TCU Women's Golf Rated 25th in Preseason
Sept. 12, 2003
FORT WORTH, Texas - On Monday, the TCU women's golf team, ranked 25th in the nation according to the Golfweek preseason poll released earlier this week, will open another season under the direction of head coach Angie Ravaioli-Larkin. The Horned Frogs are led by senior standout Brooke Tull, who was tabbed as a preseason third-team All-American by the publication.
"It's always nice to get that recognition, but we will have to earn it," Ravaioli-Larkin said. "I'm in my 10th year of coaching, so I take preseason polls with a grain of salt. Everything changes from the start of the year until the end. I have my feelings about how good we are, but we just have to prove it. I think that being ranked where we are will fire the team up."
Tull, the defending Conference USA Player of the Year, placed first in the Horned Frogs' season-opening qualifier and will play in the No. 1 position in the year's first tournament, the Northwest Invite. Tull, who is from Georgetown, Texas, had a career- and team-best 74.22 stroke average a year ago and was named TCU's Female Athlete of the Year for the 2002-03 school year.
In addition, the Frogs return second-team all-conference performer D'Rae Ward, who was the medalist at the 2003 Conference USA Championships. The junior from Weatherford, Texas, carried a 76.66 stroke average last year and won three individual tournament titles on the year. She also became the first TCU golfer since 1983 to win back-to-back events.
Sophomore Traci Robison, who also contributed for TCU last season, will play in the No. 3 spot. Robison had an 81.41 scoring average playing in all 11 tournaments for the 2002-03 squad. She helped the Frogs to a second-place finish at April's C-USA Championships.
A pair of true freshmen, Catherine Matranga and Stacey Bieber, will round out the Horned Frogs' inaugural tournament team. Matranga is a Fort Worth product who attended Paschal High School, while Bieber hails from Winnipeg, Canada. Both players earned tourney roster spots by placing first and second, respectively, in the freshman qualifier.
The Frogs open the season Sept. 15-16 at the Northwest Invite, hosted by Oregon State, in Sunriver, Ore. Two rounds will be played on Monday, while the third and final round will take place Tuesday at the Woodlands Golf Course (par-72, 6,100 yards). In addition to No. 25 TCU, the teams at the tournament include: No. 20 UNLV, Oregon State, Washington State, Long Beach State, Portland State, UC-Riverside, San Jose State, San Francisco, Eastern Washington, Boise State, Idaho, UC-Irvine, Weber State and Portland.
"It's our first tournament, so everyone is really excited," Ravaioli-Larkin said. "We always want to win every tournament, but our real focus is just on playing well. We want to really bear down this fall and get off to a good start. The team has a lot more depth this year and we had some very low scores in our qualifiers. That is exciting to see."
TCU finished the 2002-03 season rated 30th in the nation. Three Conference USA teams (No. 17 Tulane, No. 25 TCU and No. 27 East Carolina) are ranked in the top 30 in the Golfweek preseason poll.