Lobos, Ewart Look to Defend MWC Titles
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  04/14/2009
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

April 14, 2009

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Up Next: at MWC Championships
When/Where: Thursday-Saturday, Blackhorse Golf Club, Seaside, Calif.
Live Scoring: GolfStat.com

The 24th-ranked University of New Mexico women's golf team is headed to California's Monterey Peninsula for the 10th Mountain West Conference Championships. UNM is the defending champion.

The 54-hole tournament begins Thursday on the par-72, 6,027-yard Blackhorse Golf Course in Seaside, Calif. Tee times begin at 8:30 a.m. MDT Thursday through Saturday. Live scoring will be available on GolfStat.com.

New Mexico is the highest ranked team in the field according to the April 12 Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. UNLV is No. 29. TCU is No. 35.

UNM HISTORY IN THE MWC; EWART GOING FOR THIRD STRAIGHT INDIVIDUAL TITLE - New Mexico has won five of the nine MWC Championships, including last year's title by 19 shots at the UNM Championship Course. The Lobos posted a 54-hole total of 888 (12-over-par) to outdistance second place BYU. UNM's Jill Trujillo was named the 2008 MWC Coach of the Year.

Aided by three birdies on the final four holes, Jodi Ewart snared the individual title for the second straight year. She had a 1-under 72 in the final round to finish at 219, two shots better than teammate Morgan Grantham and BYU's Natalia Jimenez.

Ewart is the two-time individual winner, becoming the first player to claim the crown twice. She has also been the co-MWC Player of the Year each of the past two seasons.

Ewart is the first golfer in MWC history to win back-to-back titles. She is also the first New Mexico golfer to accomplish the feat since the program started in 1977.

UNM has been awarded the MWC Player of the Year trophy five times. Ryley Webb won the inaugural honor in 2000, while Kailin Downs garnered the award in 2002 and 2003.

LOBO LINEUP - Head coach Jill Trujillo will travel seniors Mikaela Backstedt and Morgan Grantham, juniors Britney Choy and Jodi Ewart and freshmen Rebecca Hellbom.

LADY LOBO GOLF TOURNAMENT FUNDRAISER SET FOR MAY 11 - The Four Hills Country Club is hosting a fundraiser for the UNM women's golf team on Monday, May 11. Lunch will be served at noon followed by a 4-person scramble at 1 p.m. All proceeds will benefit UNM women's golf.

The cost is $150 per person or $600 for a 4-person team. The price includes lunch, golf, cart, range balls and hors d'oeuvres following play. Entry forms are available at Four Hills and at www.ladylobobirdieclub.com. The deadline is April 28 or the first 30 teams to sign up.

Contact Ginny DeCoster at 256-7111 for additional information.

QUITE A YEAR FOR Jodi Ewart - University of New Mexico junior Jodi Ewart is enjoying arguably the best season ever by a Lobo women's golfer:

• ranked 6th nationally in the Golfstat Cup standings with a scoring average of 71.86

• as of April 12, she is ranked 8th nationally in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index with a rating of 71.11

• 1st in the nation in greens in regulation at .807 and double bogeys per round (.10), 2nd in par-3 scoring (2.98) and 4th in par-4 scoring (4.04)

• current season stroke average of 71.86 is 1.49 shots better than her school record of 73.35 set in 2006-07

• six top-7 finishes in seven tournaments

• has won or shared two individual titles, the Dick McGuire Invitational (6-under 213) in September and the Arizona Invitational (3-under 213) in February

• has tied Caroline Keggi's school record with four individual titles in a career...Ewart won her fourth title in 26 tournaments...Keggi played in 31 from 1985-87

• MWC's women's golfer of the month for September, leading the Lobos to the Dick McGuire team title for the first time since 2003...she shot a 6-under 213 (72-69-72) to take medalist honors...Ewart's 6-under score is her best tournament finish as a Lobo in relation to par

• MWC's women's golfer of the month for February, posting a 72.67 stroke average in six rounds...she claimed a share of the title at the Arizona Wildcat Invitational and tied for seventh place at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic

• UNM's career leader with a stroke average of 73.34

• already selected to the Mountain West Conference's 10th anniversary team

PING/ASU INVITATIONAL RECAP - The 28th-ranked Lobos shot a 4-over-par 292 in the final round - its low 18 of the tournament - to finish in fifth place on the par-72, 6,230-yard Karsten Golf Course in Tempe, Ariz.

What stood out is the Lobos had a higher finish than seven teams positioned higher in the latest Golfstat.com national rankings, including No. 1 UCLA. UNM was at 893. The Bruins were sixth at 897. UNM also had a better tournament than No. 14 Pepperdine, No. 15 Vanderbilt, No. 17 California, No. 20 Denver, No. 25 Stanford and No. 27 Arizona.

The only schools to finish ahead of UNM were winner and 5th-ranked Oklahoma State, No. 12 Purdue, No. 2 Arizona State and No. 4 Southern California.

New Mexico was again anchored by junior Jodi Ewart, who tied for fourth at 2-under 214 (70-73-71). Ewart made consecutive birdies at 14 and 15 that led to a final round 71 and her sixth top-7 finish in seven tournaments in 2008-09. She lowered her season stroke average to 71.86 in 21 rounds. Purdue's Maria Hernandez was the individual winner at 5-under 211.

Lobo junior Britney Choy tied for 20th at 225 (76-75-74) for her best finish since an eighth-place tie at the Branch Law Firm Dick McGuire Invitational in Albuquerque last September. Choy shot a 2-over 74 today, including an eagle 3 on No. 14.

Freshman Rebecca Hellbom posted a lower number for the third straight day, shooting 73, which tied for her second-lowest round of the season. Hellbom tied for 27th at 227 (78-76-73).

Senior Morgan Grantham had a solid final round at 2-over 74, but she would probably like to play the 54th hole again. Grantham went to the No. 18 tee 1-under on her round, but closed with a triple-bogey 7. She tied for 39th at 230 (75-81-74). Mikaela Backstedt tied for 50th at 232 (77-79-76). Freshman Sarah Salvo, competing as an individual, tied for 70th at 237 (78-81-78).

HEAD COACH Jill Trujillo - A 1990 UNM graduate, Jill Trujillo is in her second season in charge of the women's golf program. Trujillo led New Mexico to a pair of team titles in 2007-08, including the 2008 Mountain West Conference Championships. She was named the 2007-08 MWC Coach of the Year.