Women's Golf Opens Spring Season Next Week
UPCOMING Â The Pepperdine women’s golf team starts the spring season at the nearby Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge next Monday through Wednesday (Feb. 11-13). Though the tournament is hosted by Ohio State, it takes place down the road in Palos Verdes.
COURSE Â The event will be held at the Palos Verdes (Calif.) Golf Club, which is a par-71, 5,912-yard course. Eighteen holes will be played each day.
FIELD Â Pepperdine is one of 15 teams, along with Arizona, Arizona State, BYU, Denver, Florida, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Stanford, TCU, Texas A&M, UCLA, USC and Wake Forest. Twelve of the 15 teams are ranked in Golfstat’s top 25, while six are in the top 10.
PEPPERDINE’S TEAM Â With only five players currently on the roster, it’s obvious who will be playing in the tournament: seniors Leanne Bowditch and Stephanie Gelleni, junior Jayvie Agojo and freshmen Martine de Gannes and Taylore Karle.
RANKINGS Â The Waves are ranked #14 by Golf World/NGCA, #16 by Golfstat and #18 by Golfweek/Sagarin ... Individually, Taylore Karle is rated #22 by Golfweek/Sagarin and #23 by Golfstat, while Leanne Bowditch is #57 by Golfweek/Sagarin and #77 by Golfstat.
HEAD COACH LAURIE GIBBS SAYS Â "We are focused on climbing into the top 10 of the rankings by the postseason and will then work hard to finish in the top five at the NCAA Championships."
MISCELLANEOUS Â Pepperdine has won three of the previous 12 Northrop Grumman Regional Challenges, more than any other school. The Waves won in 2003, 2005 and 2007 ... Misun Cho won the tournament in 2007, as did Katherine Hull in 2003 ... Live scoring will be available on golfstat.com.
KARLE UPDATE Â Freshman Taylore Karle had a busy winter break. She tied for first place at the Arizona Silver Belle Championship in Sun City West, Ariz., during the last week of December, and then finished second at the Harder Hall Invitational in Sebring, Fla., the following week. She was then awarded a spot as an alternate for the 2008 U.S. Curtis Cup team. The tournament, which is contested every two years, brings together the top junior amateurs from the United States to compete against Great Britain and Ireland.
JAYVIE AGOJO (2007-08: 12 rounds, 76.75 average) Â A junior from Bangkal, Makati City, Philippines ... Best fall finish was a tie for 35th at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown ... Listed as one of the "Top 50 to Watch" in 2007-08 by Golf Digest ... A 2007 All-American honorable mention and an All-WCC first team selection ... Averaged 74.93 strokes as a sophomore and had five top 10 finishes ... Was the 2006 WCC Freshman of the Year and All-WCC ... Won the 2006 WCC individual title ... Ranked as the #1 junior player in the Philippines and is a member of the National Team.
LEANNE BOWDITCH (2007-08: 12 rounds, 74.50 average) Â A senior from Peregian, Queensland, Australia ... Tied for 17th with a 1-under 218 at the NCAA Fall Preview ...Tied for 20th at the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational ... A three-time All-WCC first team selection ... Averaged 76.71 strokes as a junior and had two top 10 finishes ... Tied for 39th at the 2005 NCAA Championships ... Formerly the #1 junior player in Queensland.
MARTINE DE GANNES (2007-08: first tournament) Â A freshman from Diego Martin, Trinidad ... Enrolled at Pepperdine in January 2008 ... A four-time Caribbean Amateur Junior champion (2004-07) and ranked as the No. 1 ladies golfer in Trinidad & Tobago from 2005-07 ... A two-time nominee for Trinidad & Tobago’s Sportswoman of the Year ... Captained the Trinidad & Tobago Junior National Team to victory at the Caribbean Junior Golf Championships.
STEPHANIE GELLENI (2007-08: 12 rounds, 76.83 average) Â A senior from Caracas, Venezuela ... Best fall finish was a tie for 18th at the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational ... A 2007 All-WCC honorable mention selection ... Named 2007 WCC All-Academic ... Averaged 76.96 strokes as a junior and had three top 20 finishes ... Represented Pepperdine at the NCAA Leadership Conference ... Has won four consecutive Venezuelan Amateur Championships and won the 2004 South American Amateur.
TAYLORE KARLE (2007-08: 12 rounds, 73.42 average) Â A freshman from Scottsdale, Ariz. ... Tied for 11th with a 4-under 215 at the NCAA Fall Preview ... Was named WCC Player of the Month for September for that effort ... Tied for 21th at the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational ... Tied for 11th at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown ... Named the WCC Player of the Month for October ... An alternate for the 2008 U.S. Curtis Cup team ... The nation’s #1 recruit according to Golfweek and one of the top 20 players overall listed by the magazine ... Golf World predicts she will be the WCC’s Player and Freshman of the Year ... A three-time Rolex All-American first teamer ... Part of the Solheim Cup-winning team in 2005 ... Won the 2005 U.S. Junior Amateur with a record-low score of 130 ... Has taken part in a few LPGA events, including a tie for 53rd at the Safeway International in March 2007, and also competed at the 2006 U.S. Open ... Graduated from high school a year early via an accelerated program to come to Pepperdine ... Her brother Austyn is a freshman on the Pepperdine men’s golf team.
NICOLE MONTGOMERY (2007-08: 12 rounds, 76.42 average) Â A junior from Fremantle, Australia ... She left the team following the fall semester to return to Australia and turn professional ... Ended her career with a stroke average of 77.03 in 39 rounds ... A 2007 All-WCC first team and WCC All-Academic honoree.
LAURIE GIBBS Â Recognized by her peers as one of the top collegiate women’s golf coaches in the country, Laurie Gibbs begins her 15th season as head coach of the Pepperdine women’s golf team. Under Gibbs, the Waves have appeared in the NCAA Championships eight times, with seven top 10 finishes and four top five showings, including a program-best second-place result in 2003. Her players have earned All-American honors 16 times. Gibbs has led Pepperdine to West Coast Conference championships in nine of the last 10 years, including a current streak of six titles that began in 2002. Gibbs has been honored eight times as the WCC’s Coach of the Year, was tabbed the West Region Coach of the Year on two occasions and was selected the 2004-05 National Coach of the Year by Golfweek magazine.
WCC PLAYER OF THE MONTH Â Freshman Taylore Karle has both West Coast Conference Player of the Month awards so far, capturing the honor in both September and October.
NATION’S BEST Â Golf Digest recently released its College Guide in which golf programs were ranked based on their total ability to provide a quality experience for a student-athlete. The Pepperdine women’s program ranked #6 in the nation in the magazine’s overall balanced category, which takes into account the team’s success, player growth, academics, climate, facilities and coaches.
2006-07 RECAP Â The Waves finished seventh at the NCAA Championships following a seventh-place finish at the NCAA West Regionals and a first-place finish at the WCC Championships. Misun Cho was an All-American second team honoree and Jayvie Agojo and Eileen Vargas were honorable mention. Cho was also named WCC Player and Freshman of the Year.
PEPPERDINE GOLF HISTORY Â The last nine seasons have established Pepperdine as one of the nation’s top golf programs. The Waves have appeared in the NCAA Championships eight times, with seven top 10 finishes and four top five showings, including a program-best second-place result in 2003. The Waves have won West Coast Conference championships in nine of the last 10 years, including a current streak of six titles that began in 2002.
UP NEXT Â The Waves play in the Arizona Wildcat Invitational on Feb. 25-27.