April 3, 2009
New Mexico junior Jodi Ewart continued her stellar play, firing a 2-under 70 to claim a share of the lead after the first round of the PING/Arizona State Invitational. Steady as usual, Ewart made two birdies and 16 pars on the par-72, 6,230-yard Karsten Golf Course. It's her 11th under-par effort in 19 rounds in 2008-09. USC's Jennifer Song also came in at 70. Ewart and Song were the only two golfers in the 90-player field to break par.
As a team, the 29th-ranked Lobos reside in sixth place following an opening round 298 (10-over). UNM is just five shots out of first. No. 9-ranked Purdue leads the 17-team field at 293. Host Arizona State is second at 294 while Oklahoma State, UCLA and defending champion USC are all tied for third at 9-over 297.
The Lobos had a lower total than five teams ranked ahead of them in the most recent Golfweek poll: Arizona (299), Denver (301), Stanford (302), Vanderbilt (306) and California (308). UNM did benefit somewhat by completing its round before strong winds picked up in the afternoon.
Senior Morgan Grantham shot a 3-over 75 despite some trouble in the middle of her round. She was 1-under on the day after a birdie at No. 8, but made bogey on five of the next six holes. Grantham got back on track with a birdie at 17.
Junior Britney Choy finished with a 4-over 76 after bogeys at 17 and 18. Senior Mikaela Backstedt opened with a 77 while freshman Rebecca Hellbom had a 78. She made a double bogey 6 on the final hole.
Freshman Sarah Salvo, competing as an individual, shot a 6-over 78.
Saturday's second round begins at 9 a.m. MDT.