Lobos in 16th at NCAA Championships
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  05/19/2009
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

May 19, 2009

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The 22nd-ranked University of New Mexico women's golf team is in 16th place after the first round of the NCAA Championships being played in Owings Mills, Md. The Lobos shot a 23-over 311 on the par-72, 6,443-yard Caves Valley Golf Club outside Baltimore. Results and live stats are available at www.GolfStat.com.

UNM trails surprise first-round leader Denver by 17 shots in the 24-team field. The Pioneers fired a 6-over 294 to lead UCLA by two shots. Defending champion Southern California is fourth at 301.

The Lobos got off to a great start in the morning wave, leading the pack at 2-under after the first four holes. However, they played the final five holes of the front in 11-over and were 14-over on the back nine.

"This course is a great test as it should be at nationals," said UNM head coach Jill Trujillo. "The fairways are narrow, the rough is thick and the greens are extremely fast. The worst thing you can do is be in the rough. That almost guarantees a lost shot."

Junior Britney Choy led the Lobos with a 1-over 73 (37-36), her best score since a 72 in the final round of the Dick McGuire Invitational in Albuquerque last September. Choy, who had three birdies and four bogeys, is tied for seventh place.

Denver's Stephanie Sherlock and North Carolina's Catherine O'Donnell share the individual lead at 2-under 70.

"Britney was a real bright spot for us," said Trujillo.

Lobo junior Jodi Ewart, expected to challenge for medalist honors, struggled to a 78 (39-39) and is tied for 60th in the 126-player field. The 78 ties her highest round of the season.

Ewart was 1-under after a birdie at the par-3 4th, but made five bogeys and a double in a seven-hole stretch from 5 through 11. A 6 at the par-4 10th was only her fifth double bogey of the season.

"I have no doubt that Jodi will bring it back the next three days," said Trujillo.

Freshman Rebecca Hellbom is tied for 79th after shooting a 79 (37-42). She made birdies at 3 and 4 to start 2-under. Hellbom's undoing came at the par-3 12th when she hit her tee shot into a hazard and ended with a triple-bogey 6.

Lobo senior Mikaela Backstedt shot an 81 (40-41) while fellow senior Morgan Grantham (41-41) had an 82.

New Mexico begins second round action Wednesday at 11:20 a.m. MDT. The Lobos are again paired with Duke and Texas