No. 6 Women's Golf Travels To Arizona State For Ping Invitational
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  04/01/2004
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

April 1, 2004

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No. 6 New Mexico at Arizona State/Ping Invitational

Friday-Sunday - April 2-4 - Hosted by Arizona State University

WHERE: Karsten Golf Course - Tempe, Ariz. (Par 72 - 6,230 yards)

THE FIELD (Rankings - Golf Week): Arizona State, No. 10 Arizona, No. 5 California, No. 6 New Mexico, New Mexico State, Northern Arizona, Oregon, Oregon State, Pepperdine, San Jose State, No. 24 Stanford, No. 2 UCLA, No. 9 USC, No. 17 Texas, TCU, No. 16 Tulsa, No. 12 Washington

TOURNAMENT FORMAT:18 holes will be played each day with tee times beginning at 8 a.m. MST on Friday and Saturday and 7:30 a.m. on Sunday.


Live stats of the tournament at www.GolfStat.com

Full Lobo recap and results of each round at www.GoLobos.com

No. 6 LOBOS PREPARE FOR FINAL TUNEUP BEFORE MOUNTAIN WEST CHAMPIONSHIPS - The sixth-ranked New Mexico women's golf team will face a stiff challenge this weekend (April 2-4) at the prestigious Arizona State/Ping Invitational held in Tempe, Ariz. The 17-team field features nine teams ranked in the Golf Week/Sagarin Top 25 ratings, including five in the top 10. This will be the final tuneup for the Lobos before the Mountain West Championships, held April 22-24 at the Sunriver Resort in Bend, Ore.

NATIONAL EXPOSURE - The Lobos are ranked No. 6 in the lastest Golf Week/Sagarin rankings, released March 28. UNM fell three spots from the last poll, but have still been ranked in the top 10 for 24 consecutive weeks.

Individually, all five Lobo starters are ranked in the top 100 (Kailin Downs - 22nd; Ashley Rollins - 37th; Katrina Leckovic - 42nd; Shannon Johnson - 73rd; Christine Fernandez - 85th).


* New Mexico is ranked sixth in the nation; third in the West Region

*The Lobos have been ranked as high as No. 3 in the nation (March 8)

* UNM is 83-13 vs. all-opponents in tournament play (only losses to No. 1 Duke (twice) and No. 2 UCLA)

* The Lobos are 31-13 vs. Top 25 opponents; 60-13 vs. Top 50 opponents; and 80-13 vs. Top 100 opponents

* UNM's schedule is ranked the 22nd most difficult in the nation

* The Lobos rank fourth in the nation in greens in regulation (.645) and in total short game (.516). They are second in subpar strokes per round (2.43), second in par-5 scoring (4.95), third in par-4 scoring (4.21) and fourth in par-3 scoring (3.20)

* Kailin Downs is fourth in the nation in greens in regulation (.741)

*The Lobos own the top three scoring averages in the Mountain West Conference (Kailin Downs, Ashley Rollins, Katrina Leckovic)

The Lobos have won four tournament titles this season.

DOWNS LEADS LOBOS IN SCORING AVERAGE - Kailin Downs continues to lead the Lobos this season with a 73.8 scoring average, which is also tops in the Mountain West Conference. She set school records for scoring average her freshman (74.9) and sophomore (74.0) years. The junior record is 74.6.

Downs was named the MWC Women's Golfer of the Month in September after winning her first career tournament at the Dick McGuire Invitational and Co-Golfer of the Month in February after placing fourth at the Northrup Grumman Regional Challenge. She has won the award five times in her career. 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 22nd in the nation by Golf Week and 15th by Golf Stat. In addition to her win at the McGuire, Downs placed in a tie for second at the Landfall Tradition and Dr. Thompson Rainbow Invitational. Overall, she has placed in the top-five on 12 occasions during her career. 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 is currently fourth in the nation in greens in regulation with a .741 rating.

LECKOVIC CLOSING OUT CAREER IN STYLE - Senior Katrina Leckovic saved the best for last as she established a new personal best with a score of 213 at the Las Vegas Founders Collegiate Showdown (Nov. 10-12), which was good for first place and her second career tournament championship. For her efforts, she was named the MWC Golfer of the Month for November.

Leckovic has three other top-10 finishes this season, placing ninth at both the McGuire Invitational and Stanford Intercollegiate, and placing 10th at the Dr. Thompson Rainbow Invitational. The Burnaby, British Columbia, native is the reigning Mountain West Champion after claiming medalist honors at the conference championships last spring. Leckovic, who is third on the team with a 74.52 average, is ranked 42nd by Golf Week and 37th by Golf Stat.

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, has lived up to the hype in her first season as a Lobo. Rollins led the Mountain West with a 73.2 stroke average in September and is ranked the No. 37 in the nation by Golf Week.

