Sept. 8, 2006
Malibu, Calif. - Riding the momentum of three consecutive top five finishes at the NCAA Championships, including a third-place showing at the 2006 NCAA Championships, the Pepperdine women's golf team received a No. 4 national ranking in Golfweek's 2006-07 preseason poll that was released Thursday.
Two-time defending national champion Duke was ranked No. 1 and was followed by Arizona State, Georgia, Pepperdine and UCLA.
The Waves, who finished fifth in the final 2005 Golfstat rankings, will be led by senior All-American Eileen Vargas, who is coming off a solid junior campaign in which she was tabbed a second team All-American after leading Pepperdine with a 73.0 stroke average and tying for fourth at the NCAA Championships. She was named a first team preseason All-American by Golfweek and ranked No. 8 among the publication's Top 10 players in the country.
The Pepperdine senior enjoyed a solid summer as she advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2006 U.S. Amateur before losing 3&1 to eventual champion Kimberly Kim.
Vargas, who also is ranked No. 8 in Golf World's Top 50 Female Athletes to Watch during the 2006-07 season, opened her 2005-06 campaign with a first-place showing at the Branch Law / Dick McGuire Invitational in September and claimed individual medalist honors at the Santa Clara Colby Invitational during the spring. She turned in an impressive showing at the NCAA Championships as she was the individual leader after each of the first three rounds before tying for fourth place.
In addition to Vargas, Pepperdine returns a solid line-up that includes juniors Leanne Bowditch and Stephanie Gelleni along with sophomores Jayvie Agojo and Nicole Montgomery. Agojo enjoyed an impressive rookie campaign that included two Top 10 finishes, including individual medalist honors at the West Coast Conference Championships.
The Waves line-up will be furthered bolstered by the addition of freshman Misun Cho, who put together an outstanding junior career in Australia. Cho is ranked No. 5 on Golfweek's Top 10 Freshman to Watch.
Laurie Gibbs, who is beginning her 14th year as Pepperdine's head coach, will lead the Waves into action on October 9 when the team opens the season at the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational in Redmond, Washington.
A round-table discussion previewing the upcoming 2006-07 college golf season can be viewed at www.golfweektv.com.
GOLFWEEK'S PRESEASON TOP 50
2. Arizona State
6. Southern California
10. Texas A&M
11. Wake Forest
16. Oklahoma State
19. Louisiana State
20. Southern Methodist
21. Ohio State
22. Kent State
23. Michigan State
25. South Carolina
26. Brigham Young
27. New Mexico
28. North Carolina
29. Florida State
30. Texas Christian