NEW YORK – The Columbia women’s golf team is ready to return to the links for its 2012 spring season. The Lions head out to Fresno, Calif., to compete in the Fresno State Lexus Classic March 12-13 at Copper River Country Club.

Fresno State is the host school for the 54-hole tournament. The par-72 course is 6,072 yards and it will feature a shotgun start on Monday. This year’s field will include Boise State, Columbia, Cal State Fullerton, Fresno State, Montana, Nevada, Portland State, Sacramento State, San Francisco, San Jose State, Santa Clara, UC Riverside and Wyoming. Live scoring will be available through

The Lions are coming off a strong fall season in which they posted three top-four team showings. Columbia took fourth at the Towson Invitational and third at the Princeton Invitational and the Lions tied for second at the Harvard Invitational. Columbia golfers combined for six individual top-10s.

Sophomore sensation Michelle Piyapattra led the way for Columbia, posting four top-2 performances, including an individual title at the Harvard Invitational. The Corona, Calif., native took first at Harvard’s tournament with a 5-over 149. She also enjoyed second-place showings at the Towson Invitational and the Princeton Invitational. Piyapattra competed against some of the top women’s golfers in the nation at the Challenge at Onion Creek on Nov. 7-8, shooting a career-best 2-under 68 en route to a tie for second place. For the fall, she had a team-best 73.67 round average currently ranks 52nd in the nation on and she currently ranks 51st in the Golfstat Cup Standings.

Senior Robin Lee also enjoyed a strong fall, posting a 78.56 round average and three top 20 finishes in four events. Lee’s best showing came at the Towson Invitational when she tied for eighth with a 12-over 156. She also had a 15th-place finish at the Princeton Invitational and a tie for 18th at the Harvard Invitational.

Sophomore Jane Dong had a pair of top 20s and had an 80.56 round average over four tournaments. Dong tied for 18th at Towson Invitaitonal and tied for 13th at the Princeton Invitational, which included her season-low 74 in the second round. Her best score was an 11-over 155 that tied for 32nd at the Nittany Lion Invitational.

Senior Lynda Kwon closed out the fall on a strong note, tying for fourth with a 13-over 157 at the Harvard Invitational. Kwon posted an 82.56 round average over four events.

First-year Lisa Combs (84.14 round average) and junior Ashley Zambito (89.40) also saw action in the fall and look to continue their improvement in the spring. First-year Joanna Henry (88.17) competed in three fall tournaments and enjoyed her best finish (t-29th) at the Harvard Invitational. First-year Maria Lu did not play in the fall.