Freshman Ashley Rollins is second in the MWC in scoring average.

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. In the second tournament of the spring season, Rollins delivered a season-best sixth place showing at the Dr. Thompson Rainbow Invitational. Rollins also fired a hole-in-one in the fall on the par-3 17th hole at the Stanford Intercollegiate.

WHAT'S IN A NAME? - Junior Shannon Johnson may have a common last name, but is no ordinary collegiate golfer. Johnson, who has been ranked in the top 100 all season, is currently ranked No. 73 in the nation. The Sioux Falls, S.D., native posted her best career finish this season at the Las Vegas Founders Women's Collegiate Showdown, placing in a tie for third after carding a career-low 216. Johnson has five top-20 finishes this season.

SEEKING GREENER PASTURES IN NEW MEXICO - Sophomore transfer Christine Fernandez, who attended the University of Tulsa in 2002-03, has been a welcome addition to this year's 2003-04 Lobo squad. Fernandez has finished in the top 10 in two tournaments this season, including a career-best tie for second at the Dr. Thompson Invitational in Hawai'i, where she shot a season-low round of 68 in the second round. She also placed in the top 10 at the Las Vegas Founders Women's Collegiate Showdown, shooting a season-low 220.

NEW ADDITION - Freshman Giselle Claux, a native of Lima, Peru, joined the Lobos for the spring season after sitting out fall competition. A talented golfer with international experience, Claux competed for the Peruvian National Team in several Junior South American tournaments. She placed fourth at the 2003 Junior South American tournament in Montevideo, Uruguay.

FALL RECAP: LOBOS WIN THREE TOURNAMENTS, TWO GOLFERS EARN PLAYER OF THE MONTH HONORS - The Lobos wrapped up one of their most successful fall seasons in school history with three tournament titles and two individuals taking medalist honors. The Lobos claimed the Dick McGuire Invitational (Sept. 25-27) at their home course in Albuquerque, the Landfall Tradition (Oct. 31-Nov. 2) in Wilmington, N.C., and the Las Vegas Vegas Founders Women's Collegiate Showdown (Nov. 10-12) in Henderson, Nev. UNM repeated as champions of the Vegas Showdown and won its third consecutive McGuire Invitational. The Lobos finished sixth in the Golf Week fall rankings.

Individually, junior Kailin Downs tied the 54-hole record at the McGuire Invitational with a score of 70-68-74-212 (-7) en route to claiming her first career individual championship. Senior Katrina Leckovic took home her second career title with a two-stroke win at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown.

The Lobos also had strong showings at their other two tournaments. New Mexico opened the season at the NCAA Preview (Sept. 12-14) in Opelika, Ala., site of the 2004 NCAA Women's Golf Championships. The tournament gave the Lobos a chance to play the difficult course with some of the nation's top teams, as 17 of the 18 teams were ranked in the preseason Top 25. The Lobos finished strong in the last round of the tournament to finish ninth overall. UNM placed fifth at the Stanford Intercollegiate Oct. 17-19.



No. 3 UNM CLAIMS FOURTH TOURNAMENT TITLE WITH 29-STROKE VICTORY AT DR. THOMPSON RAINBOW INVITATIONAL (March 16-17) - The No. 3 New Mexico women's golf team continued to rack up the hardware this season as it claimed its fourth tournament title of 2003-04 at the Dr. Thompson Rainbow Invitational. The Lobos dominated the nine-team tournament held at the Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course, winning by 29 strokes. New Mexico finished 25-over for the tournament (304-290-295--889), while San Diego State was a distant second at 54-over (302-299-317--918).

Individually, two Lobos just missed capturing medalist honors. Junior Kailin Downs (74-73-74) and sophomore Christine Fernandez (77-68-76) both tied for second with a 5-over 221, placing only two strokes back from Washington's Kim Welch, who won the tournament. The second-place finish was a career-best for Fernandez, with her previous best being a third-place finish at the Landfall Tradition last year while still attending the University of Tulsa. For Downs, it marked her 12th career top-five finish.

Freshman Ashley Rollins also posted her best finish of the season, tying for sixth with a 76-75-71--222 (+6). Rollins delivered the best round of the day for the Lobos on March 17, carding a 1-under 71. Senior Katrina Leckovic placed 10th with a 77-74-75--226 (+10), marking her eighth career top-10 finish and fourth of the season. Junior Shannon Johnson had her best round of the tournament Wednesday afternoon, carding a 3-over 75. She finished with a score of 77-79-75--231 (+15), good for a tie in 16th place. Johnson now has four top-20 finishes this season.

Friday, May 22
All Day - 
Women's Golf
at NCAA Championship Qualifiers