Martinez Leads Cowgirls into the Hunt after Day One of MWC Championships

April 16, 2009

SEASIDE, Calif. -

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The University of Wyoming Cowgirls finished day one of the Mountain West Conference Championships in fifth place while junior Jonelle Martinez leads all individuals.

Martinez tied her best round ever with an opening round 70 (-2). She had six birdies, three of which were on par-3's. Her six birdies and nine pars cancelled out her two bogeys and one double-bogey. The first round 70 (-2) is the best round by a Cowgirl in the MWC Championship since 2006 when Mikala Henzlik shot a third-round of 70 (-2). Martinez is two strokes ahead of second place Therese Koelbaek of UNLV.

"Jonelle played phenomenal today, as she was sticking the ball on the correct part of every green and really took advantage of each opportunity," said UW head coach Josey Stender. "The course is not as narrow as I expected, however, the greens are extremely tough. If you are on the wrong side of the green you could find yourself in quite a bit of trouble."

The Cowgirls trail New Mexico by only eight strokes as the Lady Lobos finished round one with a team 301 (+13). TCU and BYU are tied in second place with their matching 305's (+17), while UNLV shot a team 306 (+18). The Cowgirls are in fifth with their 309 (+21), San Diego State 312 (+24) and Colorado State 314 (+26) round out the seven-team field.

Sophomore Molly Black and freshman Juanita Rico, two of three rookies playing in their first ever MWC Championship, followed Martinez's lead as they opened with their own solid 78 (+6) and 80 (+8) respectively. Black played a very solid front nine as she came into the turn playing even golf, but hit a tough patch on the back nine. While junior Sarah Fogerty and sophomore Jenna Zamprelli rounded out the rest of the field for the Cowgirls with their first-round 81 (+9) and 85 (+13) respectively.

"Molly and Juanita really ground it out today and played tough for us," said Stender. "With three of our five players playing in their first ever Championship it was tough for them, but as soon as they calmed down they played great. This is right where we want to be, within striking distance," finished Stender.

The Cowgirls will be paired with UNLV tomorrow starting at 8:30 a.m. (MST) for the second round. Live results can be followed at