SANTA CLARA, Calif. – A unique opportunity for collegiate golfers awaits the 12-team field at Santa Ana Country Club this coming Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 25-26. The winner of the 2013 UC Irvine Invitational will claim a sponsor exemption into the 2013 Kia Classic, making it the only collegiate tournament in the country that will allow the winner to participate in an LPGA event.
Santa Clara University and head coach Krystal Kelly, a former All-America player at UCLA, will bring five of her 10 players down to compete in Orange County, including true freshman Ashley Noda (Roseville, Calif. / St. Francis), senior Balbina Guajardo (Monterrey, Mexico / American School Foundation of Monterrey), freshmen Sadie Strain (Arbuckle, Calif. / Christian Brothers) and Meghan Shain (Bakersfield, Calif. / Frontier) along with junior Taylor Camany (Salinas, Calif. / Salinas).
"We've had some roster changes and it's probably not going to be the last time we'll see a different roster change," said Kelly about the lineup she is entering at Santa Ana. "But they're fired up and that's what we want. We have so much more depth than we've had on this team in the past, so it's exciting to see the lineup change and somebody else step in and get an opportunity to compete."
The Broncos are right in the middle of a busy stretch of academic midterms and playing in four tournaments in four consecutive weeks. Last week at Stanford's Peg Barnard Invitational, Santa Clara topped West Coast Conference rival USF. Two weeks prior, SCU out-played BYU.
"Time management is crucial right now," said Kelly when asked about the team's busy month of February. "You know it's one thing I've been working on with everybody, budgeting time, how to really maximize what they have available. They are more than getting through it. They are doing very well."
UC Irvine Invitational*
Dates (Site): Monday and Tuesday, February 25-26, 2013
Host: University of California Irvine (presented by Kia)
Tournament Field (12 teams): Gonzaga (57), UC Irvine (70), Long Beach State (73), Idaho (92), UC Riverside (111), BYU (114), Portland State (128), North Dakota State (137), Santa Clara (156), Sacramento State (157), Montana (164), Northern Colorado (177)
Details: 54-hole tournament – 36 holes on Monday and the final 18 holes on Tuesday 26.
Shotgun start Monday at 8:30 a.m. then Tee Times Tuesday starting at 7:45 a.m. off 1 and 10.
Course: Santa Ana Country Club (Santa Ana, Calif.)
Yardage/Par: 5,888/Par 72 on Monday and 5,831/Par 72 on Tuesday
Course Website: SantaAnaCC.org
Course Number/Address: 714-556-3000
20382 Newport Blvd
Santa Ana, California 92707-5396
Live Scoring: Golfstat.com
*A sponsor exemption into the 2013 Kia Classic will be awarded to the winner of the 2013 UC Irvine Invitational presented by Kia on Feb. 25-26 at Santa Ana Country Club. This partnership will make the UC Irvine Invitational presented by Kia the only collegiate tournament in the country that will allow the winner to participate in an LPGA event.