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No. 3 Pepperdine Opens Play at Arizona Wildcat Invitational on Monday

Feb. 24, 2007

Malibu, Calif. -

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Coming off an impressive victory in its last outing, the nationally-ranked Pepperdine women's golf team returns to action on Monday when it opens play at the 54-hole Arizona Wildcat Invitational at the Arizona National Golf Club in Tucson, Arizona.

LIVESCORING: The Arizona Wildcat Invitational can be followed live on the Internet at www.golfstat.com.

THE COURSE: The Arizona National Golf Club is a par-71 and measures out at 6,238 yards. The 54-hole tournament format calls for 36 holes on Monday and the final 18 holes to be played on Tuesday. It is scheduled to open with tee times beginning at 8 a.m. (MST) on Monday and Tuesday's final round begins at 8 a.m. Arizona State returns as defending champion while Vanderbilt's Jacqui Concolino is the defending individual medalist.

THE FIELD: The 15-team field includes Arizona (10), Arizona State (2), Brigham Young (21), California, Duke (3), New Mexico (16), Pepperdine (4), Stanford (7), Tennessee (13), UCLA (14), UNLV, USC (11), Vanderbilt (5), Virginia (8) and Washington. Twelve of the 15 teams in the field are ranked in the latest Golfweek Top 30 poll, while seven are ranked in the Top 10. The Waves are ranked No. 3 in the latest Golfstat rankings.

LAST TIME OUT: Pepperdine captured one of the most prestigious regular-season golf tournaments two weeks ago when it won the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge at nearby Palos Verdes Golf Club. The Waves shot a 54-hole score of 30-over par 882 to register a nine-shot victory over Arizona State (891). The victory marked the third time Pepperdine has won the event, previously winning the title in 2003 and 2005. Freshman Misun Cho claimed individual medalist honors after posting a 5-over par 218 to record a one-shot victory over teammate Jayvie Agojo and four other players.

CHO NAMED TO MID-SEASON ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM: Rookie Misun Cho was one of six players named to Golf World's Mid-Season All-Freshman Team. Following her victory at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge, Cho moved up to No. 17 in the Golfweek individual rankings.

PEPPERDINE INKS TOP RECRUIT: Taylore Karle, the No. 2-ranked player by Golfweek, the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) and Junior Golf Scoreboard, has signed a national letter-of-intent to attend Pepperdine, women's head coach Laurie Gibbs announced. She will enroll in Pepperdine next fall. A resident of Scottsdale, Arizona, Karle is a two-time first team AJGA Rolex Junior All-American, receiving the honor in 2005 and 2006. Over the course of the last two and half years, Karle has won six AJGA tournaments and had four second place finishes. Karle led the U.S. Junior Team to a third place finish in the prestigious Honda International Junior Tournament in Japan this past October. Her rounds counted in each of the three team scores and her second-round 70 was the low individual round of the day and included a hole-in-one on the 15th hole.

PEPPERDINE REPRESENTED AT WORLD AMATEUR TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS: Boasting an international line-up, the Pepperdine women's golf team was well-represented at the World Amateur Team Championships in South Africa. Senior Eileen Vargas and former All-American Carolina Llano led Colombia to a third place finish in the event that concluded on October 21. Llano fired a final-round 6-under 66 while Vargas posted a 2-under total of 72 to help Colombia finish one shot behind South Africa and Sweden, who tied for first at 10-under par 566 in the 72-hole event. Junior Stephanie Gelleni (Venezuela) and former Waves player Maria Cristina Arenas (Guatemala) also competed in the tournament.

Eileen Vargas TABBED PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN: Senior Eileen Vargas, who tied for fourth at the 2006 NCAA Championships and received second team All-American honors, was tabbed a preseason All-American by both Golfweek and Golf World. Vargas concluded the 2005-06 campaign with a team-best 73.00 stroke average.

Misun Cho RECEIVES RECOGNITION: Misun Cho, who enjoyed a standout junior career in Australia, was selected as one of the country's top freshmen to watch during the 2006-07 season by Golfweek. She was ranked as the fifth-best freshman.

2005-06 SEASON HONORS: Jayvie Agojo was named the West Coast Conference (WCC) Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year while joining teammates Carolina, Eileen Vargas and sophomores Leanne Bowditch and Marina Choi as All-WCC selections. Agojo became the fifth straight Waves player to win WCC individual medalist honors. Head coach Laurie Gibbs was tabbed the conference's Coach of the Year for the seventh time in her career. Vargas, who led after the first three rounds of the NCAA Championships, was selected a second team All-American while Llano received honorable mention All-American recognition and was named an Academic All-American.

