May 21, 2009
The 22nd-ranked University of New Mexico women's golf team produced its lowest score of the tournament, but was unable to make up much ground in the standings after three rounds of the NCAA Championships being played in Owings Mills, Md.
The Lobos shot a 19-over 307 on the par-72, 6,443-yard Caves Valley Golf Club for a 54-hole total of 932. UNM is in 20th place in the 24-team field, however, it is only eight shots from the 14th spot held by Georgia. The Lobos started the third round in a tie for 20th.
"This course demands that you be on top of your short game, and that's where we have struggled," said UNM head coach Jill Trujillo. "Our goal going into the final round is to finish in the top-15. That's very realistic."
It looks to be a three-team race among Pac-10 members for the title as only three shots separate defending champion Southern California (890), Arizona State (891) and second-round leader UCLA (893).
Junior Britney Choy is UNM's top performer, shooting par-72 today, which ties for her low round of the season. She had two birdies and two bogeys for a total of 8-over 224 (73-79-72), and is tied for 20th place.
USC's Jennifer Song has the individual lead entering the final round. Song carded a 1-under 71 today and is the only golfer not over par for the tournament (even-par 216). She has a 2-shot lead over Maria Hernandez from Purdue and UCLA's Maria Jose Uribe.
UNM junior Jodi Ewart started the day in a tie for 28th but fell back into a tie for 41st after a 6-over 78. Ewart's undoing was a 41 on the front nine when she dropped four shots on holes 7 through 9. She heads into Friday's final round at 13-over 229 (78-73-78).
Freshman Rebecca Hellbom enjoyed her best round of the tournament, shooting a 77. She birdied 15 and 18 to get back to 5-over on today's round. Hellbom is tied for 87th at 20-over 236 (79-80-77).
Senior Mikaela Backstedt is tied for 111th at 244 (81-82-81). She lost four strokes on the final three holes today.
Senior Morgan Grantham had an 80 and is tied for 115th at 245 (82-83-80). She went out in 38 but was 6-over on the back nine.
New Mexico begins final round play Friday at 5:30 a.m. MDT. The Lobos will be paired with TCU and Tulane