fall season

defending national champion UA women's golf team returned to the links this fall armed with a new coach, Greg Hill, and a powerful freshmen tandem.

Freshmen Lorena Ochoa and Natalie Gulbis were the most consistent performers on the team, as each held the first and second positions for the majority of the season.

Ochoa led the team to its second title of the fall season at the Stanford/Pepsi Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif. The Wildcats finished in first place ahead of Pacific 10 Conference rivals Southern California and Stanford.

Ochoa took second place with a three-under-par score of 213. Gulbis and junior Cristina Baena each tied for fifth and ninth place, respectively.

Arizona captured the Dick McGuire Invitational for the second consecutive year at the University of New Mexico's Championship Course. The Wildcats finished the tournament at 16-under-par, and Ochoa was the tournament's individual winner, finishing with a seven-under-par. Baena captured second place with an even par 219.

The Wildcats began the season at the NCAA Fall Preview in Lake County, Fla. Arizona played a solid round at the Mission Inn's El Campeon course, shooting an even par 300, but came up short against Duke, the tournament's eventual champion.

The Wildcats' season ended on a disappointing note, finishing in sixth place at the Golf World Invitational in Hilton Head Island, S.C. Ochoa captured the second-lowest round by a freshman in Arizona history and earned her second individual title.

The Wildcats are currently ranked second in the Golfweek/Sagarin poll, and Ochoa is the top-ranked player in the nation, followed by Gulbis, who is ranked seventh, and Baena at No. 20. Ochoa was named Rolex College Golfer of the Month in September and November.

On the men's side, Arizona was not as successful as the women's team.

The Wildcats began the season at the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate tournament in Albuquerque, N.M., where they finished in third place behind the play of sophomore Reid Hatley and freshman Chris Nallen

Arizona finished tied for fourth at the Preview by Ping and Golfweek tournament in Durham, N.C. Hatley finished with an even-par 144 on the Duke University Golf Club course to tie for fifth place, and sophomore Ricky Barnes tied for eighth place with a one-over-par 145.

Junior Cody Beyer led Arizona at the Golf World/Palmetto Dunes Invitational in Hilton Head, S.C. Beyer captured sixth place with a score of 12-under-par, while the Wildcats managed to hold on to 12th place.

Wildcats finished their season with a respectable first place title at the CGF National Match Play Championship. Nallen was the only player to win all of his matches.

The Wildcats are currently ranked 16th in the Golfweek/Sagarin poll.