Dec. 18, 2008
FALL COMPETITION ENDS IN HAWAI'I: The University of New Mexico women's golf team closed out its fall season with a fifth-place finish at the Kent Youel Invitational in Hawai'i.
The Lobos, who started the final round in second behind eventual winner San Francisco, ended the tournament at 17-over 881 on the par-72, 6,316-yard Kapolei Golf Course.
San Francisco grabbed an 11-shot victory over second-place Cal Irvine and San Jose State. The Lobos were just three shots out of second in their final fall competition of the season.
Junior Jodi Ewart was the Lobos' top finisher, tying for fifth place at even-par 216 (71-71-74).
The Lobos' most impressive showing probably came from true freshman Sarah Salvo. Competing as an individual in just her third collegiate tournament, Salvo shot 74-73-73-220 (+4) to tie for 12th place.
Fellow freshman Rebecca Hellbom fell back to a 79 in the final round to finish at 5-over 221. Hellbom, who tied UNM senior Morgan Granthan for 15th place, was tied for fourth entering the final round. Grantham shot a team-best 72.
Cal Irvine's Jane Chin took medalist honors with a 13-under 203, winning by 11 shots over San Francisco's Christina Stockton.
LOOKING TO 2009: The spring competition gets underway Feb. 8 when the Lobos head to San Juan, Puerto Rico, for the Lady Puerto Rico Classic at the Coco Beach resort. The 54-hole tournament will be hosted by Purdue. Puerto Rico is the first of what UNM hopes will be seven team competitions in the spring of 2009.
UNM looks to defend its Mountain West Conference title in April at the Bayonet Blackhorse Golf Club on the Monterey Peninsula in California.
NCAA regional play is May 7-9 at the University of Florida (East), Ohio State (Central) and Arizona State (West).
The NCAA Championships are May 19-22 at the Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md.
BUCHNER SIGNS WITH UNM: University of New Mexico head women's golf Jill Trujillo announced Bethany Buchner (pronounced buck-ner) has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend UNM in the fall of 2009. Buchner is currently a senior at Loveland (Colo.) High School.
"We're excited to have Bethany be a Lobo," said Trujillo. "She's a fierce competitor and will be a wonderful addition to our golf family."
Buchner is a highly-decorated prep performer who was named the 2008 Colorado Women's Golf Association junior golfer of the year. She finished second in the state 5A championships as a sophomore and junior. As a high school sophomore, Buchner shot a ladies course-record 66 in the final round of the Birleffi Invitational at Boomerang Links in Greeley, Colo. That amazing score cost Bethany's father, Mike, a car since he promised his daughter an automobile if she shot 69 or better.
Buchner competed in numerous junior tournaments over the summer, including the Callaway Junior Worlds in California, the U.S. Junior Championships in Connecticut and the America's Cup in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She closed out the summer with a second-place finish at the Big Eye Junior Classic in North Carolina where she carded her first hole-in-one while shooting a 69 in the final round.
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.
EWART PERFORMS WELL IN AUSTRALIA: University of New Mexico junior Jodi Ewart led her native England to a seventh place finish at the World Amateur Team Championship Oct. 8-11 in Adelaide, Australia. Ewart had an outstanding tournament, tying for sixth place out of 144 international competitors. She shot a 2-under 70 in the final round to end at even-par 290 (73-72-75-70).
Sweden ran away with the team title to claim the Espirito Santo Trophy. The Swedes finished at 19-under 561, which was 12 shots ahead of Spain. The United States was third at 575. Ewart's England team was at 586. A total of 48 countries were represented in a competition that has been staged every two years since 1958.
Sweden had the top-two individuals. Caroline Hedwall, who plays collegiately at Oklahoma State, grabbed medalist honors at 10-under 280. One shot back was Anna Nordqvist at 9-under 281. Nordqvist attends Arizona State.
Ewart, a native of North Yorkshire, England, recently won her third individual title while at UNM, taking the Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational last month at the UNM Championship Course with a 54-hole total of 6-under 213.
LOBOS SWEEP McGUIRE: Back and forth they went, but in the end it was New Mexico outlasting Pepperdine to come away with the team title at the 29th Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational at the UNM Championship Course.
Tied at the start of the day, the 19th-ranked Lobos edged No. 8 Pepperdine by four shots with solid play down the stretch. UNM shot a final round 287 - 5-under and its lowest of the three rounds played - and was the only team under par in the 16-team field at 872.
It was a sweep for New Mexico as junior Jodi Ewart took the individual title. Trailing UNLV's Natasha Krishna by one shot with three holes to play, Ewart birdied the par-4 16th while Krishna took a bogey at her next-to-last hole.
Ewart shot a 1-under 72 for a 54-hole total of 6-under 213. Six-under is Ewart's best tournament finish as a Lobo in relation to par. It's also her third individual championship while at UNM, equaling Dana Howe for No. 2 on the school's all-time victory list. Caroline Keggi is the career leader, winning four from 1985-87.
