SUN DEVIL SURPRISE - Sports Illustrated Vault |
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It was a foregone conclusion that Arizona State would win its
record third straight NCAA women's golf championship at the
Landfall Golf Club in Wilmington, N.C., last weekend. Even the
margin, 26 strokes over runner-up San Jose State, wasn't really
a surprise.

After all, the Sun Devils were undefeated during the season,
winning eight tournaments by an average of 25 strokes. Either
senior Wendy Ward or sophomore Heather Bowie was a medalist in
all but one of those events. "We wanted to dominate this year,"
Ward said on Saturday afternoon after the Sun Devils finished
the four-round tournament at 1,155, three over par as a team.

What was a surprise was the identity of the Arizona State golfer
who won the individual title. Kristel Mourgue d'Algue
(More-guh-DOLL), a senior from St. Nom la Bretche, France, and
the 1994 French Amateur champion, hadn't won a college
tournament since transferring from Furman as a junior. At one
point this season she was sixth in a five-woman lineup. Mourgue
d'Algue shot a season-best 67 in the second round at Landfall,
making five birdies on the front nine. Some bench.

Mourgue d'Algue beat Ward and third-round leader Vibeke Stensrud
of San Jose State by two strokes. Ward, who played three rounds
in running shoes because of bleeding blisters, was a runner-up
for the second consecutive year. Bowie finished 12th.

"This year has been beyond our wildest imagination," said ASU
coach Linda Vollstedt. "We had a lot of goals, and we reached
every one."

--Matthew Rudy

COLOR PHOTO:JIM GUND Arizona State's Mourgue d'Algue stunned everyone by making the NCAAs her first win in two years. [Mourgue d'Algue]