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Sixth-ranked Women's Golf Prepares For Las Vegas Founders Collegiate Showdown
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  11/07/2003
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Nov. 7, 2003

NEXT IN LOBO WOMEN'S GOLF:

No. 6 New Mexico at Las Vegas Founders Women's Collegiate Showdown

WHEN: Nov. 10-12

HOST: UNLV

WHERE: Anthem Country Club - Henderson, Nev. (Par 72 - 6,194 yards)

RESULTS: Live results available at www.golfstat.com and www.unlvrebels.com; Full Lobo recap and results of each round at golobos.com

THE FIELD (Rankings - Golf Week): BYU, Colorado, Colorado State, Eastern Washington, Hawaii, Kent State, Missouri, Nevada, No. 6 New Mexico, No. 11 Oklahoma, San Diego State, San Jose State, No. 22 Tennessee, UC Irvine, UNLV

LOBOS HEAD TO VEGAS FOR LAST TOURNAMENT OF THE FALL SEASON - The sixth-ranked New Mexico women's golf team will participate in its last tournament of the fall season, the 15-team Las Vegas Founders Women's Collegiate Showdown, Nov. 10-12 at the par-72, 6,194-yard Anthem Country Club.

The Lobos claimed the Las Vegas Founders title last year and Kristi Larsen won medalist honors for UNM. Kailin Downs placed fourth at the event and Christina Spence took seventh.

UNM will be gunning for its third tournament title of the season after already claiming championships at the Dick McGuire Invitational (Sept. 25-27) and the Landfall Collegiate Tradition (Oct. 31-Nov. 2). The Lobos won three tournaments last season (Dick McGuire, Las Vegas Founders, Mountain West Championships) and in 2001-02.

New Mexico begins its spring season Feb. 9-11 at the Regional Challenge in Palos Verdes, Calif., at the Palos Verdes Country Club.

NATIONAL EXPOSURE - The Lobos slipped one spot to sixth in the latest Golf Week/Sagarin ratings released Nov. 4. Individually, five Lobos are ranked in the top 50 (Kailin Downs - 21st; Christina Spence - 24th; Ashley Rollins - 37th; Katrina Leckovic - 56th; Shannon Johnson - 57th). Christine Fernandez is also ranked at 120th.

BY THE NUMBERS -

- New Mexico is ranked fourth in the West Region

- UNM is 49-12 vs. all-opponents in tournament play

- The Lobos are 21-12 vs. Top 25 opponents; 35-12 vs. Top 50 opponents; and 47-12 vs. Top 100 opponents

- UNM's schedule is ranked the 17th most difficult in the nation

- The Lobos rank first in the nation in greens in regulation (.700) and seventh in total short game (.507)

- Kailin Downs leads the nation in greens in regulation (.796)

DOWNS NAMED MWC GOLFER OF THE MONTH - Kailin Downs was named the MWC Women's Golfer of the Month for September after winning her first career tournament at the Dick McGuire Invitational. This marks the fourth time she has won the award. Downs was the only player in the conference to earn Golfer of the Month honors twice in 2002-03 (September and April). As a freshman, Downs garnered Golfer of the Month honors in October of 2001.

Downs is ranked 21st in the nation in the latest Golf Week ratings after placing in a tie for second at the Landfall Tradition, which marked her 10th career top-five finish. The two-time Mountain West Player of the Year was named one of the Top 10 players in the nation to watch (No. 7) by Golf Digest and a preseason All-American by Golf Week. She currently leads the nation in greens in regulation with a .796 rating.

ASHLEY'S ROLLIN' - Heralded freshman Ashley Rollins, who made the cut at the 2003 U.S. Women's Amateur and won all four of her matches at the AJGA Canor Cup, is living up to the hype in her first tournaments as a Lobo. Rollins led the Mountain West with a 73.2 stroke average in September and is ranked the No. 37 player in the nation by Golf Week. One of the top recruits in Coach Booth's tenure, Rollins tied for 15th in her first tournament at NCAA Preview and followed that effort with a seventh-place finish at the Dick McGuire Invitational. She had another top-10 showing at the Landfall Tradition, where she placed in a tie for eighth. Rollins also fired a hole-in-one on the par-3 17th hole at the Stanford Intercollegiate.

