Women's Golf: Lobos Travel to Nebraska for NCAA Central Regional*
Update: Making their sixth straight appearance in NCAA Regional postseason action the University of New Mexico womens golf team will travel to Lincoln, Neb. for the 2003 Central Regional hosted by the University of Nebraska, May 8-10.
Format: The tournament consists of 18 holes with a 8:30 a.m.(CST) start all three days. The Firethorn Golf Club plays to a par 71 on 6,023 yards.
Tournament Field: There will be 21 teams participating in the NCAA Central Regional including (GolfWeek Ranking 4/28): Arkansas (43), Baylor (30), California (8), Florida (11), Indiana (33), Kansas State (40), Kent State (32), Michigan State (36), Missouri (37), host Nebraska (48), New Mexico (12), Oklahoma (21), Purdue (22), Southern University (163), TCU (29), Tennessee (10), Texas (4), Texas A & M (52), Tulsa (18), Wisconsin (58), Yale (99).
Eight teams plus two individuals not affiliated with said teams, will advance from three regionals to the 2003 NCAA Womens Golf Championships, slated for May 20-23 in West Lafayette, Ind. Purdue University will host nationals.
Lobo Lineup: The UNM lineup for the NCAA Central Regional includes: Kailin Downs, Katrina Leckovic, Christina Spence, Shannon Johnson and Kellyn Newman.
New Mexico in the Rankings: In the latest poll released on Apr. 28 by GolfWeek Magazine, UNM maintains its position at No. 12. The Lobos climb one spot to No. 12 in the GolfDigest Womens Coaches Poll of April 11 and drop one spot in GolfStat NCAA stats (Apr. 29) to No. 15.
In GolfWeek individual rankings the Lobos have three players ranked in the top-100 including sophomore Kailin Downs who ranks No. 20. Junior Katrina Leckovic climbs 14 spots to No. 65 while sophomore Christina Spence is listed at No. 94. Sophomore Shannon Johnson ranks No. 183, while junior Kellyn Newman is listed at No. 463. Junior Kristi Larsen along with freshman Kelli Van Winkle have not participated in enough tournament rounds to qualify for individual rankings.
Last Time MWC Championships (Apr. 24-26): The University of New Mexico captured their fourth straight victory at the 2003 Mountain West Conference Championships held in Bend, Ore. The Lobos took tournament honors by one-shot over a talented UNLV team 890-891. Junior Katrina Leckovic took her first tournament title as a Lobo by a two-shot margin over UNLV and MWC Freshman of the Year Sunny Oh. Leckovic sealed the victory for the Lobos by parring the final hole while Oh bogeyed. For her efforts Leckovic was named All-Conference for the second straight year.
Sophomore Kailin Downs, who finished in third place individually, captured the MWC Player of the Year honors for the second consecutive year. Downs finished with a 73.8 stroke averaged which topped the conference leaderboard. As a team, New Mexico struggled after the first round under difficult weather conditions, including snow each of the three days. UNM shot a first-round 316 but bounced back in the second round, shaving off 36 strokes and setting a new MWC single round record of 280. Three Lobos scored sub par rounds including Leckovics second round 67, which was not only a personal best, but also set a new conference mark. Downs shot a 70 while fellow sophomore Christina Spence shot a career low 69. The Lobos went into the final round tied with the Rebels.
After all was said and done, New Mexico placed four members on the All-Conference team including Downs and Leckovic (two-time honorees), plus Spence and sophomore Shannon Johnson.
Head coach Jackie Booth clinched a three-peat as the 2003 MWC Coach of the Year. Booth led the Lobos this season to three tournament titles (to date) and garnered the honor for the third straight year.
Individual Notes: (alphabetical order)
Kelli Van Winkle: