April 9, 2007
CHANDLER, Ariz. -
The Wyoming Cowgirl golf team enjoyed a strong first day on Monday as it hosted the Inaugural Wyoming Cowgirl Classic at Ocotillo Golf Resort in Chandler, Ariz. Wyoming shot a 36-hole total of 635 (+59), and will enter Tuesday's final round in fourth place -- only five shots out of second in the team competition.
Northern Arizona leads the field with a two-round total of 602 (+26). NAU shot the low round in each of the first two rounds. The Lumberjacks started the day with a 16-over par round of 304 in the first round and following that with a 10-over par round of 298 in round two.
Leading the way for Wyoming was junior Laura Mengelkamp of Dover, Pa., who fired rounds of 79 and 75 for a 10-over par total of 154. Mengelkamp finds herself tied for fifth place and seven strokes back of tournament leader Ali Carter of Northern Arizona, who shot rounds of 72 and 75 for a three-over total of 147. Cowgirl freshman Jonelle Martinez of Santa Fe, N.M., is the other UW player in the Top 10 out of the 49 individuals competing. Martinez is tied for 10th at 13-over par 157 -- three strokes back of her teammate Mengelkamp.
No individual player shot a sub-par round on day one. In fact, Northern Arizona's Carter was the only player on the day to shoot a par round of 72, which she did in the tournament's opening 18 holes.
Wyoming head coach Josey Stender was pleased with the way her team competed as the Cowgirls hosted their first event of this kind in Arizona.
"I'm very proud of all of the girls for the way they fought today," said Stender. "I think one of the reasons our team performed so well was that they were excited to play well in our own event. The feeling that this is our tournament drove our team today and kept them motivated.
"This is a course that requires you to play well in all facets of your game. I thought in the second round, Laura (Mengelkamp) and Jonelle (Martinez) showed that they had made some adjustments to how they were managing the course. All of our players will need to make those adjustments tomorrow. We will need another good effort from top to bottom to make a move up the standings.
"Northern Arizona played extremely well today, and put some distance between themselves and the rest of the field. But it will be a real battle for second place on Tuesday."
The teams played two 18-hole rounds on the first day of competition. The third and final round of the Cowgirl Classic will tee off at 7:45 a.m., Pacific Time (8:45 a.m., Mountain Time) on Tuesday, April 10.
The inaugural Wyoming Cowgirl Classic is being played at the Ocotillo Golf Resort in Chandler, Ariz. The Ocotillo Golf Resort course measures 6,108 yards and plays to a par of 72. The Ocotillo Course contains more water hazards than any golf course in the state of Arizona. It was recently ranked by Golf Digest as one of only four courses in Arizona to receive a "Four Star" rating for "Places to Play".