PALOS VERDES, Calif. -- In the first tournament of its spring campaign, the Arizona State women's golf team used a come-from-behind effort to claim a first-place finish at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge on Wednesday.
Although the Sun Devils began the day in second place, they would end as the tournament champions by day's end after shooting a 300 (+16) for the day. For the tournament, ASU shot a cumulative three-day score of 892 (+40), which was good enough to clip second-place USC by one stroke. California, Wake Forest and Oklahoma State rounded out the top five, respectively.
'The conditions again were very tough today,' said ASU women's golf coach Melissa Luellen. 'The winds were swirling and it was cold, but our players never gave up. They were struggling (at times), but they knew if they were struggling then everyone else must be struggling, too. They were able to settle down and keep plugging away one shot at a time.'
USC's Irene Cho took individual honors after carding a one-over 214 (+1) for the tournament. Cho's score was one stroke better than Sun Devil freshman Jennifer Osborn, who shot a 215 (+2) for the tournament.
'Jennifer is really looking good this year,' said Luellen. 'If she keeps on playing like this then I think you could see her being a first team All-American by the end of the season.'
Fellow freshman Azahara Munoz tied for eighth place, shooting an 11-over 224. Senior Alissa Kuczka shot a 13-over 226 to tie for 12th place. Junior Tiffany Tavee tied for 16th after shooting a 14-over 227. Rounding out the ASU finishers was junior Charmaine Erasmus, who tied for 60th after shooting a 27-over 240.
'Alissa played the last five holes even par and that is one of our goals is to always play the last five holes even par or better,' said Luellen. 'That was tough to do today because those holes were all into the wind and all very difficult. I'd have to say that probably won the tournament for us. What a great victory in a real tough field and a tough golf course. I was thrilled to see that we were able to have success at this tournament.'
Next up, the Sun Devils travel to Tucson to compete in the Wildcat Invitational Feb. 20-21.