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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Column: Women’s golf hopes for favorable draw

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Kyle Hansen

Arizona women’s golf coach Laura Ianello talks during Arizona’s second place finish in the Wildcat Invitational at Sewailo Golf Club on March 17. Fresh off capturing the Pac-12 Championship, Ianello and the Wildcats have a great shot to contend for a national championship next week.

As the regular season has already ended and Arizona women’s golf proved its worth in the Pac-12 Championships, the next step for Arizona is still up in the air, as the Wildcats will realize their fate on Monday afternoon on the Golf Channel. 

The ideal scenario in the NCAA Regionals could be the reason Arizona wins a national championship this season and scratches off another task on head coach Laura Ianello’s coaching accomplishments. 

Every coach, no matter what the sport, has a checklist for his or her respected squad. For Ianello and the Wildcats this season, the team has completed a milestone checklist as the season has progressed, and the Wildcats are only getting hotter. 

One of those milestones was defending their title at the SunTrust Gator Women’s Golf Invitational and despite shooting 39-over-par, the Wildcats were in first place the entire tournament. 

From April 10-12, Arizona was the cream of the crop of the teams in the Pac-12 at the PING/ASU Invitational and knocked off Duke to defend as champions. 

The only milestone that Ianello didn’t complete this season was winning their home event when Arizona came in second. Big whoop. 

With the success that the Wildcats have accomplished this season, the rest of the Arizona Athletics community has revealed support to the Wildcats. Arizona men’s basketball coach Sean Miller and Arizona football coach Rich Rodriguez sent out tweets congratulating the women’s golf team. 

Overall, Ianello and her team have been rock stars through the week and Ianello couldn’t have asked for a better scenario for her team. 

“When you think of Arizona, you always think of basketball and what Sean has done the past few years with the basketball team is incredible, and also Rich Rod did such a great job with the football team this season,” Ianello said. “So getting support from those guys was definitely a good feeling. All of Arizona Athletics is like a family and we’ll always show support for each other.”

Going back to Miller and Arizona basketball, the Wildcats were fortunate enough to play in the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas and then in Los Angeles for the NCAA Tournament. MGM Grand Garden Arena and Staples Center turned into McKale Center during those games. 

As Arizona prepares for the NCAA Regionals, home-course advantage would be the ideal situation. The NCAA Regional hosts are N.C. State, Notre Dame, UTSA and BYU. Staying close to home and playing in either Provo, Utah, or San Antonio is a recipe for success. 

The Wildcats played in Wilmington, N.C., for the fall portion of the season for the Landfall Tradition and tied for 10th place by shooting 881 (+17). Arizona played in Chicago for the 2014 Windy City Classic and came in fourth place (+27). Arizona hasn’t had the greatest success playing in the same region as N.C. State or Notre Dame, so playing in a neighbor state could result in playing in the NCAA Championships in Bradenton, Fla. 

Did I mention that Arizona played well in the state of Florida and earned titles in Gainesville in each of the last two years? Not to mention it came in second at the Annika Intercollegiate in Orlando, Fla. 

With the support of household names like Sean Miller and Rich Rodriguez, as well as the Tucson community to go along with playing close to home, Arizona is destined to finally give Ianello her first national championship as a coach. 

“The girls have worked so hard all season and all we can do is wait to see where we will play, but no matter where we have to travel to, we’ll have our week of preparation and get out there to compete,” Ianello said.   

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Follow Justin Spears on Twitter.

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