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Feb. 25, 2007

Golfweek’s Beth Ann Baldry on Jan Mann’s retirement
Golfworld’s Ryan Herrington on Jan Mann’s retirement

Charlottesville, VA — The eighth-ranked Virginia women’s golf teams tees off the spring portion of its schedule Monday at Arizona’s Wildcat Invitational at Arizona National Golf Club. The 54-hole tournament includes two rounds Monday and a single round Tuesday. Play is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. MST each day with a shotgun start format.

Live scoring from the tournament will be available at

The field for this year’s Wildcat Invitational is one of the most challenging the Cavaliers face this season. The 15 teams competing for the title include seven squads currently ranked in the top-10 of Golfweek’s rankings and 12 of the poll’s top 25 teams. In addition to 10th-ranked Arizona the other competing teams include No. 2 Arizona State, No. 3 Duke, No. 4 Pepperdine, No. 5 Vanderbilt, No. 7 Stanford, No. 11 USC, No. 13 Tennessee, No. 14 UCLA, No. 16 New Mexico and No. 21 BYU. California, UNLV and Washington round out the field.

Virginia’s lineup includes 12th-ranked Leah Wigger, 15th-ranked Jennie Arseneault, Kristen Simpson, Whitney Neuhauser and Rachel Smith. Four of those players (except for Simpson) comprised UVa’s lineup when the Cavaliers won the Landfall Tradition in Wilmington, N.C. last October to end the fall season with the program’s first tournament victory.

Wigger heads into the final half of her senior season with the team’s best stroke average. She posted a 72.25 last fall and turned in top-10 finishes in her last three events. In January, Wigger won the Harder Hall Invitational in Sebring, Fla., one of the nation’s top amateur events. Thanks to that performance, she is ranked fifth among all female amateur golfers by Golfweek.

Arseneault is second on the team with a 73.50 stroke average. She had an outstanding fall that saw her post top-10 showings in her final three tournaments. She enters the spring having lower her stroke average by two shots a round from her freshman season.

The tournament is the first for the Cavaliers since Virginia coach Jan Mann announced she would retire from coaching following the conclusion of the 2007 campaign. Mann has been the only coach in the Cavaliers’ four-year history.

2006-07 Virginia Statistics
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