By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
In Lobo Manon De Roey's quest to become an Olympian for her native land of Belgium, you can say that so far her summer of 2013 is adding some nice padding to her resume on the links - and surely prepping her for another solid season as a Lobo. Consider:
- De Roey won the Belgium Women's National Stroke Play tournament by two shots.
- The Lobo senior-to-be finished third in the chase for the St. Rule (Scotland) Trophy.
And in the last week in July, De Roey finished tied for 10th in the European Ladies' Amateur Championships that drew golfers from 24 countries.
"Her goal is to make the Olympic team for Belgium," said Jill Trujillo, the University of New Mexico women's golf coach. "Belgium has a very deep and talented national team, but the way she is playing she has a great chance to live her dream."
De Roey has been bouncing around Western Europe playing with the Belgium National team at various events. She also played in the Ladies British Open Amateur and the European Ladies Amateur Team Championships.
The win in Belgium was important for De Roey because it reaffirmed that she is one of the top golfers in Belgium. However, her top ten finish in the European Amateur came in a loaded field.
"That tournament had the most competitive field," said Trujillo. "It brings in the best players from all over Europe. Her finish in the top ten is a big deal. She beat some very good players."
The European Amateur was held July 24-27 at Aura Golf (Turku) in Finland with the win going to Danish player, Emily Kristine Pedersen. De Roey posted her highest score in the first round (74) and found herself seven shots behind Pedersen, who carded a 67.
De Roey came back with a 72-69-72 to finish 3-over par while Pederson added a 64 to her card on the third round and won the event by three shots over Laura Gonzalez Escallon. Pederson was 8-under at the conclusion of the 72-hole tournament.
Trujillo said she likes her Lobo golfers to stay competitive over the summer, but also wants them to use the summer months to wind down for the collegiate season that begins in September with a fall schedule and ends in late May at the NCAA Championships.
"The amount of play depends on the player and it depends on their state of mind for the summer," said Trujillo. "I want them to rest, but it's important to keep practicing and keep playing. It's important to stay competitive."
The competitive level that De Roey has chosen to take this summer is at a high level. Trujillo said that path also has been motivated by being on her country's national team.
"In Europe, if you are chosen to play on your national team, you either play a lot or you don't join the team," said Trujillo. "It's a very, very high honor to be chosen for your national team and Mano has been on her national team since she was a teenager. It's an important honor for her."
De Roey has been playing golf at a high level since winning individual honors at the 2013 Mountain West Championship. She rolled in a 20-foot, uphill putt on the first playoff hole to snatch the title away from UNLV's Demi Mak. The Lobo also won a fall tournament in 2012 hosted by Colorado State to become the fourth Lobo to win at least two tournaments in an academic year.
De Roey, Sammi Stevens and Sofia Hoglund will form the core of seniors that Trujillo will build her 2013-14 team around. De Roey came to UNM in the fall of 2010 as the No. 1 rated junior in Belgium and has been a member of the national team since 2008.