Duke Wins Team, Individual ChampionshipsMay 20, 2005

SUNRIVER, Ore. -- Behind sophomore Anna Grzebien's individual title, top-ranked Duke won the 2005 NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championships by five strokes on Friday at the Sunriver Resort's Meadows Course. Grzebien entered the round with a four-shot lead and held on for a one-stroke victory with a 2-over-par 73.

During the morning of round four, conditions on the par-71, 6,312-yard course were overcast and windy, but with only a few spots of light rain. The afternoon rounds, which featured the leaders, were played under darker skies and more rain.

Duke (+34, 292-303-278-297=1,170) began the day with an eight-shot lead, and kept a comfortable lead until the very end of the round. Besides Grzebien, Duke's other scorers were sophomore Brittany Lang (even-par 71), junior Elizabeth Janangelo (1-over-par 72) and senior Niloufar Aazam-Zanganeh (10-over-par 81).

Defending national champion UCLA (+39, 288-302-292-293=1,175) came in second place, followed by Auburn (+40, 290-296-295-295=1,176)

Duke's Grzebien (+2, 73-75-65-73=286) was even-par through three rounds and had a four-shot lead to start the day. Virginia sophomore Leah Wigger (+3, 73-72-73-69=287) put some pressure on by shooting a 2-under-par 69 during the morning rounds, giving her a four-round total of 3-over-par as the afternoon groups teed off.

Grzebien had two bogies and no birdies on the front nine, putting her at 2-over-par for the tournament and giving her a precarious one-stroke lead over Wigger. Grzebien found some breathing room when she birdied the par-14 12th hole. But after three straight pars, she bogied the par-3 16th hole, again giving her a one-stroke lead.

Grzebien missed a short birdie putt on the 17th hole and settled for par. On the par-4 18th, she found the green in two, but was about 25 feet from the cup. She got her first putt to within about four feet, and later calmly sank her second and final putt for the title.

Wigger finished in second place, while UCLA freshman Amie Cochran (71-79-70-68) and Duke's Lang (74-75-68-71) tied for third place at a 4-over-par 288.

Auburn sophomore Nicole Hage (73-75-70-71) was fifth at a 5-over-par 289, while California senior Claire Dury (74-73-72-71) and Pepperdine junior Carolina Llano (69-77-72-72) tied for sixth with a 6-over-par 290.

LSU senior Brooke Shelton (71-75-72-73) and Oklahoma State senior Annie Thurman-Young (75-75-73-68) tied for eighth at a 7-over-par 291. Washington junior Paige Mackenzie (+8, 72-74-73-73=292) and Southern California freshman Dewi-Claire Schreefel (70-74-74-74) tied for 10th at an 8-over-par 292.

Rounding out the top 10 in the team race, Pepperdine (+43, 291-295-299-294=1,179) took fourth, followed by California (+44, 295-299-296-290=1,180) in fifth. Tennessee (+51, 300-303-299-285=1,187) and Ohio State (+51, 301-296-300-290=1,187) tied for sixth. Arizona State (+54, 303-301-297-289=1,190) and Oklahoma State (+54, 298-306-299-287=1,190) tied for eighth. Florida (+59, 301-304-297-293=1,195) was 10th.

The best individual rounds of the day were turned in by UCLA's Cochran and Oklahoma State's Thurman-Young, who each shot a 3-under-par 68. Virginia's Wigger and Tulane sophomore Mary Ellen Jacobs each had 2-under-par 69s.

The best team rounds on Friday were by Tennessee, which had a 1-over-par 285 (moving the Lady Volunteers from a tie for 10th place to a a tie for sixth place), and Tulane, which shot a 2-over-par 286 (moving the Green Wave from 20th place to 15th place).

NOTES & QUOTES

Duke (1999, 2002) earned its third NCAA women's golf title. That ties for second most all-time with San Jose State behind Arizona State's six titles.

