Women's Golf Heads to UCF Challenge
UPCOMING Â Just days after winning its own Wave Invitational, the #12 Pepperdine women’s golf team heads cross-country to take part in The UCF Challenge, hosted by Central Florida in Sorrento, Fla. It’s a three-day, 54-hole tournament running Sunday through Tuesday (March 8-10).
COURSE Â The event will be played at the par-72, 6,301-yard RedTail Golf Club.
FIELD Â There are 18 teams in the field: Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Auburn, Central Florida, Duke, Florida, Florida State, LSU, North Carolina, Oklahoma State, Pepperdine, Purdue, Tennessee, Texas, UCLA, USC and Vanderbilt. According to Golfweek/Sagarin index rankings from earlier this week, 13 of the nation’s top 20 teams and 29 of the country’s top 50 individuals will be participating.
PEPPERDINE LINEUP Â For the fourth time in four spring tournaments, the Waves’ lineup will be made up of senior Jayvie Agojo, sophomore Taylore Karle and freshmen Kaitlin Drolson, Lisa McCloskey and Jessica Wallace.
RANKINGS Â Pepperdine is ranked #12 in the Golfweek/Sagarin index, #14 in the Golf World/NGCA poll and #16 by Golfstat. Individually, Taylore Karle is #49 by Golfweek/Sagarin and #54 by Golfstat. Also in the Golfweek/Sagarain ratings are Jayvie Agojo at #81, Kaitlin Drolson at #84 and Lisa McCloskey at #89 ... Golfstat has Pepperdine’s freshman class ranked #1 in the country.
TOURNAMENT HISTORY Â This is the third year of The UCF Challenge. The Waves took fourth in 2007 and 10th in 2008. Taylore Karle tied for seventh place to lead Pepperdine last year.
ON THE WEB Â The tournament will feature live scoring via www.golfstat.com.
2008-09 ROSTER Â An extremely young Â but talented Â roster features one senior, two sophomores and five freshmen. Two of the three veterans have won All-American honors, while one of the freshmen is a 2008-09 midseason All-American. After the first three freshmen signed letters-of-intent in fall 2007, Golfweek called the group the nation’s fourth-best recruiting class, but with the addition of two more top freshmen in the spring, it’s arguably the best collection of newcomers in the country.
NCAA RECORDS FALL Â Pepperdine’s victory at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown, held at Boulder Creek Golf Club from Oct. 27-29, set multiple NCAA records. The Waves set collegiate records for lowest score (823) and score relative to par (-41), and Lisa McCloskey became the first women’s college player to ever break 200 with her winning score of a 17-under 199.
WAVES WIN OWN EVENT Â Pepperdine hosted its own Wave Invitational for the first time in a decade on March 3-4 and it was a successful event, as the Waves won the team competition by nine strokes and Taylore Karle won the individual title by one stroke. The two-day, 36-hole, six-team event was held at Moopark Country Club. The Waves shot 5-under 283 (tying the sixth best round in school history) in the first round and wound up with a 3-over 579 (tying Pepperdine’s seventh-best 36-hole score). Karle had two subpar rounds and finished with a 5-under 139.
2008-09 HONORS Â Lisa McCloskey earned midseason All-American honors from Golfworld and was also that publication’s runner-up for Freshman of the (Mid) Year ... McCloskey was the WCC Player of the Month for October and Jayvie Agojo won it for September ... McCloskey was featured in Sports Illustrated’s "Faces in the Crowd" following her NCAA-record performance ... Taylore Karle was named a preseason All-American second teamer by Golfweek and was ranked #10 on Golf World’s "Players to Watch" list. On Golfweek’s "Top Frosh to Watch," Ayaka Kaneko was #6, McCloskey was #10 and Jessica Wallace was among the next 15 players listed. Kaneko was also listed among the nation’s top 50 players by Golf World.
