By Shane Bacon
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, September 23, 2004
The Arizona women's golf team got through two rounds without any serious problems, but stumbled overall, finishing near the back of the pack in the Mercedes-Benz of Bend Women's Fall Preview in Bend, Ore.
The Wildcats continually dropped on the leaderboard, closing their first round in seventh place, falling to 13th after round two and finishing tied for 15th place with Vanderbilt.
Duke won the event after posting a final round of 281, the best round of any team throughout the three days.
Head coach Greg Allen said the team struggled on the greens all week.
"The greens were hard, fast and firm, but it looked like (USGA senior director of rules) Tom Meeks set it up like a U.S. Open course." Allen said.
Allen said the greens at Meadows Golf Course at Sunriver Resort could have been manageable if they hadn't put the pins in such tough places.
"Once you were on the greens, you were never guaranteed a three-putt," he said. "If you barely missed, it would roll eight feet by."
Even with the tough greens, Junior Lani Elston managed the best round of the day for the Wildcats, closing the final round with a 2-over par-73 and low finisher honors for Arizona.
"Lani played well today, so that is something positive to take away," Allen said.
Elston was the low Wildcat, finishing in a tie for 35th place with four other players.
Junior Cassandra Kirkland was tied for 22nd place after the second round, but dropped to a tie for 52nd position after an 8-over par-79, her worst score of the year.
Birdies were another thing the team had a tough time attaining this week.. The Wildcats finished with just six birdies between five players on the final day.
Even with a disappointing finish, Allen said he understands what the team needs to focus on to continually improve.
Arizona has nine days in Tucson before heading out to the Mason Rudolph Invitational in Nashville, Tenn.
"We're going to try and stay positive," Allen said. "I told the girls we'll look at the big picture and continue to build momentum for the spring."