Pepperdine Women's Golf Team Opens Season At NCAA Fall Preview Tournament
Sept. 10, 2003
The Pepperdine women's golf team, coming off a second place finish at last year's NCAA Championships, opens its 2003-04 season this week when it travels to Auburn, Alabama, to compete in the NCAA Fall Preview Tournament.
The tournament format calls for 54 holes over three days at the 6,215-yard par-72 course beginning on Friday, September 12. The tournament continues on Saturday and Sunday with 18 holes each day.
The 18-team field includes 15 of the top 17 teams ranked in the Golfweek preseason poll, including defending national champion USC. Host Auburn enters the tournament ranked No. 13.
Despite losing All-Americans Katherine Hull and Lindsey Wright, who finished last year ranked No. 3 and 4, respectively in last year's final Golfstat rankings, Pepperdine begins this season No. 15 in Golfweek's preseason poll.
Led by Hull and Wright, Pepperdine enjoyed its finest season in school history a year ago as it won five staight tournaments during the spring and received its first-ever No. 1 ranking.
"We had a remarkable run last year and were led by Katherine and Lindsey," head coach Laurie Gibbs said. "They set a standard for us to uphold and I am really looking forward to getting this going.
"We have a number of players returning who played key roles in our success last year and I expect them to continue to improve and keep us competitive," Gibbs said. "We have also added two freshmen to the roster who I anticipate big things from.
Sophomore Carolina Lllano highlights the returning players for the Waves. Llano joined the Pepperdine program last January and made an immediate impact on the team as she was tabbed the West Coast Conference's (WCC) "Player of the Year" and "Freshman of the Year" after winning individual medallist honors at the WCC Championships.
Llano enters this year as a second team preseason All-American by Golfweek after posting a 74.62 stroke average in 21 rounds.
Other players returning for the Waves include juniors Maria Christina Arenas, Rachael Kyono and sophomore Courtney Clark. Fresmen Eileen Vargas (Ibaque, Columbia) and Catherine Woods (Denver Colorado) round out the roster.
THE PROGRAM: The Pepperdine women's golf program is beginning its 19th season of intercollegiate play. Women's golf was added as an intercollegiate sport at Pepperdine prior to the start of the 1985-86 school year. The Waves burst on to the national scene during the 1998-99 campaign, advancing to the NCAA Championships for the first time where the team earned an impressive fifth place finish. Pepperdine kept the positive momentum going in 2000, finishing eighth at the NCAA Championships. Tamie Durdin earned All-American honors from the National Golf Coaches Association in 2000, becoming the first Pepperdine player to earn such distinction. Lindsey Wright was an honorable mention All-American pick. The Waves placed 14th at the NCAA Championships in 2001, and sophomores Katherine Hull and Lindsey Wright were both second team All-Americans. Pepperdine put together another solid season in 2002 tying for ninth place at the NCAA Championships. Hull and Wright were again tabbed All-Americans and Wright tied for second in the individual standings. The duo led Pepperdine to unprecedented heights in 2003, leading the Waves to a second place finish at the NCAA Championships. They were both tabbed All-Americans and Hull was chosen as the "National Golfer of the Year" by the NGCA. The Waves have been consistently ranked in the Top 15 nationally each of the last five seasons. The West Coast Conference (WCC) began sponsoring a women's golf championship for the first time in 1997, and Pepperdine finished second at the inaugural event behind San Francisco. The Waves have won five of the last six league titles, including 2003. Candida Kim was the first Pepperdine golfer to compete at the NCAA West Regional Championships, as she earned an at-large berth to the 1995 event. In 1998, Jenny Glasgow became just the second Pepperdine golfer to earn such distinction, competing in the NCAA West Regional Championships at the Stanford Golf Course.
Laurie Gibbs: Laurie Gibbs, a former teaching professional at the Wilshire Country Club in Los Angeles, begins her 11th season as Pepperdine's head women's golf coach. Gibbs played collegiate golf at Long Beach State, and previously worked for three years as a PGA teaching professional at the Wilshire Country Club in Los Angeles. Gibbs has directed the Waves to five consecutive Top 15 finishes at the NCAA Championships, including a best-ever second place finish at last year's NCAA Championships. Pepperdine won three consecutive West Coast Conference championships from 1998-2000 and captured the title again in 2001, 2002 and 2003. Gibbs was tabbed the league's "Coach of the Year" in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2003. Additionally, Gibbs was selected the 1999 Far West Region "Coach of the Year" by the National Golf Coaches Association and received "Co-Coach of the Year" honors by the organization in 2003. She has twice been selected the University's "Coach of the Year", garnering the award in 1998-99 and 2002-03.
SPORTS INFORMATION HOTLINE: For updated information concerning Pepperdine athletics, including results and a schedule of upcoming events, please contact the Pepperdine Sports Information Hotline at 310-506-7373. The hotline will be updated on a regular basis throughout the course of the 2003-04 school year.
ON THE WEB: For updated information concerning Pepperdine athletics on the Internet, including results and a schedule of upcoming events, please bookmark the following address: http://www.PepperdineSports.com.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: For additional information on the women's golf program, or to arrange interviews with players and the coaching staff, please contact Al Barba at the Pepperdine Sports Information Office by calling (310) 506-4455.