March 29, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. -- -
Stanford's women's golf team will join one of the spring's strongest fields at the PING/ASU Invitational which gets underway on Friday at the Karsten Course in Tempe, Ariz.
Five top 10 teams, including top-ranked UCLA, No. 3 USC, No. 5 Arizona State, No. 7 Vanderbilt and No. 8 LSU headline the 17-team field which also includes Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, San Diego State, Texas, Texas A&M, TCU, UC Davis, UNLV and Washington, along with Stanford.
Teams will tee off beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Friday and 7:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The Kartsen Course, located on the campus of Arizona State University, will play to a par of 71 and 6,099 yards for this event.
UCLA has captured the last two PING/ASU team titles, while Oklahoma State won the event in 2009.
Stanford is expected to start a lineup consisting of (in order) Sally Watson, Kristina Wong, Mariko Tumangan, Lila Barton and Marissa Mar.
Senior Sydney Burlison, sidelined for much of the season with an ankle injury, is expected to play as an individual. It will be her first tournament action since the WSU Cougar Cup in September.
Stanford finished fifth at last year's PING/ASU Invitational, posting a 54-hole score of 886 (+22), 23 shots off the pace of first place UCLA.
The Cardinal also played well at last year's Pac-10 Championships held at the Karsten Course, where it held a share of the first round lead after an opening round 282.
"It's a course we are obviously familiar with and we've played really well in five of our last six rounds there," said Margot & Mitch Milias Director of Women's Golf Caroline O'Connor.
"The course sets up really well for long hitters. Most of the par-5's are reachable in two and you have scoring clubs in your hands more often times than not."
Watson, Wong and Mar have all enjoyed success on the Karsten Course.
Watson tied for eighth in this event as a freshman in 2010 while Wong tied for 10th last season. Mar carded a first round 69 (-3) in last year's Pac-10 Championships.
"Putting six players inside the top 15 this weekend is not impossible," says O'Connor.
The Cardinal is coming off a sixth place finish at the Bruin-Wave Invitational, which was held March 5-6 at the El Caballero Country Club in Tarzana, Calif.
Watson recorded her third top-10 finish of the season, finishing tied for 8th at 228 (+12). She currently leads the team in stroke average at 74.0.
Following the PING/ASU Invitational, Stanford will compete at the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate, to be held at the Half Moon Bay Golf Links, April 16-17. It will be Stanford's last event prior to the Pacific-12 Championships, slated for April 27-29 in Pullman, Wash.