March 14, 2007
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -
University of Wyoming junior Laura Mengelkamp recorded her eighth career top-five finish on Wednesday when she tied for third place out of 110 golfers at the Bobcat Desert Classic.
Mengelkamp battled back after a slow start to the day and shot a final round of 76 (+4) to remain where she started the day, one stroke out of first place. Her 54-hole total of 226 (+10) was just short of the mark of 225 posted by Gonzaga's Mary Kate Morgan and North Texas' Tara Lambright. Morgan won medalist honors during a playoff. Also tied with Mengelkamp for third were Cal Poly's Julia Heath and Sacramento State's Kim Coppin.
Mengelkamp's tournament score was special in several ways; it was Wyoming's low event total of the season, it was the highest finish of the year by a Cowgirl, it was her third straight top-25 finish and was Mengelkamp's 18th career top-25 finish.
As a team, UW shot their season-low round on Wednesday by posting a 305 (+17). That mark gave Wyoming a total of 942 (+78) and allowed them to move from a tie at 11th into sole possession of tenth place and a top-half finish in the field of 20 schools. The event total was a massive improvement over UW's performance at this same event and on the same course last year when the Cowgirls placed 15th of 16 and totaled 1,000 strokes.
"Everyone is very excited about the way we finished the tournament today," said Cowgirl head coach Josey Stender. "Last semester we had a hard time closing out events on the last day, but today we maintained really well and pulled through. This team knows the potential they have and today that showed. It's unbelievable the difference between this spring and last."
Not to be outdone by their junior leader Mengelkamp, the remainder of the Cowgirl squad would all post scores in the final round no higher than 80. Freshman Sarah Fogerty and junior Kaelee Aegerter shot rounds of 76, while freshman Jonelle Martinez recorded a 77 (+5), junior Lindsay Bauknecht scored 78 (+6) playing as an individual and sophomore Mikala Henzlik tallied an 80 (+8).
Fogerty joined Mengelkamp in the top-25, as her three round total of 233 (+17) tied her for 22nd place. Coming on strong in her second semester of collegiate golf, this was also the third consecutive event that Fogerty has placed in the top-25.
Sacramento State used a final round of 300 (+12) to jump into first place and win the team title in a playoff over Cal Poly. Both squads totaled 915 (+51). Oral Roberts finished in third, six strokes back at 921.
The three-day, 54-hole tournament, hosted by Montana State, was played at Palm Valley Golf Club, a par 72 course that measures 6,160 yards.
The Cowgirls will now have two weeks of practice before their next tournament, the Oregon Duck Invitational which will be held March 26-27 in Eugene, Ore.