Women's Golf Wins Season-Opening McGuire Invitational by 12 Strokes

Laurie Gibbs

Sept. 21, 2013

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The Pepperdine women's golf team won the season-opening Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational on Saturday by 12 strokes, and now immediately heads to Colorado for the Golfweek Conference Challenge, where the Waves will be looking to repeat as champions.

Pepperdine, listed 15th in Golfweek's preseason rankings, had its best round of the three on Saturday at the par-73 UNM Championship Course, firing an 8-under 284 to put distance between the squad and the competition. The Waves finished with an 11-under 865 (290-291-284), ahead of Oregon (877) and Iowa State (878) and 13 other schools.

The Waves' final score of 11-under was the fifth-best team score in school history. The final-round score of 8-under tied as the seventh-best 18-hole score in program history. Pepperdine won the McGuire for the third time, following victories in 2005 and 2009.

The last time Pepperdine won consecutive tournaments to start a season was in fall 2009, when the Waves won the inaugural Golfweek Conference Challenge, and then the McGuire. The Waves will now be looking to repeat that feat in reverse order. The Golfweek event, which the Waves also won last year, will be contested Monday through Wednesday (Sept. 23-25) at the Red Sky Golf Club in Wolcott, Colo.

"I am extremely proud of the team," Pepperdine Coach Laurie Gibbs said. "They played awesome and it's a great way to start the season. We look forward to going to the Golfweek Conference Challenge, where we will try to defend our title."

Four of the five Waves finished below par at Saturday's final round, and the fifth player shot par.

Three Waves wound up in the top five individually, led by sophomore Marissa Chow (Honolulu, Hawaii/Iolani HS), who vaulted into second place on the strength of a 5-under 68, which tied the best round of the entire tournament. She wound up with a 6-under 213 (72-73-68). Both the 6-under for the tournament and the 5-under round were collegiate bests for Chow. Chow had a total of seven birdies during her final round, including five of her final seven holes.

Junior Somin Lee (Denver, Colo./Overland HS) tied for third place, equaling the best finish of her career. Her 4-under 215 (70-72-73) was also a collegiate best. Lee had four birdies during her final round.

Grace Na (Denver, Colo./Overland HS), a three-time All-American and West Coast Conference Player of the Year, got her senior year off to a good start with a fifth-place result. She had a 3-under 216 (73-71-72), and her final round had two birdies and just one bogey. In her last 11 tournaments dating back to the start of last season, Na has finished at or below par seven times.

Senior Liv Cheng (Auckland, New Zealand) moved up almost nine spots to finish in a tie for 16th place with a 3-over 222 (75-75-72). Cheng was 3-over after six holes, then had four birdies the rest of the way. Junior Alina Ching (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School) tied for 27th at 225 (75-78-72). Her final round consisted of three birdies and an eagle on the par-5 first hole.

Team Scores: 1. Pepperdine 290-291-284=865; 2. Oregon 299-286-292=877; 3. Iowa State 297-292-289=878; 4. Northwestern 296-293-295=884; 5. UC Davis 300-288-300=888; 6. San Diego State 303-298-294=895; 7. Colorado 295-304-297=896; 8. New Mexico 307-301-293=901; T9. Oregon State 299-306-304=909; T9. UNLV 301-309-299=909; 11. Texas Tech 309-306-307=922; 12. Iowa 311-311-305=927; T13. Fresno State 306-312-318=936; T13. Nevada 314-314-308=936; 15. UTEP 309-317-317=943; 16. Wyoming 320-311-326=957.

Individual Leaders: 1. Cassy Isagawa (Oregon) 70-68-69=207; 2. Marissa Chow (Pepperdine 72-73-68=213; T3. Sirene Blair (San Diego State) 72-71-72=215; T3. Somin Lee (Pepperdine) 70-72-73=215; 5. Grace Na (Pepperdine) 73-71-72=216.

Other Pepperdine Scores: T16. Liv Cheng 75-75-72=222; T27. Alina Ching 75-78-72=225.



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