Oct. 6, 2006
Malibu, Calif. -
Coming off a third-place finish at the 2006 NCAA Championships, the nationally-ranked Pepperdine women's golf team begins its journey towards a first-ever national championship when it opens its 2006-07 season Monday at the Washington Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational in Redmond, Washington.
The Waves, preseason ranked No. 4 nationally by Golfweek, finished in the Top 5 for the fourth time in school history and registered their sixth Top 10 showing in seven trips to the national championships a year ago. Pepperdine's best-ever finish came in 2003 when it placed second. The Waves finished fifth in 1999, eighth in 2000, tied for ninth in 2002 and fourth in 2005.
With an experienced line-up returning and the addition of one of the top junior recruits in the world, 14th-year head coach Laurie Gibbs will lead a team with a legitimate chance to once again compete for a national championship.
LIVESCORING: The Washington Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational can be followed live on the Internet at www.golfstat.com.
THE COURSE: Sahalee Country Club, a par-72, 6,130-yard course will host the Washington Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational. The 54-hole tournament format calls for 18 holes to be played over three days. Monday's opening-round is slated to begin at 9 a.m. with teams starting on holes No. 1 and No. 10.
THE FIELD: The 16-team field includes Arizona, Arizona State, Brigham Young California, Long Beach State, New Mexico, Oregon (two teams), Oregon State, Pepperdine, San Francisco, Southern California, Stanford, Washington State and host Washington, which has two teams competing. A total of seven teams, including Pepperdine which is No. 4, are preseason-ranked in Golfweek's Top 30.
DEFENDING CHAMPIONS: Pepperdine enters the Washington Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational as defending champions after winning the event in 2005. Behind sophomore Leanne Bowditch, the Waves recorded a one-shot victory over Arizona State after posting a score of 891. Bowditch shot rounds of 74-75-72 for a 5-over par total of 221 to finish third, one shot ahead of teammate Carolina Llano.
PRESEASON RANKINGS: Pepperdine begins the season ranked No. 4 nationally by Golfweek and No. 6 by Golf World. The Waves concluded the 2005-06 season No. 5 in both the Golfweek and Golfstat rankings.
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 REVIEW: Pepperdine competed in 11 tournaments during the 2005-06 campaign and registered nine Top 5 finishes. The Waves opened the fall season with back-to-back victories at the Branch Law / Dick McGuire Invitational in Albuquerque, New Mexico and the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational in Sammamish, Washington. Pepperdine also captured the Santa Clara Colby Invitational in Carmel Valley, California, and the West Coast Conference (WCC) Championships in Copperopolis, California. Additionally, junior Eileen Vargas claimed individual medalist honors at the Branch Law / Dick McGuire Invitational and the Santa Clara Colby Invitational while freshman Jayvie Agojo took individual medalist honors at the WCC Championships. The Waves capped the year with third-place showings at the NCAA Central Regional Championships and NCAA Championships.
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.