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Courtesy: Rod Commons

Women's Golf Tees Off Monday At Seattle's Sahalee Country Club

Courtesy: Gonzaga Athletics
          Release: 10/07/2012
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            SPOKANE, Wash. - Following a week off, Gonzaga University's women's golf team returns to action Monday at the 31st annual Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational at famed Sahalee Country Club.

            The 54-hole format calls for 18 holes Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday over the 6,054-yard, par-72 layout. Sahalee hosted the 2010 U.S. Senior Open and the 1998 PGA Championship.

            The Bulldogs, ranked 40th by Golfweek, will join top-ranked and host University of Washington, 36th-ranked University of Oregon, 39th-ranked Stanford University, 41st-ranked UNLV, 54th-ranked Oregon State University, Fresno State University, University of Hawai'i, Long Beach State University, Portland State University, San Diego State University, fellow West Coast Conference foe University of San Francisco, San Jose State University, Seattle University, UC Davis and UC Irvine in the 16-team field.

            Teams will tee off at 9 a.m. Monday, 10:30 a.m. Tuesday and 8 a.m. Wednesday.

            "It's the strongest field we've played yet, for sure. We've played some good teams, but there are probably more highly-ranked teams at this one," Gonzaga head coach Brad Rickel said. "But we don't play against them; we play against the golf course. Three members of our team played Sahalee last year and played it pretty well. It's a great golf course. We have to go worry about ourselves and let the chips fall where they may. That's how we do things, so it's really irrelevant who we do it against."

            Rickel's line-up will have Victoria Fallgren at No. 1, Raychelle Santos No. 2, Genavive 'Genna' Dodge at No. 3, Tai Jade 'TJ' Kliebphipat at No. 4 and Han Wu playing No. 5.

            Fallgren finished tied for sixth last year at 224, Wu tied for 37th with a 54-hole score of 237 and Kliebphipat finished tied for 43rd at 239. Gonzaga finished tied for seventh.

            Kliebphipat enters the tournament coming off a wrist injury.

            "She had some inflammation in her rest, but she got treatment all week. We took it a little easier with her this week. The trainer said she will be fine to go," Rickel said.

            Once again Rickel stressed the number next to the player doesn't matter.

            "We don't care the number next to the name, we just want to take five people that can represent out university well, and we have more than five that can do that for sure. I think they've competed hard in practice. They all know any one of them could stay home if they don't stay on top of their game and work hard at it. It's definitely helping us move in the right direction," Rickel said of his seven-person roster and the competition it provides for a traveling spot.

            Freshman Raychelle Santos has paced the Bulldogs through the first two tournaments, setting individual records and helping in achieving some team marks thus far. Her final-round 67 in the season opener tied the single-round score held by Fallgren and her 54-hole score of 215 in the opener broke Fallgren's record of 217 also set as a freshman. The Bulldogs have also set team records for single-round (292) and 54-hole (882) totals.

            The tournament will be the third of four the Bulldogs will play this spring, Rickel tapering down the fall schedule to just four tournaments with six in the spring.

            "We're going to play six in the spring, play more in February than normal because we want to get to warm weather sooner and get on the top of our game right away," Rickel explained. "I like the four in the fall because we start tournaments so early in the fall it's easy to get behind in class and we don't want that. I think we'll be able to stay a little ahead in our class work, get everybody some golf and have a great fall."

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