AGOJO Â Senior Jayvie Agojo (Bangkal, Philippines) is averaging 74.76 strokes in 17 rounds ... Placed third at the season-opening McGuire Invitational with a 3-under 216 ... Placed sixth at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown with an 8-under 208 (71-65-72), which tied for the fourth-best score in school history ... Her 7-under 65 in the second round tied the the third-best round in school history ... Team-best tie for 14th at the Arizona Invitational (+4 220) ... A three-time All-WCC first team selection ... Entered her senior year with a career stroke average of 75.84, eighth all-time at Pepperdine ... As a junior, averaged 76.63 strokes ... Won the 2006 WCC Championships as a freshman and was named to the 2007 Golfweek All-American honorable mention list.
DROLSON Â Freshman Kaitlin Drolson (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif./Torrey Pines HS) is averaging 74.29 strokes in 17 rounds ... Tied for 16th at the McGuire Invitational in her collegiate debut ... Tied for ninth at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown with a 6-under 210 (69-70-71), posting three straight sub-par rounds ... Tied for eighth at the Wave Invitational, and had a 3-under 69 in the first round.
KARLE Â Sophomore Taylore Karle (Scottsdale, Ariz./Laurel Springs Academy) is averaging a team-best 72.88 strokes in 17 rounds ... Tied for 18th at the McGuire Invitational ... Tied for seventh at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown with a 7-under 209 (73-70-66) ... Took eighth at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge at 227 (78-73-76) ... Won the Wave Invitational by one stroke with a 5-under 139 (68-71) ... Had one of the top seasons in school history as a freshman ... Earned All-American second team honors from both Golfweek and the NGCA ... Made the All-WCC first team and was named WCC Freshman of the Year ... Ended up ranked #15 nationally by Golfstat ... Team-best 73.37 stroke average was sixth-best in school single-season history ... The #1 recruit in the nation coming out of high school.
McCLOSKEY Â Freshman Lisa McCloskey (Montgomery, Texas/Montgomery HS) is averaging 74.94 strokes in 17 rounds ... Tied for 10th at the McGuire Invitational in her collegiate debut ... Won the Las Vegas Collegiate Shootout and became the first women’s college player ever to break 200 with her 17-under 199 (67-65-67) ... Did not record a single bogey ... Was named Golfweek and Golf World’s Player of the Week and the WCC Player of the Month for October ... Had an emergency appendectomy during Christmas break and was not cleared to play until just before the start of the spring season.
WALLACE Â Freshman Jessica Wallace (Langley, B.C./Walnut Grove Secondary) is averaging 75.41 strokes in 17 rounds ... Tied for 16th at the McGuire Invitational in her collegiate debut ... Took fourth at the Wave Invitational with a 1-under 143 (71-72).
INJURY UPDATE Â Heralded freshman Ayaka Kaneko, who enrolled in January, has been diagnosed with a muscle strain in her wrist and her collegiate debut has been delayed.
LAURIE GIBBS Â Recognized by her peers as one of the top collegiate women’s golf coaches in the country, Laurie Gibbs begins her 16th 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 17 times. Gibbs has led Pepperdine to West Coast Conference championships in 10 of the last 11 years, including a current streak of seven titles that began in 2002. Gibbs has been honored nine 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.
2007-08 RECAP Â The Waves won the WCC championship for the 10th time, but a 12th-place finish at the NCAA Central Regional denied Pepperdine a ninth NCAA Championships appearance in the last 10 years. Taylore Karle was an All-American, while she, Jayvie Agojo, Leanne Bowditch and Stephanie Gelleni made the All-WCC first team. Laurie Gibbs was named WCC Coach of the Year.
PEPPERDINE GOLF HISTORY Â The last decade has 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 10 of the last 11 years, including a current streak of seven titles that began in 2002.
ABOUT PEPPERDINE Â Pepperdine boasts a one-of-a-kind athletic department with unprecedented success for a school of its size. The Waves have won a total of nine NCAA championships in five different men’s sports Â one of just 14 schools to have accomplished this feat. Of the 14, Pepperdine is the only non-BCS school and has by far the smallest enrollment. The majority of Pepperdine’s teams are ranked nationally year after year and compete for conference and national titles.