Duke sophomore Anna Grzebien is the third Blue Devil player to win an individual NCAA championship (Candy Hannemann in 2001 and Virada Nirapathpongporn in 2002 were the others). With three titles, that puts Duke third all-time behind Arizona and Arizona State, which have four each.

Grzebien came into this week as the Blue Devils' third-ranked player in terms of stroke average. She tied for 49th at last year's NCAA Championships. Her first collegiate title came two weeks ago at the NCAA East Regional. She was tied for 21st place after the first round and tied for 17th place after the second round before taking the lead after the third round.

Duke was tied for fifth place after the first round and in fifth place after two rounds before claiming the lead after the third round.

It's the 11th time both the team winner and individual winner have come from the same school (1982, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005).

Virginia sophomore Leah Wigger placed second individually. Her career-best performance coming into this tournament was a second-place tie at the NCAA East Regional two weeks ago.

Arkansas (tied for 11th place) had the best showing of the five schools making their first appearance at the NCAA Championships. Virginia (13th place), Tulane (15th place), Missouri (16th place) and UC Irvine (18th place) were the others. Virginia's performance, and that of Wigger's second-place finish, is all the more impressive considering that this is only the second year the school has sponsored women's golf.

Washington junior Paige Mackenzie had the school's best-ever individual finish, tying for 10th.

Arizona State (303-301-297-289) was the only school to improve its scores each day, and the Sun Devils tied for eighth.

There were four players that improved their scores each day - California senior Claire Dury (74-73-72-71), Tennessee junior Golda Johannson (79-76-75-70), Arkansas senior Gena Johnson (80-77-76-75) and Missouri junior Denise Knaebel (78-75-74-71).

Only three teams scored under 300 all four days - Auburn (third place), Pepperdine (fourth place) and California (fifth place).

Tuesday's average score was 75.76, Wednesday's average score (influenced by poor weather) was 77.29, Thursday's average was 75.65, and Friday's final-round average was 74.83. The overall average for the tournament was 75.88.

Overall, there were 19 performances under par (nine today), and 25 rounds of par-71 (eight today). On the other hand, there were 74 plus rounds of 80 or greater (11 today).

After teams only broke 300 a total of 13 times the first two days, 17 teams did it on Thursday and 17 more teams did it on Friday.

There were a total of seven eagles in the tournament. On Tuesday, Tennessee senior Sarah Bonner-Shanks scored a hole-in-one on the fourth hole. On Wednesday, LSU senior Brooke Shelton posted a 2 on the par-4 12th hole. On Thursday, Shelton recorded the rare feat of posting eagles on two consecutive days, collecting another 2 on the par-4 fifth hole. Also on Thursday, Michigan State freshman Sara Brown had an eagle on the par-5 17th hole. There were three eagles on Friday: Florida senior Andrea Vander Lende on the par-5 second hole and Tulane junior Liliana Alvarez and Tulsa senior Lee Anne Pace, both on the par-5 17th hole.

QUOTES FROM DUKE COACH DAN BROOKS: "(on comparing this to the previous two NCAA titles) The last one was really special because we came back. With three holes left, we were down by six and came back to win. This was special in another way. It's a little harder to explain. These gals had something in the team that showed a lot of maturity and they pulled it together. We were most united all year at the very end when we needed it the most. Under these conditions, we had the patience we needed to win ... (on having as many titles, three, as Mike Krzyzewski) I haven't thought about that. I put Coach K on such a pedestal, he's unbelievable. I don't feel comfortable thinking about that... (on winning near his hometown) A lot of my family and friends were here. We had come out here in 2000 and really didn't have a good showing. A lot of the same people drove five hours from my hometown to see us not play well. It means a lot to be with these great players, to do what they did, and have my family and friends be with me. It was fantastic ... (on having a small roster) Not one time throughout the entire year did I hear anyone say very much at all about the shorthanded thing, other than to joke about it, and how much the media asked about it. Not one time did anyone feel bad that we didn't have more players on our team. They had every right to feel bad about it. It made me realize that I've got quite a group here... (on Anna Grzebien's victory) I didn't see a lot of it. I whispered something to her before we started, that I think you know what you can accomplish here. Obviously she had the same thing in mind that I did. She was fantastic."

