Lobos Tie for 16th at NCAA Championships; Ewart ties for 15th
Final Team Standings
Final Individual Standings
Wilmington Star News: Ewart and New Mexico have been perfect match
NCAA Championships Photo Gallery - Final Day
NCAA Championships Photo Gallery - May 16-20
May 21, 2010
Wilmington, N.C. - Today's final round of the 29th NCAA Women's Golf Championships had several storylines for the University of New Mexico. It was certainly about the Lobos setting a school record for lowest 72-hole total in 15 finals appearances at 1189. And, it was also about UNM enjoying its best finish at the Championships in six years, landing in tie for 16th in the 24-team field.
They grew up more than 7,200 miles apart - or nearly 12,000 kilometers if you're familiar with the metric system like Ewart - and were as opposite as two people could be.
"Jodi is so quiet on the course and in real life, you would think she is an introvert, but she is not," said UNM head coach Jill Trujillo. "She is all about the team, constantly pushing her teammates to practice more, grabbing our freshman, Beth Buchner, by the hand and saying, `Let's do it this way.' Her subtlety and her leadership are so opposite from Britney. Britney is very vocal."
Today, Ewart and Choy part as best friends who leave a winning legacy that future Lobos can only hope to duplicate: Three straight Mountain West Conference titles and three trips to the NCAA Championships.
"There are so many memories; the golf, my teammates, my coaches, memories everyday," said Ewart. "I am going to miss my teammates and competing."
"Jodi will be remembered as the best golfer that has come through UNM, hands down," said head coach Jill Trujillo.
It was fitting that Ewart's last stroke as a Lobo and as a collegiate player was a 10-foot birdie putt that made a beeline to the middle of the cup at No. 18. That scenario looked unlikely after she left her tee shot in front of a fairway bunker.
"I knew I wanted to birdie the last hole of my amateur career," explained Ewart. "I didn't hit the greatest tee shot. I knew it was going to have to be a three-shot hole (to make birdie). I just looked at the putt and knew it was going in."
Ewart's birdie gave her a 73 and a four-day total of 1-over 289 (73-71-72-73), which is the second-lowest 72-hole by a Lobo at the NCAA Championships. She finished in a tie for 15th.
"As Jodi finished in the group behind me, I ran down to the No. 18 green to give her and Jill (Trujillo) the biggest hugs I could give," said Choy. "It was definitely a special moment that all three of us shared because it was a last time for a lot of things."
"I have become more mature and independent in the past four years," said Ewart. "I came from a little town in England. Now, I'm ready to take on the professional ranks."
Ewart's professional career begins Monday at Pinnacle Peak Country Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., as she attempts to qualify for the U.S. Women's Open. She begins play on the Futures Tour next month in hopes of earning her Tour card without going through Q-school.
Ewart graduated from UNM a week ago with a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a 3.70 cumulative grade-point-average.
Choy will graduate in December with a degree in Communications. She will also pursue a career in professional golf. She had a 74 today and tied for 54th at 298 (74-75-75-74).
As for the Lobo underclassmen today, sophomore Rebecca Hellbom ended at 303 (80-76-73-74) and in a tie for 82nd place. Sophomore Sarah Salvo (78-74-75-77) and freshman Bethany Buchner (78-77-75-74) each finished in a tie for 86th at 304 (+16).
Purdue beat Southern California by one shot to claim the team title while Oklahoma State's Caroline Hedwall was the individual winner at 12-under 276 (70-70-68-68).
One last peek at Jodi Ewart's career highlights at the University of New Mexico:
* 4-time Mountain West Conference Player of the Year, the only student-athlete in any MWC sport to be recognized four times