PEPPERDINE PROGRAM RANKED NO. 10: Head coach Laurie Gibbs' women's team, which finished third at the 2006 NCAA Division I Championships in May, has catapulted the Pepperdine women's golf program into one of country's Top 10, according to a poll by Golf Digest. The rankings and College Golf Guide package provides a blueprint for high school students with dreams of playing golf in college and professionally ("Golf First" ranking), as well as students focused on education who still desire to play competitive golf ("Academics First" ranking). The five criteria form the basis of the rankings: a college golf team's adjusted scoring average, player growth while on the team, academics, climate and coaches/facilities. Using the above criteria, Pepperdine was ranked No. 10. Since 1998, the Pepperdine women's golf team has won eight West Coast Conference (WCC) titles, advanced to the NCAA Championships seven times and five different players have received All-American honors a total of 12 times, including Katherine Hull, who was a three-time All-American and selected the 2003 "College Player of the Year."

THE PROGRAM: The Pepperdine women's golf program begins its 22nd season of intercollegiate play. Women's golf was added as an intercollegiate sport at Pepperdine prior to the start of the 1985-86 school year. The Waves burst on to the national scene during the 1998-99 campaign, advancing to the NCAA Championships for the first time where the team earned an impressive fifth place finish. Pepperdine kept the positive momentum going in 2000, finishing eighth at the NCAA Championships. Tamie Durdin earned All-American honors from the National Golf Coaches Association in 2000, becoming the first Pepperdine player to earn such distinction. Lindsey Wright was an honorable mention All-American pick. The Waves placed 14th at the NCAA Championships in 2001, and sophomores Katherine Hull and Lindsey Wright were both second team All-Americans. Pepperdine put together another solid season in 2002 tying for ninth place at the NCAA Championships. Hull and Wright were again tabbed All-Americans and Wright tied for second in the individual standings. The duo led Pepperdine to unprecedented heights in 2003, leading the Waves to a second place finish at the NCAA Championships. They were both tabbed All-Americans and Hull was chosen as the "National Golfer of the Year" by the NGCA. In 2005, Pepperdine finished fourth at the NCAA Championships and junior Carolina Llano and sophomore Eileen Vargas were selected team and honorable mention All-Americans, respectively. The Waves have been consistently ranked in the Top 20 nationally each of the last nine seasons. The West Coast Conference (WCC) began sponsoring a women's golf championship for the first time in 1997, and Pepperdine finished second at the inaugural event behind San Francisco. The Waves have won eight of the last nine league titles, including the 2006 WCC Championships. Candida Kim was the first Pepperdine golfer to compete at the NCAA West Regional Championships, as she earned an at-large berth to the 1995 event. In 1998, Jenny Glasgow became just the second Pepperdine golfer to earn such distinction, competing in the NCAA West Regional Championships at the Stanford Golf Course.

LAURIE GIBBS: Laurie Gibbs, a former teaching professional at the Wilshire Country Club in Los Angeles, is in her 14th season as Pepperdine's head women's golf coach. Gibbs played collegiate golf at Long Beach State, and previously worked for three years as a PGA teaching professional at the Wilshire Country Club in Los Angeles. Gibbs has directed the Waves to seven Top 15 finishes at the NCAA Championships in the last eight years, including a best-ever second place finish at the 2003 NCAA Championships. Pepperdine won three consecutive West Coast Conference championships from 1998-2000 and has captured titles in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006. Gibbs was tabbed the league's "Coach of the Year" in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006. Additionally, Gibbs was selected the 1999 Far West Region "Coach of the Year" by the National Golf Coaches Association and received "Co-Coach of the Year" honors by the organization in 2003. She has twice been selected the University's "Coach of the Year", garnering the award in 1998-99 and 2002-03. After leading the Waves to a fourth-place finish at the 2005 NCAA Championships, Gibbs was tabbed the "National Coach of the Year" by Golfweek.

ON THE WEB: For updated information concerning Pepperdine athletics on the Internet, including results and a schedule of upcoming events, please bookmark the following address: http://www.PepperdineSports.com.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: For additional information on the women's golf program, or to arrange interviews with players and the coaching staff, please contact Al Barba at the Pepperdine Sports Information Office by calling (310) 506-4455.