The ASU women’s golf team is heading to the California coast to participate in its first event of the 2013 spring season.
The No. 10 lady Sun Devils will be one of 16 teams to compete in the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge, hosted by Ohio State at the the Palos Verdes Golf Club from Feb. 11 to Feb. 13.
The contest will consist of 54 holes played on the par-71, 5,912-yard course.
Coach Melissa Luellen said she is very excited about her squad going into the event and expects to remain competitive until the last hole.
“We’re looking forward to competing on a great course with a very strong field,” she said. “Our goal is to beat teams ranked ahead of us and finish in the top five.”
Nine of the 16 teams in the challenge’s field are ranked in the women’s golfweek.com top 25: No. 1 Washington, No. 3 USC, No. 4 Duke, No. 5 Florida, No. 7 Arizona, No. 10 ASU, No. 12 Michigan State, No. 18 Oklahoma State and No. 24 Baylor.
Washington is the favorite going into the tournament, having been beat by only two of 60 teams throughout its last four events.
Luellen expects to trail close behind Washington with her squad comprised of five players.
The line-up for ASU includes sophomore Emilie Alonso, sophomore Noemi Jimenez, junior Laura Blanco, junior Daniela Ordonez and junior Nicole Jones.
Luellen said Blanco, Jimenez and Alonso have all been performing very well in practice. She said Ordonez has been able to practice more and is playing well while dealing with back issues.
She added that the Northrop Grumman will be Jones’s first tournament in a long time.
“She is both nervous and excited,” Luellen said.
Luellen said her girls have positive memories from previous experiences at the Palos Verdes Golf Club, and they love going back to play it over again.
“Many players and coaches dread playing this course because it is difficult,” Luellen said. “Our Sun Devils choose to love it.”
The Sun Devils have been successful at this tournament before. They took the crown in 2009, placed fourth in 2010, second in 2011 and most recently placed fourth in 2012.
Live scoring of the tournament will be available at www.golfstat.com.
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