Head Coach Tom Elfers and XU are looking for their 3rd consecutive tourney title
March 24, 2014
RANCHO SANTA FE, Calif. - The Xavier women's golf team, which has won back-to-back events, returns to the course this week when it plays in the second annual SDSU Farms Invitational, March 24-26, at The Farms Golf Club in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
The three-day 54-hole tournament gets underway Monday with tee times on holes 1 and 10, beginning at 8 a.m. PT on the par-72, 6,237-yard course layout.
In addition to the Musketeers and tournament host No. 45 San Diego State, the elite lineup features nine squads ranked in the Golfstat top 50, including No. 1 USC, No. 2 UCLA, No. 6 Arizona State, No. 13 Stanford, No. 14 Oklahoma State, No. 21 Oregon, No. 26 Miami, No. 36 California and No. 50 UNLV, while Cal State Fullerton, Idaho, New Mexico, Portland State and UC Irvine round out the field.
XU will be paired with Idaho and individuals from Houston, UNLV, New Mexico and Portland State for the first round Monday at 9:30 a.m. PT on hole 10, and a link to live results will be available courtesy of BirdieFire on www.GoAztecs.com.
Head coach Tom Elfers will play five golfers at this week's event, with seniors Ariel McNair (Aurora, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit) and Christine Cash (Paducah, Ky./Heath High School), junior Abby Smith (Frankfort, Ky./Franklin County High School), sophomore Shane Crutchfield (St. Petersburg, Fla./St. Petersburg) and freshman Grace Howie (Calgary, Alberta, Canada/The Edge School) making up the slots on the Blue and White’s starting ladder.
McNair, Crutchfield and Smith enter the tournament with the top three stroke averages in the BIG EAST Conference this season at 74.59, 74.83 and 75.53, respectively. Xavier is one of two BIG EAST schools with three golfers in the conference’s top-10 in scoring average (St. John’s) and the only school with five golfers ranked in the top-13 .
USC captured the inaugural SDSU Farms Invitational championship in 2013, winning handily 21 strokes over runner-up Arizona with a combined 11-over 875, while the Women of Troy's Sophia Popov returns to defend her individual title after posting a 1-over 217 a year ago.
This season's SDSU Farms Invitational will also feature a guest speaking appearance by LPGA golfer Amy Alcott. Alcott has won 33 tournaments in her storied career, including five majors, and is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Following the Farms Invite, the Musketeers will close out their regular-season slate when they compete in the Eastern Kentucky Colonel Classic, April 4-5, in Richmond, Ky.