Sept. 2, 2004
PULLMAN, Wash. - GolfWorld magazine has named Washington State two-time All-American Kim Welch the No. 3 golfer on its 2004-05 "Top 50 Players to Watch" list in its Sept. 3 issue. Welch, who is the topic of a feature story in the magazine, makes her second appearance on the list. The senior from Sacramento, Calif., was ranked as the No. 9 Player to Watch at the beginning of the 2003-04 season. Welch is coming off a junior season in which she was named to both the NGCA (National Golf Coaches Association) All-America First Team and the Pac-10 First Team. She led the nation with five tournament wins, including four consecutive tournament victories. She earned another GolfWorld Player of the Week honor during the 2003-04 season, as well as two GolfWeek Player of the Week awards. In each of the 11 tournaments she played during her junior year, she finished no lower than 19th. Welch's 30 career top 25 finishes is a WSU record. Of the 30 top 25 finishes, 23 have been in the top 10, also a WSU record. Her No. 8 rating in the Golfstat Cup rankings during the 2003-04 season was the highest a Cougar golfer has ever been ranked. A fifth place finish at the NCAA Championships highlighted Welch's sophomore season. As a result of her top five finish, she earned All-America accolades, the first time a WSU player had garnered such an honor. Prior to the NCAA Championships, Welch finished second at the NCAA West Regional. Her ninth place finish at the Pacific-10 Championships was the best finish in Cougar women's golf history. She also earned her second GolfWorld Player of the Week award for her 14-shot victory at the Oregon Duck Invitational, the second of three consecutive years she has won the tournament. During Welch's first year as a Cougar, she became the first female golfer in school history to earn all-conference honors as a freshman. She posted two tournament victories, including a win at the Vandal Classic. The win at the Vandal marked the first tournament victory by a Cougar since 1998. Each year, GolfWorld puts out a College Preview edition ranking the top 25 teams in both men's and women's golf, and lists 50 male and female golfers as Players to Watch. Welch and the rest of the Cougar women's golf team kick off their season this weekend at the 5th annual University of Notre Dame Women's Invitational. The two-day tournament will take place Sept. 4-5 at the par-72 Warren Golf Course in Notre Dame, Ind. Results from each round will be posted on wsucougars.com.