March 22, 2004
PULLMAN, Wash. - For the third time in her collegiate career, Washington State All-American Kim Welch has been recognized with a national honor by GolfWorld magazine.
Welch, who captured national recognition by earning College National Player of Week accolades from GolfWorld in each of the past two seasons, earned the same award for the March 19 issue of the magazine.
The junior from Sacramento, Calif., received the honor as a result of her victory at the Oregon Duck Invitational, March 9 at Eugene, Ore.
The win was the third consecutive victory for Welch at the Duck Invitational with all the triumphs coming at different courses. In addition, Welch's previous GolfWorld honors came as a result of her two preceding wins at the Duck Invite.
Welch entered the final round tied for the lead but buoyed by a final round 1-under 71, which tied for the day's low mark with teammate Maria Kostina, she captured the event by five shots with a 54-hole total of 2-over 218. Welch also led the team to its second consecutive Duck Invitational win as the Cougars edged host Oregon by a stroke.
Eight days later, Welch post her second consecutive tournament victory, and the sixth of her career, as she rallied to win the Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational, March 17 at Kaneohe, Hawaii.
Welch began the third and final round at 4-over, placing her in a tie for sixth and four shots behind leader Brooke Tull of TCU. However, on a day where players struggled with breezy conditions and fast greens, Welch fired a 1-under 71 to propel her to a two-shot victory over a quartet of players.
Welch's 71, which tied for the best final round score in the 51-person field, gave her a 54-hole total of 3-over 219. Conversely, the average final round score of the six players tied or ahead of Welch entering the final round was 77.
Welch, who posted a fifth place finish at the NCAA Championships last year, has posted no worse than a sixth place finish in her last six tournaments. She holds the school record with 26 career top 25 finishes, 21 of those being top 10 finishes, which is also a school record. Furthermore, Welch has finished in the top 19 in all eight tournaments played thus far in 2003-04.
Welch and the Cougars return to action at the Mountain View Collegiate in Tucson, Ariz., March 27 & 28.