QUOTES FROM DUKE SOPHOMORE ANNA GRZEBIEN (the individual champion at +2 overall): "I didn't look at the scoreboard once. So I didn't know. It was exciting. It's really special. I just put my head down and walked past the scoreboards. I didn't want to look at the numbers. I've played well, but I'm just starting to get where everything is coming together and I'm shooting better numbers."

QUOTES FROM DUKE JUNIOR ELIZABETH JANANGELO (tied for 34th place at +14 overall): (on coming from behind after two days) "We have so much confidence, not only in our own games but in everyone else's. In the past two NCAAs we got down by a lot. If the numbers were huge, down by like 20 strokes, then there's something to worry about. I knew if we kept it close, things would be all right ... (on having her best round today) It was satisfying. I knew if I played well I could help the team. If you're not in the mix, you're not playing for yourself, you're playing for the team, and that's how it should be. It's so satisfying to come out on top together."

QUOTES FROM DUKE SENIOR NILOUFAR AAZAM-ZANGANEH (tied for 55th place at +18 overall): (on winning her second team championship as a senior) "It's definitely different. It's another team. I told coach that this is the nicest way to close the chapter. It's definitely something we dream for."

QUOTES FROM VIRGINIA SOPHOMORE LEAH WIGGER (second place at +3 overall, was the clubhouse leader after the morning rounds): "I had a great ending with a birdie today. I didn't think about posting a low number. I didn't want to worry about what I'd shoot ... (on being the clubhouse leader) It'll make for an interesting afternoon. I'll definitely be watching the scoreboard ... I made the putts I needed to, especially birdie putts. It was a little warmer today, and the wind wasn't as strong. The rough was a bit thicker. The key factor was the wind ... (on being in contention) When I made the turn, I thought that if I shot 2-under, I'd have a chance. I didn't want to think about it too much. If I got too far ahead of myself, I'd mess up."

QUOTES FROM UCLA FRESHMAN AMIE COCHRAN (tied for third place at +4 overall): "The tournament was exciting and scary. I had a lot of different emotions, but I had a lot of fun. I've been getting over a cold this week, so physically this week was tough, but mentally I felt prepared for this. I never really knew what it was like to be part of a team. To win with a team, to struggle and to suffer with a team and now I love this team."

QUOTES FROM AUBURN SOPHOMORE NICOLE HAGE (fifth place at +5 overall): "I was fine until the eighth hole and then it got really cold. I knew it was going to be tough, so I already had that in my head and didn't think about it. We have a young team so it was great to be in this sort of pressure situation with four rounds instead of three and bad weather conditions. We have two freshmen on the team and this is my first NCAA Championship as well. Hopefully, we can learn and grow from this."

QUOTES FROM CALIFORNIA SENIOR CLAIRE DURY (tied for sixth place at +6 overall): "I played really well today. I hit the ball as good as I have all week, but I couldn't make any putts. So therefore, I left a lot of shots out there. I think we could have had better team scores, but the weather was pretty tough out there. Overall, we are pretty happy."

QUOTES FROM UCLA COACH CARRIE FORSYTH: "Unfortunately we struggled a little today, but everybody contributed to this tournament. One more decent score and we're right there. It was tough out there with the weather. The golf part of this is fun with the competitiveness but being out in the cold all day isn't so great... (on Amie Cochran's day) The way Amie was able to shoot as a freshman is incredible. I'm so proud of Amie. To play this way in the cold is amazing."

QUOTES FROM AUBURN COACH KIM EVANS: "On the 13th hole, it didn't look like our team. Maria (Martinez) had a par and Diana (Ramage) bogeyed. At that point, we needed to pick up some birdies. I kept thinking we were capable of coming back, and I don't know if I ever lost hope. I felt good until the end because we have always been a fighting team."

--Courtesy Oregon State