By Craig Degel
Arizona Daily Wildcat
The Arizona men's and women's golf teams finished off their respective fall schedules over the weekend, but with very different results.
The Wildcat women, led by Heather Graff's fourth-place finish, shot a team total of 944 to finish fourth at the Northern Telecom National College Women's Golf Invitational in Wilmington, N.C.
Arizona State hit the tee-box and ran away from the field, finishing with a three-round total 900. North Carolina finished a distant second at 935. South Carolina finished third, six strokes behind the Tar Heels, and Florida State shot a 945 to round out the top five.
Sun Devil senior Wendy Ward shot a Pete Dye Course record 68 on the final day to capture the individual title. Ward's teammate Heather Bowie shot 220, North Carolina golfer Meredith Tucker shot 225 and Graff finished three strokes behind Tucker at 228.
Graff, a freshman, has been the top Arizona golfer at all of the fall tournaments, but this weekend marked her first top five finish.
"I'm really excited," said Graff of her chances at the NCAAs, which will also be held at the Dye Course.
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Oklahoma State golfer Chris Tidland birdied the final hole to seal the individual and team championship at Golf-World Palmetto Dunes Collegiate in Hilton Head, S.C.
Tidland's birdie gave the Cowboys a 1-stroke victory over Stanford. Texas Christian, Georgia Tech and Arkansas rounded out the top five.
Arizona couldn't overcome a tough first round and finished in a tie for 11th place.
Individually, Georgia Tech golfer Stewart Cink shot 209 to finish one stroke behind Tidland. Everyone has an off day, and for Tiger Woods his time had come. Stanford's freshman star shot a second-round 66 but limped into the clubhouse in 13th place after firing a final-round score of 80. Luckily for the Cardinal, Steve Burdick was able to pick up the slack. He and Auburn's Iain Steel tied for third at 211.
Arizona again received a strong performance from Ted Purdy. His total of 215 was good for an eighth-place tie.
Both teams are now off for the winter and will resume play in February. The women will play at the Desert Bruin Invitational in Los Angeles, and the men will host the PING Arizona Intercollegiate.
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