New Mexico Lobos Women’s Golf – at the Colonel Wollenberg Ptarmigan Ram Classic
Top Five Teams: 1. California 291-296-286—873 (9-over par). 2. Colorado 297-294-291—882 (18-over). 3. Illinois 295-303-288--886 (22-over). 4. UNLV 302-298-288 – 888 (plus 24). 5. New Mexico 294-298-299—891 (plus 27).
Top Individuals: 1. Dana Finkelstein, UNLV, 71-70-71—212 (4-under). 2 (tie). Sammi Stevens, New Mexico, 69-76-68– 213 (3-under); Nicola Roessler, California, 73-71-69—213 (3-under par). 4. Carly Childs, California, 73-72-70—215 (1-under).
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – New Mexico’s Sammi Stevens went into the 2013-14 collegiate golf season – her final as a Lobo – saying she had put in all the work needed to get her first collegiate win.
On the Ptarmigan Country Club Tuesday in Fort Collins, Colo., Stevens came within a shot of grabbing that title in her first try.
Stevens was the only golfer out of the 89 collegiate golfers in the Colonel Wollenberg Ptarmigan Ram Classic to go under 70 twice. The UNM senior also had the low round of the day on the first 18 holes and the low round on the final 18 holes. She packaged a 76 between her rounds of 69 and 68 to card a 213 and missed the top spot by a single shot.
“My game felt really good,” said Stevens. “I could have made a few more putts. It was tricky with the weather and I think all those delays (on Monday) got to me in the second round. I was happy with my comeback.”
UNLV’s Dana Finkelstein took the lead into the final 18 holes on Tuesday and fought off Stevens and California’s Nicola Roessler, who also carded a 54-hole total of 213. Finkelstein’s winning card went 71-70-71—212.
“I was really proud of Sammi, the way she came back from a lackluster round," said Lobo Coach Jill Trujillo. "She really fought her way back into the tournament.”
Stevens opened her final round on Tuesday with a bogey, but rolled in three birdies on her front nine to make the turn at 2-under par (34). She bogeyed the first hole after the turn and again carded three birdies to make a run at the title. Steven’s downfall was five bogeys and one birdie over the second 18 holes which formed her 76.
“I was hitting them close, but not getting birdies. My putter went cold,” said Stevens of her round of 76. “Today (Tuesday), I came out with a good mindset and played well.”
UNM’s Manon De Roey finished tied for 14th with a 222 card of 74-70-78 and New Mexico finished in the No. 5 spot with a team card of 294-298-299—891.
California, which had been in a see-saw battle with UNM over the first 36 holes, pulled away for a nine-shot win over Colorado. The Golden Bears saved their best round for last going 291-296-286—873. Colorado ended at 882, Illinois was third at 886 and UNLV was fourth at 888.
"We set a team goal before we left town that all year we want to shoot better than 300 every round,” said Trujillo. “We accomplished that as a team. If you can average under 300, more than likely you will be in the Top 25.
“It was fun to watch. I couldn’t be more proud of the team. They hung in there, played tough. There were a few big numbers on a few holes, but that sometimes happens with freshmen. They are the type of players who will get over that really quickly.”
It was a solid first tournament for the Lobos, who had two freshmen in their lineup: Manon Molle and Katerina Jaeger. Molle was particularly impressive in her debut as a Lobo going 73-76-75 for a 224 card which was good for 20th place.
The four teams that finished ahead of the Lobos all had their best team cards on the final 18 holes on Tuesday. “The third round is the clincher,” said Trujillo. “You need to finish it up and we need to work on that a little more. But you have to get some experience before you get better at finishing."
California had three players in the Top 12 and Carly Childs finished fourth, two shots behind her teammate, Roessler. UNM’s Jaeger finished tied for 50th with a 233 and Sofia Hoglund finished 61st with a 236 total. Lobo Kalyn Thayer played as an individual and carded a 241.
“Our freshmen are good and they are going to keep pushing and the seniors know what they have to do," said Trujillo.