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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona women’s golf prepares for strong field at Pac-12 Tournament

Arizona+women%26%238217%3Bs+golf+athlete+Natalia+Forero+follows+her+shot+during+the+first+day+of+the+Wildcat+Invitational+on+March+14.
Stan Liu / Arizona Athletics
Arizona women’s golf athlete Natalia Forero follows her shot during the first day of the Wildcat Invitational on March 14.

The UA women’s golf team will close out the conference season next Monday at the Pac-12 Conference tournament looking to repeat as conference champions.

“We’ve had a successful season; we’ve had some great tournaments and some not so great tournaments, but overall fairly consistent,” head coach Laura Ianello said. “We’ve beaten a lot of good teams … overall the progression this spring has been successful.”

The consistency Ianello refers to is top-five finishes in every tournament but two for the team. That’ll do it.

This includes tournament titles at the Windy City Collegiate Classic and the top spot at the Wildcat Invitational, not to mention second-place finishes at the SDSU March Mayhem tournament in which they beat UCLA, which was ranked No. 3 in the country at the time.

The Wildcats now enter the conference tournament as the No. 11 team in the nation — a spot that normally has a good chance at winning the conference and also at winning a national championship. Normally, that is, unless you play in the Pac-12.

The conference sports a murderer’s row of top teams in the nation with USC ranked No. 2, UCLA at No. 4 and ASU at No. 10 according to the latest top-25 poll by GolfStat.com.

“I believe all the hard work we put in this spring will pay off when we leave next week for conference,” Ianello said.

The odds would seem to ever be in her favor as they set out on a “Hunger Games”-like quest to be champions of the Pac-12.

The Wildcats have been led by the play of sophomore Krystal Quihuis, the local product from Salpointe Catholic High School, who is near or at the top of virtually every statistical category to include stroke average and rounds of par or better.

Quihuis won the Wildcat Invitational and more recently five of the top six golfers on the team statistically have carded at least one top-10 finish in their last three outings.

The tone set by Ianello is overwhelmingly positive as she thinks it is not a matter of if but, instead, when this team will break through. This is highlighted by the play of lone senior Lindsey Weaver, who Ianello says hasn’t played the way she has wanted, but believes the best is yet to come.

“She hasn’t been as consistent with her stroke average, but I know she is excited to have some top finishes coming up,” Ianello said. “She is graduating in May as a finance major and also getting ready to turn professional and start her professional debut, I know she is eager for that, so she is on the right track.”

The Wildcats begin play Monday, April 18 at Ruby Hill Golf Club in Pleasanton, California.


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