May 8, 2010
Led by Danielle Kang's sixth-place finish, the Pepperdine women's golf team qualified for the NCAA Championships for the 10th time in the last 12 years with a seventh-place result at the NCAA East Regional on Saturday. Meanwhile, USF shot a final round 309 and finishes play in the 2010 NCAA West Regional in 21st place at the Stanford Golf Course. The Dons posted its best round in the event on the final 18 holes, but could not make up any ground on the field.
The Waves had some struggles as a team during their third and final round at the par-72 Ironwood Country Club, but had built enough of a cushion after an excellent showing their first two days to qualify with room to spare. The top eight teams advanced to the NCAA Championships, set for May 18-21 in Wilmington, N.C., and the Waves ended up with a 10-stroke advantage over the ninth-place teams.
"I'm really happy," Pepperdine Coach Laurie Gibbs said. "It's all about advancing to nationals. Today was a little rough. It was really windy when we teed off and we got off to a tough start, but we held on. Today was one of those days where it was challenging, but you have to be able to close it out. Even though we knew we had a little cushion, we still had to play solid golf. They hung in there and I'm proud of them. Danielle has been great and played really well this weekend."
Pepperdine began Saturday in third place and 5-under par, but after a 306 the Waves dropped back to seventh place with a total of 877. South Carolina won the tournament with an even-par 864. Tennessee, Auburn, Duke, Vanderbilt, Tulane and TCU also will move on to the NCAA Championships with top-eight results.
Kang (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), a freshman playing in just her fifth collegiate tournament, posted Pepperdine's best individual performance at a regional since 2007. She began the third round as one of four players tied for the lead, though her final-round 75 gave her a total of a 2-under 214 (67-72-75) and dropped her to sixth.
Sophomore Jessica Wallace (Langley, B.C., Canada) tied for 30th place with a 4-over 220 (67-74-79), sophomore Lisa McCloskey (Montgomery, Texas) tied for 36th with a 5-over 221 (70-75-76), sophomore Kaitlin Drolson (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif./Torrey Pines HS) tied for 39th with a 6-over 222 (77-69-76) and junior Taylore Karle (Scottsdale, Ariz./Laurel Springs Academy) tied for 95th at 234 (77-77-80).
The Waves have finished in the nation's top 10 in eight of their previous nine trips to the NCAA Championships, including a ninth-place result last season.
USF Senior Danielle Cvitanov shot the Dons best round of the tournament with a 2-over 73 in her final competitive round in her standout career in the Green and Gold. Cvitanov and fellow senior Natasha Podmore finished tied for 81st place at 235. Senior Christina Stockton led the Dons in birdies in her final collegiate round with a pair.
USF's class of 2010 closes the books on a record-setting four-years for the women's golf program on the Hilltop. The Dons advanced to three NCAA Regionals in four seasons and turned in the two lowest stroke averages in program history in back-to-back seasons (2009-10). Four-year seniors Podmore and Stockton played for three different head coaches in their outstanding careers, while Cvitanov, the 2009 West Coast Conference Player of the Year played for two coaches in three seasons. All represented the USF Athletics with pride, poise and distinction.