New Mexico Lobos Women’s Golf – Silverado Showdown – Napa, Calif.
When/Where: Monday-Tuesday – Silverado Resort North (6,196 yards)
Top Five Teams (36 holes): 1. Washington 289-292 – 581. 2. Southern California 295-287 – 582. 3. Oregon State 295-288 – 583. 4. Northwestern 291-294 – 585. 5. Arizona 294-296 – 590. 12. New Mexico 315-291 – 606.
Top Four Individuals (36 holes): 1. Lindsey Weaver, Arizona, 69-67 – 136. 2. Regan De Guzman, San Jose State, 67-71 – 138. 3. SooBin Kim, Washington, 68-71 – 139. 4. Sophia Popov, Southern California, 73-67 – 140.
The Lobos: Manon De Roey 74-69 – 143; Manon Molle' 74-70 – 144; Sammi Stevens 82-76 – 158; Eva Saulnier 85-76 – 161; Dea Mahendra 88-80 – 168.
By Richard Stevens – Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
“The plot thickens” is an adage tossed about when referring to whodunit mystery novels, but there is no reason not to use that phrase for the game of golf.
Golf can be a very mysterious adventure and almost always provides a few twists and turns thanks to a game that can sometimes be controlled, but can rarely be conquered.
And the plot for the upcoming Mountain West Championships definitely has thickened after 36 holes of play at the Silverado Showdown in Napa, Calif. Consider a fistful of subplots that have surfaced thanks to the rolling hills of Silverado North:
1. New Mexico’s Manon De Roey definitely looks like a golfer who wants to defend her 2013 MW title. The UNM senior threw out rounds of 74-69 and is tied for the No. 7 spot heading into Tuesday’s final round. “I’m very happy for her,” said Lobo Coach Jill Trujillo.
2. San Jose State’s Regan De Guzman confirmed she is a golfer to be reckoned with as she carded a 67-71 and is in the No. 2 spot after 36 holes.
3. San Jose State and Fresno State aren’t going to just roll over and concede the 2014 Mountain West team title to San Diego State, UNLV or New Mexico. The Spartans are tied for sixth place after two rounds and Fresno State (10th) actually was near the top after 18 holes, but lost valuable strokes when a golfer was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard.
4. New Mexico’s card of 291 over the second 18 holes was one of the top rounds of the tournament on Monday and shows what happens when four Lobos play well at the same time.
5. And don’t look past UNM’s Manon Molle' or Fresno State’s Madchen Ly when kicking around names capable of ending up on top of the MW leader board in two weeks. Molle' is in the Silverado’s Top Ten after 36 holes and Ly is two shots behind her.
Yes, the plot thickens, but before Coach Trujillo looks ahead to the Mountain West chase she is looking ahead to Tuesday’s final 18 holes and hoping that the New Mexico team that showed up for the second 18 on Monday shows up for the final 18 holes of this 54-hole, 15-team chase.
That New Mexico team was dynamite – and of the 30 team rounds posted on Monday only three rounds were better than UNM’s second-round of 291.
That round was accented by De Roey tying a season-best card of 69 and Sammi Stevens playing like, well, more like Sammi Stevens. The UNM senior struggled to an uncharacteristic 82 over the first 18 – her first card in the 80s all season – but turned it around to post a 76 over the second 18 holes.
The Lobos also used a 70 by Molle' and a 76 by freshman Eva Saulnier to card the 291. It was a huge improvement over the first-round 315 that had left New Mexico in last place after 18 holes.
“For lack of a better word, it was a disaster,” Trujillo said of that first round. “It was like we hadn’t played golf in a while.”
Maybe the Lobos didn’t knock any rust off their game or their clubs for the second 18 holes, but they definitely knocked off some strokes – 24 of them -- in throwing out one of the top rounds of the day.
To put UNM’s 291 into perspective, consider that Washington used a 292 over the second 18 holes to push its way into the top spot on the leader board – one shot ahead of No. 1 ranked Southern California, which shot a 295 on its first round.
New Mexico’s 291 was a better second round than nine teams ahead of them on the leader board: Washington (292), Northwestern (294), Arizona (296), San Jose State (296), Oregon (298), Wisconsin (295), Colorado (299), Fresno State (306), and UNLV (300).
Still, to use another golf idiom: “Take your medicine,” – which means you have to accept the consequences of a mistake, a bad shot, a bad round.
The Lobos have to take the medicine from their first 18 holes and try to turn Tuesday into a moving day up the leader board.
There are five Mountain West teams at the Silverado Showdown and four of them are ahead of UNM’s two-round total of 606. UNLV is three shots ahead of UNM, Fresno State is four shots up on the Lobos and San Jose State is 12 shots ahead of UNM. San Diego State struggled to a two-round card of 311-304=615 and is nine shots behind New Mexico.
De Roey’s sizzling 69 was accented by seven birdies. She was probably one shot away from a sub-par round over her first 18 holes, but caught a shot thin on her last hole and knocked an approach shot over the green. She had to settle for a 3-over par seven on the par-4 fourth hole which gave her a first-round 74.
Stevens had a very un-Stevens-like round on her first 18 and actually had a stretch of eight consecutive bogeys in carding her 10-over 82. She finished with 10 bogeys and no birdies. She knocked six strokes off her card on the second 18 with a 76, but even that round – four bogeys and one double bogey -- was uncharacteristic for this steady senior.
Molle' threw out her best round as a Lobo in turning in a 2-under card of 70 that featured three birdies against a single bogey. Molle' started her round with that bogey and then played 17 holes at three-under.
Saulnier opened with an 85 and did a good job cutting nine strokes off her card over the second 18 holes. Her 76 tied her best score as a Lobo.
Another subplot for the upcoming MW chase comes out of the individual list of golfers. UNLV’s Dana Finkelstein and UNM’s Stevens are the top rated golfers in the Mountain West. There are seven MW golfers ahead of them on the leader board after 36 holes. The Lobos will tee off with UNLV and Fresno State golfers in Tuesday's final round.