Women's Golf Wins Golfweek Conference Challenge for Second Time

Laurie Gibbs

Sept. 26, 2012

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VAIL, Colo. - The Pepperdine women's golf team won its first tournament of the season on Wednesday with a five-stroke victory over UC Davis at the Golfweek Conference Challenge. It was the Waves' second win at the event in four years and three of their players finished in the top five.

The Waves shot 4-under over the three days at the par-72 Fazio Course at the Red Sky Golf Club, good for the sixth-best 54-hole team score in program history. Pepperdine was the co-leader after day one and led UC Davis by two shots after the second round. The Waves finished with a 3-under 285, their best round of the tournament, for a total of 860 (286-289-285). After UC Davis, Oklahoma was in third place, 21 strokes back.

"I'm very happy and very proud of the girls, they played really, really well," Pepperdine Coach Laurie Gibbs said. "I think that coming off our last tournament, we were a little more focused and we benefitted from our conditioning and our practice and what we learned from our last time out."

Junior Grace Na (Alameda, Calif./Alameda HS), a two-time All-American, continued her great start to the season with a tie for second place. Na wound up with a 4-under 212 (69-70-73), which tied with Fabiola Arriaga of UTSA and was three shots behind the winner, Demi Runas of UC Davis. Na's final round consisted of one birdie, two bogeys and 15 pars.

Na's 54-hole score of 4-under was the second-best number of her career, and it's the second straight tournament she finished below par (she tied for fourth place at the season-opening Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational). She has now had nine top 10 finishes and 15 top 20 results in her 19 career tournaments.

"I felt like I played a really solid tournament in general," Na said. "We're going to continue to work hard during our break before our next tournament. I'm really proud of the team and how we pulled through for a win."

Sophomores Alina Ching (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School) and Somin Lee (Denver, Colo./Overland HS) joined Na in the top five. Ching wound up in fourth place with a 3-under 213 (71-72-70) and Lee had a strong finish to tie for fifth place with a 1-under 215 (71-75-69). Both Ching and Lee, who each had four birdies today, finished with below-par scores over 54 holes for the first time in their college careers. Lee had a run of three straight birdies on the back nine.

Freshman Marissa Chow (Honolulu, Hawaii/Iolani HS) tied for 23rd place at 223 (78-72-73) and junior Liv Cheng (Auckland, New Zealand) tied for 39th place at 229 (75-77-77).

Pepperdine won the inaugural Golfweek Conference Challenge in 2009 when it was held at the Primm Valley Desert Resorts in Primm, Nev. The annual event brings together schools from 18 different conferences.

Pepperdine's third tournament of the fall is the Stanford Intercollegiate on Oct. 19-21.

Team Scores: 1. Pepperdine 286-289-285=860; 2. UC Davis 292-285-288=865; 3. Oklahoma 286-300-295=881; 4. Campbell 298-303-293=894; 5. Denver 305-297-293=895; 6. Mississippi 300-296-303=899; 7. UTSA 307-296-301=904; 8. East Tennessee State 298-306-302=906; 9. UCLA 310-294-310=914; 10. Florida State 304-311-300=915; T11. San Diego State 302-305-311=918; T11. South Florida 305-307-306=918; 13. Georgia State 310-314-295=919; 14. San Jose State 303-314-305=922; 15. Nebraska 303-307-314=924; 16. Tulsa 311-307-309=927; 17. Furman 305-307-317=929; 18. Missouri State 318-315-313=946.

Top Individuals: 1. Demi Runas (UC Davis) 71-67-71=209; T2. Fabiola Arriaga (UTSA) 75-68-69=212; T2. Grace Na (Pepperdine) 69-70-73=212; 4. Alina Ching (Pepperdine) 71-72-70=213; T5. Chirapat Jao-Javanil (Oklahoma) 68-75-72=215; T5. Somin Lee (Pepperdine) 71-75-69=215.

Other Pepperdine Scores: T23. Marissa Chow 78-72-73=223; T39. Liv Cheng 75-77-77=229.



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