KONA, Hawaii – The University of Colorado women’s golf team will conclude the fall season with the inaugural Pac-12 Preview, which begins here Monday.
The 54-hole event is the first non-member tournament to ever be held at the par-73, 6,112-yard Nanea Golf Club. Play will begin with 36 holes on Monday, Nov. 4 and 18 holes on Tuesday, Nov. 5, with each morning round beginning with a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m. HT (10:30 a.m. MT).
“Nanea Golf Club is amazing,” CU head coach Anne Kelly said. “It is beautiful, very challenging and in pristine condition. Even walking on to the driving range was like walking on a practice green. The course is very challenging, but a great experience for our team.”
The field of 12 includes some of the nation’s best women’s golf teams. Nine Pac-12 Conference teams rank in the Golfweek (Oct. 30) top 10, with UCLA and USC claiming the top two spots, and Washington and Stanford coming in at No. 4 and No. 5, respectively. Arizona State rounds out the top 10 at No. 8. Arizona ranks 12th, while Oregon and California rank No. 20 and No. 23, respectively.
With top 10 finishes in each of its three tournaments this fall, including a second place finish at the Colonel Wollenberg Ptarmigan Ram Classic to open the 2013 campaign, Colorado completes the top 50 at No. 42.
Oregon State, Washington State and Hawaii will also participate in the stiff competition.
“The Pac-12 conference is loaded top to bottom again this year with top ranked teams,” Kelly said. “This event is the most competitive field we will play in this fall. Like any golf tournament it is hard to predict outcomes, but if our team can make good decisions on shot selection and get a good sense about the difficult greens at Nanea we should be very competitive. Our players are good ball strikers - we just need to make a few more birdie putts.”
Individually, the Pac-12 has 12 golfers ranked in the top 25 and three in the top 10, according to Golfweek: 1) Allison Lee, UCLA; 2) Erynne Lee, UCLA; 4) Mariah Stackhouse, Stanford; 7) Kyung Kim, USC; 10) Karen Chung, USC; 11) Jennifer Yang, Washington; 12) Sophia Popov, USC; 13) SooBin Kim, Washington; 15) Charlotte Thomas, Washington; 19) Annie Park, USC; 23) Lindsey Weaver, Arizona; 24) Noemi Jimenez, Arizona State.
The member’s only golf course, built in 2003, was created by financiers George Roberts and Charles Schwab. The course, designed by David McLay Kidd, was carved from a mountainside with lava rock lining the far stretches of playable area before it drops into the Pacific Ocean. The clubhouse was constructed to resemble Kona Island’s five volcanoes.
The layout of the course is not easily traversable by foot, so the golfers will be shuttled in carts at designated areas and each team will be provided with a caddy that will be outfitted in the team’s colors.
“It is such an honor to have an event at Nanea and the staff has welcomed the teams and seems excited to be hosting the first Pac-12 Preview,” Kelly said. “This is a fantastic group of golf teams in this conference and it should be a great event.”