TUCSON, Ariz. - The Northern Arizona women's golf team opens the spring season at the 2012 Wildcat Invitational at The Golf Club at Vistoso. The Lumberjacks tee off beginning at 9:30 a.m. Sunday with playing partners from New Mexico State and Oregon State.
The tournament includes 15 schools in the field. The Lumbnerjacks finished 14th in the event in 2011.
Head Coach Brad Bedortha welcomes two new players to the roster for the spring including freshman Darian Spivey, a Mountain Pointe High School product who graduated early in December, and Susana Mejia, a freshman from Colombia.
"We have some competition on our team," said Bedortha. "They both bring a lot and are only going to enhance our team. From a depth situation, we are much more competitive in the conference and got a lot better."
Junior Stephanie Kim had a 76.7 stroke average in the fall and is the two-time reigning Big Sky Conference Player of the Year. She led the team in the final fall tournament, finishing tied for second at five-over par 151 after posting a four-over par 77 in the second round.
"I am really excited for the season to start," said Kim, a native of Tempe, Ariz. "I have been waiting forever for tournaments to start."
The Lumberjacks were picked second in the preseason Big Sky Conference Coaches poll announced last week behind slight favorite Sacramento State. Northern Arizona earned two first-place votes and 55 total points. Two-time defending champion Portland State also received two first-place votes, and 52 total points. Montana, under the direction of first-year coach Emily Milberger, was selected fourth with one first-place vote and 48 total points.
Northern Arizona, which placed second at last year's championship with an 891, was led by Kaitlen Parsons in the fall. She finished the four-tournament campaign with a team-best 76.27 stroke average.
Wildcat Invitational Field
New Mexico State
San Diego State
Golf Club at Vistoso (Par 72 and 6,250 yards)
955 W Vistoso Highlands Dr.
Tucson, Arizona 85755
2012 Women's Golf Preseason Poll
School (First-place votes) Total Points
1. Sacramento State (4) 58
2. Northern Arizona (2) 55
3. Portland State (2) 52
4. Montana (1) 48
5. Northern Colorado 32
6. Weber State 29
7. Montana State 27
8. Eastern Washington 15
9. Idaho State 8