Women's Golf Off to Mexico
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  02/20/2009
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Feb. 20, 2009

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LOBOS TO WILDCAT INVITATIONAL: The 37th-ranked University of New Mexico women's golf team will travel to Puerto Penasco, Sonora, Mexico, for the Wildcat Invitational. Hosted by the University of Arizona, the 54-hole tournament will be played at the par-72, 6,142-yard Peninsula de Cortes Golf Club. Tee times Sunday and Monday start at 8 a.m. Tuesday's final round is a shotgun start beginning at 8 a.m. No live scoring will be available.

THE COMPETITION: The highly-competitive 18-member field features 14 teams ranked in the top-50 of the Feb. 15 Golfweek poll. Host Arizona is No. 24 and will be joined by UNM, No. 1 Arizona State, No. 19 California, No. 13 Denver, No. 8 Duke, New Mexico State, No. 6 Oklahoma State, No. 14 Pepperdine, No. 20 Stanford, No. 41 Tennessee, Tennessee-Chattanooga, Tulsa, Tulane, No. 3 UCLA, No. 38 UNLV, No. 2 Southern Cal and No. 33 Washington.

UNM HISTORY AT THE WILDCAT INVITE: This will be the Lobos' 17th appearance in the Wildcat Invitational. Most of the previous tournaments have been played in Tucson. UNM's best finish was second place on three occasions in the 1982, `85 and `88. Last year, the Lobos placed 7th at the Arizona National Golf Course with a team total of 907. Oklahoma State won the title at 884. Duke's Amanda Blumenherst was the individual winner, shooting even-par 213. The Lobos' top finishers were Jodi Ewart and Alexandra Phelps, tying for 12th at 10-over 223.

LOBO LINEUP: Head coach Jill Trujillo will travel seniors Mikaela Backstedt and Morgan Grantham, junior Jodi Ewart and freshmen Rebecca Hellbom and Sarah Salvo to Mexico. Ewart is ranked 35th in the nation by Golfweek.

PUERTO RICO RECAP: The 34th-ranked Lobos finished in 7th place at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic. UNM entered the final round three shots out of fourth place, but could not make up any ground after shooting a 310. UNM finished 54 holes with a total of 923 (313-300-310) on the challenging par-72, 6,219-yard Coco Beach Golf Course. Purdue finished at 888 to win the team title by 21 shots over Tennessee.

Junior Jodi Ewart was the top UNM finisher, tying for seventh place at 7-over 223 (74-74-75). She was four shots behind co-champions Laura Nochta (Indiana) and Maria Hernandez (Purdue). Senior Morgan Grantham shot a 79 to finish in a tie for 18th at 229. Freshman Rebecca Hellbom tied for 44th at 237 (81-77-79). Junior Britney Choy was 55th at 238 (81-76-81) followed by senior Mikaela Backstedt, who tied for 56th at 239. Freshman Sarah Salvo, who competed as an individual, tied for 65th at 239 (84-80-77).

UNM GOLFERS TO HOST FREE CLINICS: The UNM women's team will host the Branch Law Firm Lobo Golf Clinic on Saturday, March 14 from 9 a.m. to noon at the UNM Championship Course. The clinic is free and open to all levels of female players. It will be taught by UNM head coach Jill Trujillo, who is an LPGA/PGA professional, LPGA professional and Lobo assistant coach Shelly Schlagel and the New Mexico women's golf team.

Registration is simple. Just show up at the course. Clubs will be provided to those who do not have them. The clinic will be moved indoors in the case of inclement weather. The UNM Championship Course is located near the Albuquerque International Sunport. Take exit 221 (Sunport Blvd.) if traveling south on I-25 or exit 220 (Rio Bravo Blvd.) if heading north on I-25.