In its final start before the Pac-12 Championship and postseason, Arizona got the big win it had been chasing all year. Arizona, a preseason No. 4 team and currently No. 7 in Golfweek’s ranking, won the ASU/Ping Invitational on Sunday, which traditionally has featured one of the most stacked West Coast fields of the season. This year was no different.
The Wildcats beat five of the six teams ahead of them in the Golfweek rankings. Right out of the gate, Arizona trailed tournament host Arizona State but made up ground with a second-round 12-under 276 at Karsten Golf Course in Tempe, Ariz. The team was able to hold on in the final round, and at 3-under 961, finished seven ahead of Baylor and Arizona State.
“Very proud of how the team played in this championship field,” Arizona head coach Laura Ianello said. “It’s our first win at ASU since 2009. Way overdue.”
Upperclassmen Manon Gidali and Lindsey Weaver led the team with a tie for 10th, but it was freshman Krystal Quihuis who Ianello called “clutch.” Quihuis was also T-10 with her teammates at 1-under 215 for the tournament. Arizona State’s Monica Vaughn and Texas’ Bertine Strauss tied for the individual title at 6 under.
The only team victories for Arizona the past two seasons have come at the SunTrust Gator Women’s Invitational, but consider that Arizona plays a loaded Pac-12 schedule. The Wildcats opened the season with the first-round lead at the ANNIKA Intercollegiate, but slipped to second. They’ve finished in the top 4 in every start but one this year.
“We look forward to carrying this momentum to next week at conference,” Ianello said. Arizona last won the Pac-12s in 2010 as Ianello took over as head coach.
The Ping/ASU also cast a spotlight on Baylor, a team that backed up its season-opening Northrop Grumman victory with a runner-up Sunday in Tempe. Baylor got a top-15 finish from first-semester freshman Dylan Kim that helped the squad tie for second with Arizona State.
After the spring season-opening victory, Baylor head coach Jay Goble pointed to two factors that have helped his team this spring: the addition of Kim as a reliable scorer putting more attention on the process rather than the results. Baylor has been west to compete two more times since the Northrop Grumman, finishing fourth and seventh, respectively. The Bears won two of three matches at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic last month.
Like Arizona, the next stop for Baylor is conference. The Bears tee it up at the Big 12 Championship on April 24.