By Shane Bacon
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, September 20, 2004
The Arizona women's golf team will be teeing it up this morning in their American debut at the NCAA Fall Preview, a tournament the team has played well at in the past.
The Wildcats are in their second tournament of the year after playing the Topy Cup in Tokyo where the team finished fourth after finding itself at the top of the leader board after the first day. The team showed what some think is going to define the Wildcats this year, having three different low scores each day from three different players. Head Coach Greg Allen said the team won't be relying on one player this year as opposed to the past when they would rely heavy on stars such as Erica Blasberg and Lorenna Ochoa. This year's squad has five players going out and playing as a team. "We've got five really solid players," Allen said. "Not many people think we'll do much because we don't have a superstar, but we have really good team chemistry."
Junior Cassandra Kirkland will be leading the team out this week after she finished tied for eighth place at the Topy Cup where she closed with a 2-over par 74. Kirkland is the only player on the Arizona squad to be ranked in the top 80 of the Golfweek individual rankings, which is just an example of how the Wildcats will have to rely on four scores instead of leaning on one. "We have a chance every tournament to win," Allen said. "It's just if the five come together and play well." The field this week at Sunriver Resort's Meadows Golf Course in Bend, Ore., will be the Cats' first test to see how they respond with the loss of Blasberg to the pros this summer. Nine of the top 10 teams in the nation are attending this week, with only eighth-ranked Wake Forest missing. Even though Allen stresses to his team to peak at the right time, he says it is very important this year to get off to a good start to show these girls that they are better than the No. 19 ranking Golfweek assessed them. "We want to play good early to get momentum," he said. "We'll see how we stack up." Allen said that hopefully the success of the European Ryder Cup team will help pump up his three European starters for this week.
Kirkland, Miriam Kraschinski, and Mar Garcia all reside overseas and all have been showing a lot of emotion over the European success. Garcia has been at the Ryder Cup all weekend watching her brother, Sergio, compete against the Americans. Allen said that hopefully some of Sergio's success will rub off on his sister. The Wildcats will need a showing like they had in Japan this week to have a chance, with four players finishing in the top 21. If the Wildcats take early steps to playing as a team instead of individuals, the team that nobody is giving a chance might just come out and surprise some people. Arizona tees off this morning on a course they won their last national championship on and with hopes of walking away with yet another trophy.
Men's golf start at Preview
The Arizona men's golf team will be looking to improve on their first tournament this week as they tee it up at the Preview by Ping and Golfweek.
The team finished in ninth place at the Topy Cup in Japan, finishing with the worst score of any American team.
Sophomore Henry Liaw tied for low Wildcat, and will be looking to improve on his 27th place finish.
The Wildcats will be entering today's round ranked just out of the top-10 and looking to improve on their disappointing first outing.