Lobos to PING/ASU Invitational
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  03/31/2009
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

March 31, 2009

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Up Next: at PING/ASU Invitational
When/Where: Friday-Sunday, Karsten Golf Course, Tempe, Ariz.
Live Scoring: GolfStat.com.

The 29th-ranked University of New Mexico women's golf team heads to Tempe, Arizona this weekend, for the PING/Arizona State Invitational. The 54-hole tournament begins Friday on the par-72, 6,230-yard Karsten Golf Course on the Arizona State campus. The Lobos finished 10th out of 17 teams at last year's tournament.

Tee times begin at 9 a.m. MDT Friday and Saturday. Sunday's final round starts at 8:30 a.m. Live scoring will be available on GolfStat.com.

ELITE FIELD - The 17-team field features 15 teams ranked in the top-50 of the March 29 Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index poll. New Mexico will be joined by host and No. 1-ranked Arizona State, No. 2 UCLA, No. 3 Southern Cal, No. 5 Oklahoma State, No. 9 Purdue, No. 12 Pepperdine, No. 15 Denver, No. 17 Vanderbilt, No. 21 Stanford, No. 24 California, No. 26 Arizona, No. 28 Oregon, No. 40 Texas A&M, No. 42 Colorado, Central Florida and Tulsa.

Southern Cal is the defending champion, shooting a 10-under 854 last year. The Trojans' Dewi Schreefel won the individual title at 5-under 209.

LOBO LINEUP - Head coach Jill Trujillo will travel seniors Mikaela Backstedt and Morgan Grantham, juniors Britney Choy and Jodi Ewart and freshmen Rebecca Hellbom. Freshman Sarah Salvo will compete as an individual. Ewart is ranked 11th in the nation by Golfweek.

BETSY RAWLS RECAP - The Lobos had a very good showing, finishing in fourth place. UNM shot a 13-over 301 in the final round on the 6,324-yard University of Texas Golf Club course for a 54-hole total of 891. No. 14 Purdue took the title in the 17-team field at 872. Top-ranked Arizona State was second at 878 followed by No. 19 Arkansas at 880.

The Lobos entered the tournament ranked 34th in the nation in the Golfweek poll, but had a better showing than three teams ranked ahead of them. UNM finished six shots ahead of No. 10 Duke and 31 strokes better than 13th-ranked Vanderbilt. No. 23 Arizona was 15th at 932.

Junior Jodi Ewart finished in third place at 1-under 215, recording her fifth top-7 finish in six tournaments this season. Purdue's Maria Hernandez won the individual title at 6-under 210.

UNM senior Mikaela Backstedt recorded her best tournament of the season in relation to par. Backstedt finished at 7-over 222 (75-72-75), tying for 14th.

Junior Britney Choy tied for 29th at 227 (74-75-78). Senior Morgan Grantham (78-81-75) and freshman Rebecca Hellbom (73-79-82) tied for 50th at 234. Freshman Sarah Salvo, competing as an individual, finished at 247 (84-81-82), tying for 83rd.

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:

• as of March 29, she is ranked 11th nationally in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index with a rating of 71.18

• current season stroke average of 71.94 is 1.41 shots better than her school record of 73.35 set in 2006-07

• five top-7 finishes in six 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 February, posting a 72.67 stroke average in six rounds

• UNM's career leader with a stroke average of 73.42

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

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.