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Cal Poly to Host Big West Women’s Golf Championship Starting Sunday


SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- After a one-year hiatus, Cal Poly will host the Big West Conference Women's Golf Championship for the third time in four years this weekend.

A total of seven teams with five golfers on each squad will compete for the 2012 team and individual titles Sunday through Tuesday at the San Luis Obispo Golf and Country Club. Admission is free for each day of competition.

UC Davis is the defending team champion and the Aggies currently are ranked No. 26 in the nation by Golfweek/Sagarin.

Cal Poly placed third in last year's event at the Tijeras Creek Golf Club in Rancho Santa Margarita, using three freshmen, a sophomore and a junior.

Four of those five golfers -- Taylor Yoshitake (pictured at right), Morgan Thomas, Asia Adell and Caitlin Farley -- will be joined by Kirsten Locke in this year's championship.

A practice round will be held Saturday from 1-7 p.m., followed by the first round of play Sunday at 7:30 a.m. Second round Monday tees off at 9 a.m., with the final round set for Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. Awards will be presented following the final round at about 2:30 p.m.

Last year's individual champion, Alice Kim of UC Davis, has graduated, but 2011 runner-up Monica Villarreal of Long Beach State and third-place finisher Demi Runas of UC Davis return to compete for top honors in 2012. Runas is ranked 52nd in the Golfstat Cup standings this week.

Yoshitake finished seventh in the 2011 Big West Championship a year ago while Thomas was 10th, Adell 23rd and Farley 27th.

Adell is Cal Poly's top scorer this season with an average of 76.8 strokes per round. She has finished in the top 10 five times, including a second-place finish in the Point Loma Nazarene Super San Diego Championship in early February.

Yoshitake is next with a 77.2 scoring average and a pair of top-10 finishes, including a tie for second place in the Monterey Bay Invitational at the Del Monte Golf Course, while Thomas averages 80.0 strokes per round with one top-10 finish, a tie for fifth place in the PLNU Super San Diego.

Locke averages 80.2 strokes per round while Farley owns an 81.3 average. Both have a pair of top-10 finishes this season.

Cal Poly, which is averaging 78.36 strokes per round, won the PLNU Super San Diego, placed second in both the Colby Invitational (Santa Clara) and Marsh Landing Invitational (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) and finished third in the Lamkin Grip Invitational at Cypress Ridge in November.

In addition to UC Davis, Long Beach State and Cal Poly, the field also will include Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Northridge, UC Irvine and UC Riverside. Cal Poly hosted the Big West finals in both 2009 and 2010, also at the San Luis Obispo Golf and Country Club.

The NCAA Division I regionals for women will be held at three sites, including the West Regional at the Colorado Nationals Golf Club in Erie, Colo., from May 10-12. Penn State and Ohio State will host the other two regionals. The four-day NCAA Women's Golf Championship is scheduled for May 22-25 at the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn.