Na, Women's Golf Claim WCC Titles Again

Somin Lee and Grace Na

April 17, 2013

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BREMERTON, Wash. - It's now a dozen consecutive West Coast Conference titles for the Pepperdine women's golf team, as the Waves continued their dominance with another league championship on Wednesday. Also, junior Grace Na won medalist honors for the second time in her career.

The Waves finished the WCC Championships with a score of 883 (293-289-301) at the par-72 Gold Mountain Golf Club, 17 strokes ahead of runner-up Gonzaga. During the current run of titles, Pepperdine's average margin of victory is nearly 25 strokes. The Waves have now won 15 of the 17 league tournaments ever contested.

"It was a good tournament," Pepperdine Coach Laurie Gibbs said. "We played a solid second nine during the first round, and then we played exceptionally well yesterday, and that really helped. Today, we closed it out pretty well."

Na (Alameda, Calif./Alameda HS), who also won the league title as a freshman in 2011, was awarded her third straight WCC Player of the Year honor. Na fired a 3-under 213 (70-70-73) to beat Gonzaga's Raychelle Santos by two strokes.

"Grace is playing solid and with a lot of confidence," Gibbs said. "Her game is excellent. She's playing very consistently. It's all coming together at the right time for her."

Na led wire-to-wire and became the first two-time winner of the WCC Championships since Pepperdine's Jayvie Agojo was victorious in 2006 and 2009. Na might have had three in a row but played injured during last year's event.

It was Na's second victory in less than a month and the fourth of her career.

"Winning always feels good," Na said. "I had three solid rounds, and that will help prepare me for regionals. I still see some things I need to work on, my putting didn't really work today. But we did really well as a team too. This was a good tournament for us."

Sophomore Alina Ching (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School) and freshman Marissa Chow (Honolulu, Hawaii/Iolani HS) tied for third place with 6-over 222s. Ching shot 73-69-80 and Chow was at 72-77-73.

Junior Liv Cheng (Auckland, New Zealand/Macleans College) tied for seventh place at 229 (78-73-78) and sophomore Somin Lee (Denver, Colo./Overland HS) tied for 14th place at 237 (78-82-77).

Na had a tournament-high 12 birdies, while Ching was second with nine. Chow had the only eagle of the tournament, a 2 on the par-4 15th hole on Wednesday.

Na, Cheng, Ching and Chow were picked to the All-WCC first team. Lee was named honorable mention.

The Waves earned the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. The NCAA Regional fields will be announced on Monday, April 29 at 6 p.m. PT. Pepperdine will be making its 15th consecutive NCAA postseason appearance. The regionals, which will be held May 9-11, are being hosted by Stanford, Oklahoma and Auburn.

"The girls will get ready for finals and will practice on their own for a while, and then we'll start practicing again the day after finals," Gibbs said. "We've worked so hard on getting everybody to play consistent golf. We'll have an important week before the regional once we know what kind of course we're dealing with. But the team can go anywhere and will be able to handle it."

Team Scores: 1. Pepperdine 293-289-301=883; 2. Gonzaga 298-301-301=900; 3. Brigham Young 308-313-307=928; 4. Santa Clara 316-317-307=940; 5. San Francisco 329-314-322=965; 6. CSU Bakersfield 342-341-335=1018.

Top Individuals: 1. Grace Na (Pepperdine) 70-70-73=213; 3. Raychelle Santos (Gonzaga) 71-73-71=215; T3. Alina Ching (Pepperdine) 73-69-80=222; T3. Marissa Chow (Pepperdine) 72-77-73=222; 5. Lea Garner (BYU) 74-74-76=224.

Other Pepperdine Scores: T7. Liv Cheng 78-73-78=229; T14. Somin Lee 78-82-77=237.



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