Does this week’s Mountain West Women’s Golfer of the Week – New Mexico’s Sammi Stevens – further define the expected battle for conference supremacy on the links?
The Lobo senior has been selected as the Mountain West Women’s Golfer of the Week for tournaments played March 2-4. The product of Hereford, Texas, collects the third golfer of the week/month accolade of her career, including her first of the 2013-14 season.
She joins UNLV’s Dana Finkelstein and San Diego State’s Sirene Blair as recipients of MW Player of the Week/Month nods so far in the 2013-14 season.
Stevens currently leads the Lobos and ranks second in the Mountain West with a 72.00 stroke average just behind Finkelsteins’ 71.63 and ahead of Blair’s 73.44 average. UNM’s Manon De Roey, the defending Mountain West champion, is the league's fourth-rated golfer with a 74.12 stroke average.
Stevens captured her first career tournament victory at the Juli Inkster Spartan Invitational played March 3-4 in San Jose, Calif. Stevens carded a 3-under par 213 (71-71-71) on the par 72, 6,162-yard course at the Almaden Golf and Country Club.
Stevens had said going into her senior year at New Mexico that one of her goals was to finish a tournament on top of the leaderboard.
“I finally got the monkey off my back,” said Stevens, who finished in a three-way time for medalist honors in San Jose. “I have been close so many times that it kind of wears on you. After a while, you start thinking, ‘Isn’t it about time?’
"I was pumped to win it. It’s a huge deal for any of us (Lobos) to win. It was a strong field and it felt awesome.”
Stevens, known for her consistency on the course (“Steady Stevens,” she says), was one of only two golfers in the field of 69 individuals to break par in each of the three rounds. She recorded 10 birdies over the two-day, 54-hole tournament and bested 33 other Mountain West golfers in a field that consisted of 13 teams including six teams from the conference.
Stevens obviously was the low Lobo helping New Mexico post its lowest 18-hole team total of the season at 288 on the final round which helped New Mexico charge to its best team finish (4th) of 2013-14.