Women's Golf Heads to Arizona State This Week
March 29, 2011
MALIBU, Calif. -- The Pepperdine women's golf team competes in its final tournament of the regular season when the Waves battle a strong field at the PING/Arizona State Invitational beginning this Friday. The Waves' #1 player, Danielle Kang, will miss the tournament due to an invitation to this weekend's LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship. Next up is the West Coast Conference Championships from April 18-19.
COURSE/SCHEDULE -- The tournament will be held at the par-72, 6,230-yard Karsten Golf Course on the campus of Arizona State in Tempe, Ariz. Eighteen holes will be played each day between Friday and Sunday (April 1-3).
FIELD -- The 17-team field consists of Pepperdine, Arizona State, Arizona, California, Denver, New Mexico, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, San Diego State, Stanford, Texas, TCU, UCLA, USC, Vanderbilt, Washington and Washington State. In the latest Golfstat rankings, four of the teams are in the top 10 and nine are in the top 25.
RANKINGS -- Pepperdine is currently #14 in the Golfweek/Sagarin index and is rated #20 by Golfstat. Individually, Danielle Kang is ranked #12 by Golfweek/Sagarin and #20 by Golfstat, and Grace Na is #37 by Golfweek/Sagarin and #38 by Golfstat.
PEPPERDINE LINEUP -- The lineup for this event consists of senior Taylore Karle (Scottsdale, Ariz.), junior Kaitlin Drolson (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.), and freshmen Liv Cheng (Auckland, New Zealand), Danielle Gillaspy (Santa Maria, Calif.) and Grace Na (Alameda, Calif.).
STATISTICS -- Season scoring averages for the players taking part in the tournament are as follows: Na 73.67 (four tournaments), Karle 74.95 (seven), Drolson 75.33 (seven), Cheng 76.00 (seven) and Gillaspy 78.27 (five).
RESULTS -- Live scoring will be provided at www.golfstat.com.
2010-11 HONORS -- Danielle Kang was #2 on Golfweek's preseason list of the nation's top individuals and #6 on Golf World's top 50 players to watch list ... Kang was named the WCC Player of the Month for September and February (her second and third time winning the award).
2010-11 TEAM HIGHLIGHTS -- Pepperdine maintained or improved its team standing at five consecutive events earlier this season, culminating with a first-place result at the UNLV Spring Invitational on March 7-9 ... The Waves shot 20-under to win at UNLV, the second-best team score in team history. The top two scores in Pepperdine history came at the Boulder Creek Golf Course, as the Waves shot an NCAA-record 41-under to win the 2008 Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown there ... The Waves' had a 10-under 278 in the second round at UNLV, the fourth-best round in program history ... Pepperdine also took third at the Bruin Wave Invitational and tied for fourth at both the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational and Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge.
KANG -- Sophomore Danielle Kang (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Westlake HS) has been the Waves' top finisher at all five of the tournaments she's completed in 2010-11, with four top-10 results and all five in the top 20. She was tied as the leader after 54 holes at the UNLV Spring Invitational but fell in a playoff. She's missing her second tournament of the season this weekend to compete as an amateur at a professional event. Thanks to her win at last year's U.S. Women's Amateur, she got an invite to the Kraft Nabisco Championship, one of the majors on the LPGA Tour, which is this weekend in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
MORE KANG -- Ever since Danielle Kang completed high school early in order to enroll at Pepperdine in January 2010, it's been one notable achievement after another, highlighted by a victory at the U.S. Women's Amateur last summer. As a freshman, Kang won her second event (the Bruin Wave Invitational) and earned All-American second team honors from Golfweek after tying for 15th place at the 2010 NCAA Championships. Also last summer, she qualified for the U.S. Open for the second time and was one of only six amateurs to make the cut, had a second-place showing at the Canadian Women's Amateur and was the medalist of the stroke-play portion of the U.S. Junior Golf Championship before falling in the quarterfinals. Last fall, she also competed at the Japan Open (tying for 19th place) and the World Amateur Team Championship (helping the U.S. finish second).
KARLE -- Senior Taylore Karle (Scottsdale, Ariz./Laurel Springs Academy) ranks seventh on Pepperdine's all-time scoring list with an average of 74.50 strokes. She has two career wins, 14 top 10s and 21 top 20s. She earned All-American second team honors as a freshman.
NA -- Freshman Grace Na (Alameda, Calif./Alameda HS) won the CIF state championship in the fall, then graduated early from high school in order to enroll at Pepperdine in January. She's given the Waves' lineup a big boost, as she's placed in the top 20 at each of her four tournaments thus far.
GIBBS -- Recognized by her peers as one of the top collegiate women's golf coaches in the country, Laurie Gibbs is in her 18th season as head coach of the Pepperdine women's golf team. Under Gibbs, the Waves have appeared in the NCAA Championships 10 times, with eight top 10 finishes and four top five showings, including a program-best second-place result in 2003. Her players have earned All-American honors 20 times. Gibbs has led Pepperdine to West Coast Conference championships in 12 of the last 13 years, including a current streak of nine titles that began in 2002. Gibbs has been honored 10 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.
2010-11 ROSTER -- A roster of four returning players was bolstered by three new freshmen to give the Waves a total of seven student-athletes. There are two seniors, one junior and one sophomore. For the second straight year, one of the Waves' freshmen (Grace Na) graduated from high school early in order to start at Pepperdine in the spring semester.
2009-10 RECAP -- Another successful season went into the books as the Waves finished with a #9 ranking by Golfweek/Sagarin, tied for 14th place at the NCAA Championships and won their ninth straight WCC title. Pepperdine won three tournaments in all and had medalists at three events.
PEPPERDINE GOLF HISTORY -- The last decade-plus has established Pepperdine as one of the nation's top golf programs. The Waves have appeared in the NCAA Championships 10 times in 12 years, with eight 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 12 of the last 13 years, including a current streak of nine titles that began in 2002. LPGA Tour players have included Katherine Hull, Lindsey Wright, Tamie Durdin, Misun Cho and Carolina Llano.
ABOUT PEPPERDINE -- 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 -- 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.