While Ewart was her usual steady self, it was a pair of Swedes that pushed UNM to its seventh McGuire title overall and fourth in the past seven tournaments. The Lobos won three in a row from 2001-03.
Playing in her first collegiate tournament, freshman Rebecca Hellbom fired a 3-under 70 to finish in a tie for 10th at 2-over 221. Hellbom - a native of Vasteras, Sweden, made consecutive birdies at 16 and 17 to provide the Lobos with some breathing room at the top.
Mikaela Backstedt's game did not look good early. A triple-bogey 7 on the par-4 6th placed the Lobo senior at 5-over after the first four holes. However, she played the remaining 14 holes in 5-under to finish the round at even-par 73. Backstedt, a native of Ljunghusen, Swden, birdied four of the last six holes.
Junior Britney Choy improved each round. After an opening-day 75, Choy shot 73 and a 1-under 72 in the final round to finish in a tie for 8th at 1-over 220.
New Mexico led by three shots midway through the front side. Pepperdine got hot at the turn, though, taking a 1-shot advantage when four golfers combined to make seven birdies over a four-hole stretch. Jessica Wallace led the Waves' charge with birdies at Nos. 9, 11 and 12.
UNM answered as Ewart and Choy each birdied the par-3 12th to regain the lead by a stroke.
The Lobos won both the McGuire team and individual titles for the fourth time. Pat Park and UNM won it all in 1962-63 while Kailin Downs took medalist honors in 2003.
TEAM NOTES FROM THE FALL:
The Lobos won the 2008 Branch Law Firm / Dick McGuire Invitational by 4 shots over Pepperdine...it's the 16th overall team title for New Mexico women's golf since 2001
The 287 total in the final round of the McGuire was UNM's lowest since shooting a 283 in the 2007 Las Vegas Spring Invitational...the 872 tournament total ranks No. 6 all-time for a Lobo team and is the lowest since a school-record 857 at the `07 Las Vegas invite
The 282 team total in the 1st round of the Stanford Intercollegiate ranks as the Lobos' fourth-best round in the school history
PLAYER NOTES FROM THE FALL:
Mikaela Backstedt: Senior who played in all four tournaments in the fall...77.17 scoring average in 12 rounds...low round was 74 in the 1st round of the Dick McGuire Invitational and the final round of the Kent Youel Invitational...best finish was a tie for 26th (8-over) at the McGuire.
Britney Choy: Junior who played in all four tournaments in the fall...78.00 scoring average in 12 rounds...low round was 72 in the final round of the Dick McGuire Invitational...best finish was a tie for 8th (1-over) at the McGuire.
Jodi Ewart: Junior who played in three tournaments in the fall...71.56 scoring average in 9 rounds...7 of 9 rounds were under par...won the McGuire Invitational with a birdie on the 16th hole... finished at 6-under 213, which is her best tournament finish as a Lobo in relation to par...it's also Ewart's third individual championship while at UNM, equaling Dana Howe for No. 2 on the school's all-time victory list...low round was 69 twice...tied for 5th at the Kent Youel Invitational and tied for 14th at the Stanford Intercollegiate...led her native England to a seventh place finish at the World Amateur Team Championship Oct. 8-11 in Adelaide, Australia...Ewart had an outstanding performance, tying for sixth out of 144 international competitors...shot a 2-under 70 in the final round to end at even-par 290 (73-72-75-70).
Morgan Grantham: Senior who played in all four tournaments in the fall...75.67 scoring average in 12 rounds...low round was a career-best 69 in the 1st round of the Stanford Intercollegiate...best finish was a tie for 15th (5-over) at the Kent Youel Invitational in Hawai'i.
Rebecca Hellbom: True freshman who played in all four tournaments in the fall...75.50 scoring average in 12 rounds was the second-lowest on the team...low round was 69 in the 1st round of the Kent Youel Invitational in Hawai'i...best finish came in her first collegiate competition, tying for 10th (2-over) at the McGuire Invitational...shot a 3-under 70 in the final round to solidify the Lobos' team title.
Erin Miller: Redshirt freshman who played in one tournament...82.0 scoring average in 3 rounds at the Dick McGuire Invitational.
Sarah Salvo: True freshman who played in three tournaments in the fall...76.88 scoring average in 9 rounds...low round was 73 oon three occasions...best finish was a tie for 12th (4-over) at the Kent Youel Invitational when she shot 74-73-73=220.
ADDING TO THE CASE?: The Lobos have won 16 team titles since 2001.
OUTSTANDING IN THE CLASSROOM: Academically, UNM ranked 16th nationally according to the National Golf Coaches Association with a 3.54 team grade point average during the 2007-08 academic year.
UNM also had six student-athletes recognized as academic all-Mountain West for carrying a 3.0 GPA or better throughout the year. Additionally, Backstedt, Bengtsson and Phelps received the highest academic honor from the MWC, being named Scholar Athletes.