It's a Trifecta for the Lobos; Ewart sets school record with 5th individual championship
April 17, 2010
Senior Jodi Ewart shot a 1-under 71 to win her school-record fifth individual title and lead 21st-ranked New Mexico to its third straight Mountain West Conference women's golf championship today in Seaside, Calif. The Lobos finished with a 54-hole total of 898 (294-303-301), nine shots better than TCU at the Black Horse Golf Course (par 72, 6,009 yards).
The Lobos earn the MWC's automatic berth to the NCAA Championships. UNM will compete May 6-8 in one of three NCAA regional tournaments.
New Mexico has won seven of the 11 conference championships since the MWC started in 2000.
Making two birdies on the back nine, Ewart was the only golfer in the 35-player field to break par today. She finished with a 1-over 217 (71-75-71). She set an MWC record for largest winning margin, four shots better than TCU's Rachel Raastad (221). UNM sophomore Rebecca Hellbom shot 77 today to finish third at 222 (71-74-77).
Ewart now stands alone in the New Mexico record book with five individual championships in her illustrious career. Three of her victories have come at the MWC Championships (2007, '08 and '10). She also claimed medalist honors at the 2008 Branch Law Firm Dick McGuire Invitational and the 2009 Arizona Invitational. Ewart, who has finished second in three tournaments this season, had been tied with Caroline Keggi (1985-87) with four titles.
Ewart was also named MWC Player of the Year for the fourth straight season. She is the first student-athlete in any MWC-sponsored sport to earn the award four times.
"I was just steady most of the day," said Ewart of her final round. "It means a lot to me to set the school record for championships. Caroline (Keggi) was a great golfer. It's also a huge honor to be named MWC player of the year again because there have been so many great players the past four years."
New Mexico began the day with an 11-stroke advantage over TCU and Colorado State. The Horned Frogs cut the Lobo lead to six shots midway through today's round, but could get no closer.
"I couldn't be more proud of the team," said head coach Jill Trujillo. "We just grinded it out the last two days. The first round turned out to be the clincher. That gave us a lead that we were able to maintain through the weekend. I just can't say enough about Jodi. It could be a long time before someone else comes along and matches what she has done in four years at UNM."
Hellbom had a 1-shot lead over Ewart after nine holes today, but Hellbom bogeyed 10, 11 and 12 and could never catch her teammate. It's the second straight third-place finish for Hellbom, who has a superb 71.83 scoring average over her last six rounds. She joined Ewart on the all-MWC team.
New Mexico senior Britney Choy tied for 19th at 235 (73-82-80). Freshman Bethany Buchner shot 75 today - her best round of the tournament - to finish in 23rd at 236 (79-82-75). Sophomore Sarah Salvo tied for 24th at 238 (88-72-78).