April 17, 2009
Seaside, Calif. - The 24th-ranked University of New Mexico women's golf team increased its lead to nine shots after two rounds of the Mountain West Conference Championships. The Lobos had a 9-over 297 today on the par-72, 6,027-yard Black Horse Golf Course for a 36-hole total of 598. TCU is second at 607. BYU is a distant third at 618.
Final round action gets underway Saturday at 8:30 a.m. Mountain Time. The Lobos begin play at 10:10 a.m. Live stats are available at www.golfstat.com.
New Mexico is the defending champion and is seeking its sixth MWC title in 10 years. The Lobos had a stellar front nine today, making the turn at 2-over as a team that provided an 11-stroke cushion over TCU.
Individually, two-time defending medalist Jodi Ewart moved into second place after shooting a 1-over 73 for a total of 147. Ewart trails Wyoming's Jonelle Martinez by two shots going into Saturday's final round. The first round leader, Martinez shot a 75 and is at 1-over 145. She went out in 41, but had two birdies on the back.
Ewart was 1-under on her round and in the lead after 14 holes, but three-putted both of the par 3s coming home to lose two strokes.
Lobo freshman Rebecca Hellbom moved into a tie for third after firing a 73 that included a confidence-building birdie on the par-5 18th. She's at 4-over 148.
Junior Britney Choy shot 75 and is alone in sixth place at 149. She made birdie at No. 2 to briefly hold a share of the lead, but suffered four bogeys in a five-hole stretch in the middle of the round. Choy tied for fourth at last year's MWC Championships in Albuquerque.
"The pin placements were very difficult today," said UNM head coach Jill Trujillo. "We had seven 3-putts, which is not normal for us. We fought hard and will take nothing for granted tomorrow. We'll approach the final round like we don't have the lead."
Senior Morgan Grantham had a wild round, shooting a 78 for the second straight day. Grantham's scorecard only had five pars. She bogeyed the last four holes and is tied for 15th at 156.
After an opening round 81, senior Mikaela Backstedt improved to a 76 today. She is tied for 18th at 157.