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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Pac-12 Champs

Cliff Grassmick
during day 3 of the Pac-12 Championships at Boulder Country Club. Cliff Grassmick Staff Photographer April 22, 2015

For the second time in the Laura Ianello era, and for the first time since 2010, the No. 6-ranked Arizona women’s golf team captured the Pac-12 Conference title on Wednesday at the Boulder Country Club in Boulder, Colo.

Arizona finished the Pac-12 Championships shooting an overall score of 853 (+1), on a par-71 course, en route to its eighth Pac-12 Championship.

Winning the Pac-12 Championship also means that Arizona won both tournaments it played in April, after coming in second place at the Wildcat Invitational a month ago.

The Wildcats’ plateau of finishing in second place for the second consecutive season crumbled as the tournament progressed, and the Wildcats arrived at conference glory.

Arizona started the tournament on the wrong foot and finished the first day in fifth on the team leaderboard after shooting a 292 (+8), and two Wildcats were on the outside looking in when it came to the top-10 individual leaderboard.

Senior Manon Gidali and junior Lindsey Weaver shared a nine-way tie for 12th place after shooting 72 (+1).

Another pair of Wildcats would tie, as senior Kendall Prince and freshman Krystal Quihuis shared 26th place after shooting 74 (+3) in the opening round.

Sophomore Wanasa Zhou finished day one in a four-way tie for 42nd place at 6-over-par.

“I liked the way our team performed on the first day, even though we were in fifth place,” Ianello said.

Arizona was in the middle of the pack and didn’t have an easy task ahead of them.

The Wildcats have a trend of playing against Oregon for Pac-12 authority, whether it be the Ducks smacking Arizona for the 2014 Pac-12 Football Championship or Arizona basketball thumping the Ducks in the 2015 Pac-12 tournament.

Oregon finished first after the first day by shooting even (71).

“We weren’t too far away after the first day, so we never hung our heads, and we knew that if we’re to get back in the mix, then we needed an all-around team effort,” Ianello said.

The second round on Tuesday would be a much different story, as the Wildcats climbed back to the top and put themselves in contention.

Arizona finished the day in third place after shooting 10 strokes better as a team than the previous round, and improved to 6-over-par for the tournament. The Wildcats were one stroke away from tying No. 3-ranked UCLA and No. 28-ranked Oregon.  

Weaver helped lead the Wildcats by shooting 67 (-4) and moved up the leaderboard to tie for third place at 3-under-par after day two. Prince snuck her way into the top 10, sharing eighth place after shooting a 68 (-3) for an overall score of even par.

The final round would be the most crucial round this season for the Wildcats. The only teams that were standing in the Wildcats’ way were UCLA and Oregon.

Zhou paced Arizona, shooting a 6-under-par and finishing in a tie for 10th place at 1-over-par. Prince finished in a tie for 18th place at 5-over-par after carding a 76 (+5) in the final round.

Weaver led the way for the Wildcats, as the junior finished in a tie for second place at 5-under-par. Weaver lifted Arizona into first place as the Ducks and the Wildcats were trading places on the back nine.

“Lindsey struggled early on in the tournament, but she came out as a veteran and finished the tournament on a high note,” Ianello said. “One thing about Lindsey is that she always competes no matter the circumstance, and it was nice to see her perform like that, especially in the last couple rounds.”

Arizona will prepare for the 2015 NCAA Regionals, which will be announced Monday, and will play at N.C. State, Notre Dame, UTSA or BYU.


Follow Justin Spears on Twitter.

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