No. 1 ASU cruises to third title of season
Arizona State is off to a good start in defense of its 2009 NCAA Women’s Championship title.
The top-ranked Sun Devils beat an elite field Tuesday at the Wildcat Invitational in Tucson, posting the best final-round score by eight shots to win their third event of the 2009-10 season.
Arizona State, which won the Topy Cup and Stanford Intercollegiate in the fall, also won the Wildcat Invitational in 2006 and '07.
“It was a lot of fun and great to have four finish in the top 10,” coach Melissa Luellen said. “There were some tough conditions, and it was a bit of a survival task.”
ASU carded 2-over 286 at Arizona National to finish at 8-over 576 in the weather-shortened, 36-hole event. No. 21 Arizona (294) was second at 20-over 588, and No. 22 Stanford (302) was third at 595.
Four Sun Devils finished in the top 10. Senior Juliana Murcia made three birdies and an eagle in a closing 5-under 66 and tied for second at 1-under 141. Freshman Jennifer Johnson (144) tied for fourth, sophomore Carlota Ciganda (145) tied for seventh and junior Jaclyn Sweeney (146) tied for 10th.
It was the fourth top-10 finish of the year for Johnson and Ciganda, and third top-10 for Sweeney.
The Sun Devils will compete at the Bruin/Wave Invitational next weekend in Canyon County, Calif.
Oklahoma State sophomore Caroline Hedwall shot a final-round 66, the lowest score of the event, and won the individual title by five shots at 6-under 136. Hedwall eagled the par-4 first hole and added three birdies.
It was Hedwall’s fourth career title. She won the Golfweek Conference Challenge in September.
The field featured six of the top 10 teams in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings. However, many did not fare well.
• No. 3 Auburn finished eighth at 37-over 605.
• No. 5 USC finished 12th at 50-over 618.
• No. 6 Tennessee finished 11th at 48-over 616.
• No. 9 Pepperdine finished seventh at 34-over 602.
USC sophomore Jennifer Song, the top-ranked player in Golfweek’s rankings, shot 80 on Tuesday and tied for 40th. She won her first two events of the 2009-10 season.
– Arizona State athletics contributed to this report.