Women's Golf Gets Season Underway Next Week in New Mexico

Laurie Gibbs

Sept. 14, 2012

Pepperdine Women's Golf Notes Get Acrobat Reader

MALIBU, Calif. -- The Pepperdine women's golf team heads into the 2012-13 season full of optimism after a young group of Waves gained valuable experience at the 2012 NCAA Championships. The campaign begins next week at the Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational, hosted by New Mexico. The Waves have won this tournament twice (2005 and 2009). Head coach Laurie Gibbs is beginning her 20th season in charge of the Waves.

EVENT INFO -- The tournament will be held at the par-73, 6,167-yard Championship Golf Course at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, N.M. Teams will play 36 holes on Monday (Sept. 17) and the final 18 on Tuesday (Sept. 18). Live scoring will be provided at www.golfstat.com.

FIELD -- In addition to Pepperdine, the 17-team field consists of host New Mexico, Baylor, BYU, Colorado, Colorado State, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State, Northwestern, Ohio State, San Diego State, TCU, UC Davis, UNLV, UTEP and Wyoming.

RANKINGS -- Pepperdine is #19 in Golfweek's preseason rankings and #24 in the Golf World/WGCA preseason coaches' poll.

PEPPERDINE LINEUP -- The lineup for the Waves consists of juniors Danielle Gillaspy (Santa Maria, Calif./St. Joseph's HS) and Grace Na (Alameda, Calif./Alameda HS), sophomores Alina Ching (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School) and Somin Lee (Denver, Colo./Overland HS) and freshman Marissa Chow (Honolulu, Hawaii/Iolani HS). Junior Liv Cheng (Auckland, New Zealand/Macleans College) will play as an individual.

NA -- Grace Na, a two-time All-American honorable mention selection and a two-time WCC Player of the Year already in her young career, was named one of the nation's top 50 players to watch in 2012-13 by Golf World. She heads into her junior season with a career stroke average of 73.98, fourth all-time at Pepperdine. Thirteen of her 17 tournaments have resulted in a top-20 finish (with seven top 10s, including a win at the 2011 Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown, where she tied an NCAA record with a 9-under 63 in the first round).

ROSTER -- Five of six players are returning from last season's team, though there isn't a single senior on the Waves' roster this year. One new freshman brings the total number of players back up to six. The breakdown is three juniors, two sophomores and one freshman.

PEPPERDINE GOLF HISTORY -- Under the direction of Laurie Gibbs, who is now in her 20th season as head coach, the last decade-plus has established Pepperdine as one of the nation's top golf programs. The Waves have appeared in the NCAA Championships 11 times in 14 years, with eight top 10 finishes and four top five showings, including a program-best second-place result in 2003. The Waves have won West Coast Conference championships in 14 of the last 15 years, including a current streak of 11 titles that began in 2002. Eleven different players have earned All-American honors a total of 23 times. LPGA Tour players have included Katherine Hull, Lindsey Wright, Tamie Durdin, Nadina (Taylor) Light, Misun Cho, Carolina Llano and Danielle Kang. Kang won back-to-back U.S. Amateur Championships in 2010 and 2011. Gibbs has been honored 11 times as the WCC's Coach of the Year, was tabbed the West Region Coach of the Year on two occasions and was selected the 2004-05 National Coach of the Year by Golfweek magazine.

ONLINE -- Follow the Pepperdine golf team on Twitter at @wavesgolf or on Facebook at Pepperdine Women's Golf.

ABOUT PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY -- Pepperdine boasts a one-of-a-kind athletic department with unprecedented success for a school of its size. The Waves have won NCAA Division I championships in five different men's sports - one of just 16 schools to have accomplished this feat - and nine overall. Of this elite group, Pepperdine has the smallest enrollment and is the only school not in a major conference. Located in scenic Malibu, Calif., the university overlooks the Pacific Ocean and its campus and athletic facilities are regularly voted among the nation's most beautiful. Pepperdine, which is affiliated with the Church of Christ, ranks #54 overall on U.S. News and World Report's list of America's best colleges.



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