UNM WINS SECOND TOURNAMENT WITH WIN AT LANDFALL TRADITION (Oct. 31 - Nov. 2) - The fifth-ranked New Mexico women's golf team claimed its second tournament title of the fall season with a four-stroke win over No. 18 Tulane at the Landfall Tradition Collegiate Nov. 2 at the par-72, 6,043-yard Jack Nicklaus Course. UNM's earlier win came at its own tournament - the Dick McGuire Invitational - held in late September at the UNM Championship Course.

The Lobos shot a 291-304-296-891 (+27) to take first place, followed by Tulane (304-295-301-895) and 17th-ranked Tulsa (304-295-301-900).

Individually, Kailin Downs led UNM with her 10th career top-five finish. She tied for second place with a one-over 217 (69-75-73), only one stroke behind Arkansas' Amanda McCurdy, who earned medalist honors with a 216 (72-69-75).

Ashley Rollins shot the best round for the Lobos on the final day with an even-par 72. She finished in a tie for eighth place with a score of 74-77-72-223 (+7).

Christine Fernandez placed in a tie for 15th with a 73-77-76-226 (+10), the highest finish for her in four tournaments as a Lobo. Shannon Johnson shot a 75-77-75-227 (+11) to tie for 19th, while Katrina Leckovic carded a 78-75-77-230 (+14) to tie for 26th.

LOBOS TAKE FIFTH AT STANFORD INTERCOLLEGIATE (Oct. 17-19) - The fourth-ranked New Mexico women's golf team placed fifth at the prestigious Stanford/Pepsi Intercollegiate Oct. 19, in which nine of the 18 teams were ranked in the top 25, including six in the top 10. The Lobos finished with a three-round total of 290-292-293--875 (+11). Top-ranked Duke set a tournament record with an 845 (-19) to capture the team championship. Arizona's Erica Blasberg and Duke's Elizabeth Janangelo shared medalist honors with a seven-under 209.

Katrina Leckovic was UNM's highest finisher as she shot a two-under 214 (72-71-71) to place in a tie for ninth. Shannon Johnson matched her personal-best round of the fall as she carded a 70 in the final round to finished tied for 20th (70-78-70-218). Kailin Downs, the MWC Golfer of the Month for September, placed in a tie for 27th with a score of 73-72-75--220 (+4).

Ashley Rollins, who shot a hole-in-one in the second round, finished with an 11-over 227 (75-74-78) to place in a tie for 51st. Christine Fernandez tied for 57th with a 77-75-77--229 (+13).

LOBOS PRODUCE RECORD-SETTING PERFORMANCE IN CLAIMING THIRD STRAIGHT McGUIRE INVITATIONAL (Sept. 25-27) - The New Mexico women's golf team became the first school to claim three straight Dick McGuire Invitational titles after shooting a course-record five-under 295-281-295-871 for the three-day tournament, which took place Sept. 25-27 at the UNM Championship Golf Course. Kailin Downs tied the 54-hole record with a score of 70-68-74-212 (-7) en route to claiming her first career individual championship.

UNM, which led the entire tournament, bested second-place Oklahoma State by 16 strokes (300-285-302-887) to win its fourth Dick McGuire Invitational in school history. Tulsa took third with a score of 310-288-304-902. The Lobos also set UNM Championship Course team records for 36 holes (576) and 18 holes (281).

Downs was tied with Karin Sjodin of Oklahoma State after 15 holes, but Downs birded the par-4 16th hole to take the lead. Downs scored a par on the final two remaining holes while Sjodin collected a double-bogey on the par-5 18th to end her title chances.

All five Lobo starters finished in the top 20. Shannon Johnson shot a two-under 71 in the final round, the best score of the day, to place a career-high fifth for the invitational (75-72-71-218). Ashley Rollins placed seventh with a score of 74-73-73-220 (+1) and senior Katrina Leckovic tied for ninth with a score of 76-69-77-222 (+3). Sophomore Christine Fernandez (Henderson, Nev.) tied for 20th place (77-72-77-226).

Christina Spence, who competed as an individual, took eighth place with a 74-74-73-221 (+2). Two other Lobos competed as individuals: Kellyn Newman (T57th, 80-78-81-239) and Kelli Van Winkle (T85th, 87-71-92-250).

NCAA PREVIEW REWIND (Sept. 12-14) - The New Mexico women's golf team jumped five spots in the final round to finish ninth at the prestigious NCAA Preview Tournament Sept. 14 at the Grand National Course in Opelika, Ala. The Lobos shot a 290 in the last round - the third-best round of the day - to finish with a three-round total of 310-305-29--905 (+41). UNM dramatically improved its scores each day to finish in the top-10 of the elite 18-team tournament, in which 17 of the 18 teams were ranked in the Golf Digest Preseason Top 25.

