By Curtis Acosta
Arizona Daily Wildcat
It wasn't quite the storybook ending that the Arizona women's golf team had hoped for, but no one can say the final round of the Pacific 10 Conference Championships in Corvallis, Ore., wasn't exciting.
Freshman Heather Graff finished one stroke behind U.S. Amateur Champion Wendy Ward of Arizona State to take second place in the tournament. Graff had led throughout most of the tournament, but bogied on the 18th hole during the final round to give Ward the title.
As for the rest of the Wildcats, the tournament was not quite as successful. Arizona finished in fourth place, one shot behind third place Stanford. Arizona State won the title by 33 strokes over UCLA. It marked the top-ranked Sun Devils' third straight Pac-10 championship.
Arizona was hoping to break into the top three in the tournament, but had inconsistent play from a few of its top performers. Brenna Cepelak and senior Ulrika Johansson struggled during the tournament, costing the Wildcats the possibility of moving into third place.
Cepelak's opening round of 78 kept her from top contention. Her final two rounds of 74 salvaged the tournament for her, as she finished tied for 16th place.
Johansson didn't fare as well, however. After a great spring that saw her contend for top honors in a few tournaments, the Wildcats' only senior had a tough finish to her Pac-10 career. Johansson's final round of 80 tied her for a disappointing 28th.
There was good news for the Wildcats aside from the play of Graff. Junior Jeanne Anne Krizman had a great third round, giving the team the support that it has been needing from a fourth golfer in tournament play. Krizman fired a final-round 73 to tie her for 20th overall.
The tournament saw one of the Wildcats' best team efforts of the season. They had consistent play from a number of different players, along with an outstanding effort from Graff, who has cemented her place among the elite of college golf. Graff was named to the All-Pac-10 second team.
Arizona hosts the NCAA West Regionals at Randolph North Golf Course May 11-13.
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