May 22, 2009
The 22nd-ranked University of New Mexico women's golf team moved up one spot to finish in 19th place at the NCAA Championships played in Owings Mills, Md. It's the Lobos' best finish at nationals since tying for 15th in 2004.
The Lobos shot a 22-over 310 on the par-72, 6,443-yard Caves Valley Golf Club today for a 72-hole total of 1,242 (90-over-par).
Aiming for a top-15 finish, UNM came out of the gates strong, making the turn at 4-over. The back nine, however, was unkind as New Mexico played that in 18-over, including seven lost shots on the final three holes.
"It was a long, tough week," said UNM second-year head coach Jill Trujillo. "It was a great experience and I think the returning players learned a lot. All-in-all, we had a pretty darn good year with two team titles, including a conference championship, and a trip to nationals."
Arizona State claimed the team title at 1,182, followed by Pac-10 members UCLA (1,190) and defending champion Southern California (1,191).
Purdue's Maria Hernandez claimed the individual title by one shot over USC's Jennifer Song when Song made a double bogey on the 72nd hole. Hernandez finished at 1-over 289.
Junior Britney Choy was UNM's top finisher at 14-over 302 (73-79-72-78), tying for 32nd place. Choy was poised for a top-20 finish, sitting at 1-over on her round through 12 holes. However, she dropped five strokes over the final six holes, including a double-bogey 6 at 18.
Junior Jodi Ewart tied for 39th at 16-over 304 (78-73-78-75). She was even on the front nine, but 3-over on the back. Ewart did break her own school record with a single-season stroke average of 72.68 over 31 rounds.
After playing the first 36 holes in 15-over par, freshman Rebecca Hellbom covered the final two rounds in 9-over to finish tied for 75th at 24-over 312 (79-80-77-76).
In her final collegiate competition, senior Mikaela Backstedt tied for 113th at 37-over 325 (81-82-81-81). Backstedt finishes her career with 126 rounds played, tied with Ryley Webb (1998-2001) for second-most in UNM history. Backstedt's career scoring average of 76.33 ranks No. 9 all-time at New Mexico.
Senior Morgan Grantham also closed out her Lobo career by finishing 119th at 43-over 331 (82-83-80-86).