No. 1 Duke claimed the tournament championship with a playoff-hole victory over host and ninth-ranked Auburn. Both schools finished with three-round scores of 870 (+6). Carolina Liano of Pepperdine claimed medalist honors with a total of 70-75-66=211 (-5).

Talented freshman Ashley Rollins, who made the cut at this summer's U.S. Women's Amateur, lived up to the hype in her first tournament as a Lobo with a 15th-place finish (74-75-70--219). Rollins carded a team-best 70 (-2) on Sunday to finish +3 for the tournament.

Kailin Downs, who struggled in the first round with an 83, finished strong with a final round of 73 (+1). Downs completed the tournament tied for 48th (83-75-73 --231). Christine Fernandez, also competing in her first tournament as a Lobo after transferring from Tulsa, shot even-par in the last round after two rounds of 80. Fernandez finished tied for 53rd (80-80-72--232).

Katrina Leckovic was UNM's second-highest finisher after placing 45th. Leckovic shot her best round of the tournament in the final round (75) to finish at +14 (76-70-75--230). Junior Shannon Johnson (Sioux Falls, S.D.) placed 56th with a score of 80-76-77--233 (+17).

NOTEWORTHY - LOBO QUICK NOTES

Junior Kailin Downs (Bend, Ore.)
* Ranked 21st by Golf Week
* Ranked 25th by Golf Stat (as of Oct. 31)
* Leads nation in greens in regulation (.796)
* Tied for second with a 1-over 217 at the Landfall Tradition
* Named MWC Golfer of the Month for September (Fourth time in her career)
* Claimed first career tournament championship with win at McGuire Invitational
* Tied 54-hole record at UNM Championship Course with a seven-under 212 at McGuire Invitational
* Set 36-hole record at UNM Championship Course with a score of 70-68--168 at McGuire Invitational
* Shot a personal best 68 in the second round of the McGuire Invitational
* 10 career top-five finishes
* Golf Week Preseason All-American
* Ranked one of the top 10 women's golfers in the nation (No. 7) to watch according to Golf World
* First golfer to be named MWC Golfer of the Year in consecutive years (2001,'02)
* First golfer in MWC history to earn Golfer of the Year and Freshman of the Year honors in same season (2001)
* Ranked No. 1 sophomore in the nation (2002-03) according to Golf Stat.
* Established new best stroke averages at UNM as a freshman (74.9) and sophomore (74.0)

Christine Fernandez (So., Henderson, Nev.) * Tied for 15th place at the Landfall Tradition * Tied for 20th place at the Dick McGuire Invitational * 2002-03 WAC Freshman of the Year at Tulsa * Ranked 120st by Golf Week * Ranked 146th by Golf Stat (as of Oct. 31)

Shannon Johnson (Jr., Sioux Falls, S.D.) * Ranked 57th by Golf Week * Ranked 38th by Golf Stat (as of Oct. 31) * Fired a personal best 218 at McGuire Invitational to place a career-high fifth * Shot a season-best round of 70 in the final round of the Stanford Intercollegiate to finish tied for 20th

Katrina Leckovic (Sr., Burnaby, British Columbia) * Ranked 56th by Golf Week * Ranked 29th by Golf Stat (as of Oct. 31) * Tied for ninth at the Dick McGuire Invitational * Shot a two-under 214 to tie for ninth at the Stanford Intercollegiate * Medalist honors at the 2003 MWC Championships

Ashley Rollins (Fr., Austin, Texas) * Ranked 37th by Golf Week * Ranked 29th by Golf Stat (as of Oct. 31) * Tied for eighth at the Landfall Tradition * Seventh-place finish at Dick McGuire Invitational * Tied for 15th at NCAA Preview, the best finish for a Lobo at the tournament * Shot a hole-in-one on the par-3 17th hole at the Stanford Intercollegiate * Made the cut at the 2003 U.S. Women's Amateur * Won all four matches at the UJGA Canor Cup * Named of the top 10 players of the year in 2002 by Golf Digest

Christina Spence (Jr., Port Alberni, British Columbia) * Placed eighth at the Dick McGuire Invitational as an individual * Ranked 24th by Golf Week

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