Photos: Brett Wilhelm/NCAA
Photos: Brett Wilhelm/NCAA
Stevens: Manon Molle', Lobos Atop MW Leader Board
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  04/25/2014

New Mexico Lobos at 2014 Mountain West Women’s Golf Championship

Where: Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club - Rancho Mirage, Calif.

Second-Round (36 hole) Team Results:  1- New Mexico 295-295 = 590. 2. Fresno State 296-296 = 592. 3- UNLV 303-290 = 593. 4- San Jose State 294-300 = 594. 5. San Diego State 293-308 = 601. 5- (tie): Boise State 296-305 =  601. 7. Colorado State 311-305 = 616. 8- Nevada 308-310 = 618. 9. Wyoming 310-317 = 627.

Second-Round Individual Leaders: 1- Manon Molle', UNM, 71-71 = 142. 1 (tie) Gudrun Bjorgvinsdottir, Fresno St, 71-71 – 142.  1- (tie)- Madchen Ly, Fresno St, 71-71 = 142. 1- (tie): Dana Finkelstein, UNLV, 73-69 = 142. 5- Emma Henrikson, SDSU, 71-73 = 144. 6- Regan De Guzman, San Jose State, 73-72 = 145. 7- Samantha Martin, Boise State, 74-72 = 146. 8- Manon De Roey, UNM, 74-73 = 147.   

Live Scoring:  tournament central page, located at http://www.themw.com/#!/page/championship_w-golf, or directly on GolfStat.com.

By Richard Stevens – Senior Writer/GoLobos.com

Get out your cameras.  Take off the lens’ cap. It’s going to be a photo finish.

So, who’s going to be a neck or a shot ahead in the final individual photo:  New Mexico’s Manon Molle', UNLV’s Dana Finkelstein, Fresno State’s Madchen Ly or teammate Gudrun Bjorgvinsdottir?

Or will the 2014 Mountain West champion arise from the talented pack hovering beneath these 36-hole leaders? 

And can the New Mexico Lobos hang on to their two-shot lead heading into the final turn and the final 18 holes on Saturday? The Lobos have three hungry teams nipping at their heels two to four shots in the Lobos’ shadow.

“It’s still anybody’s game,” said Lobo Coach Jill Trujillo.  “There are four teams within four shots.  The back nine probably is the key.  I don’t think it will be birdies coming in that wins it.  I think it will be pars.

“The last four holes are probably the toughest on the course. We need to focus on the last four holes and not card any bogeys.”

The Lobos had seven team bogeys and one double-bogey on the final four holes on Friday.  They had five team birdies on the front nine and one team birdie (Molle') on the back nine.

Molle', UNM’s sensational freshman, stayed hot over the second 18 holes at the Mountain West Women’s Golf Championships and is tied for the lead heading into Saturday’s final day with the three aforementioned MW golfers.  Molle' followed her first-round 71 with a second-round 71 for a 142 total.

New Mexico’s Manon De Roey, the 2013 MW champion, is five shots off the leading pace and probably needs to carve out a card in the 60s on Saturday in order to defend her title.  Or she needs a huge collapse above her.

The 2014 titles will be determined over Saturday’s final 18 holes at the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club, but the course is not rolling over for the Mountain West field.

There has been only one card turned in over the first 36 holes below a one-under 71 and that was the 69 recorded by UNLV’s Dana Finkelstein on Friday.  That’s not something the Mountain West wants to see: a charge by the 2013 MW Golfer of the Year.  Finkelstein had three birdies and no bogeys in going 3-under.

“That 69 by Finkelstein today was pretty good,” said Trujillo. “These greens are pretty tough with a lot of small breaks that are difficult to see.”

If “steady” is the key word for Saturday than UNM’s Molle' has a great shot at becoming a freshman champion.  She played her final 13 holes in 1-under-par with her only bogey – a three putt – coming on the par-3 No. 5 hole.

“We briefly talked about being in the lead and now we are done with it,” said Trujillo.  “Today is over and tomorrow is another day and it’s anybody’s game.

“I think with a younger team, with the freshmen, it’s a mental thing in approaching the final day.  They just need to stay in the present which is what any good golfer does. The seniors can rely on experience and both Sammi (Stevens) and Manon (De Roey) have been in positions where they are battling for wins.  I think as a team that will help us.”

On Friday, De Roey and Stevens did what seniors do. They each cut strokes off their first-round cards. De Roey went from a 74 to a 73 and Stevens charged from a 76 to a 73.  The improvement from the seniors helped UNM match the team card of 295 that the Lobos posted on Thursday.  That’s UNM’s lowest team card of the spring season.

“Sammi played great, but she had two late bogeys (16, 17) that hurt her,” said Trujillo.

UNM is at 590 with Fresno State at 592, UNLV at 593 and San Jose State at 594.  Boise State and San Diego State, the first-round leader, are a distant 601 and likely out of the title chase.  The Aztecs had a 293 on Thursday, but ballooned to a 308 on Friday.

UNLV is the defending MW champ and cut 13 shots off its first-round card to jump into the race for the 2014 title. The Rebels won with a team card of 314-290-300 in 2013. The placement of the flags on Saturday could have a huge impact on the cards turned in.

The Lobos were in third place after Thursday’s first round two shots behind the Aztecs. UNLV made up five shots on the Lobos and six on Fresno State with its 290 – the best team score so far.

The Lobos are looking for their eighth MW title with the last win coming in 2010.