April 18, 2009
SEASIDE, Calif. -
Saturday, at the final day of the Mountain West Conference Championships in Seaside, Calif., junior Jonelle Martinez became the second individual conference champion in Wyoming Cowgirl Golf history.
Martinez joins Jordan Lintz, who won the MWC Championship in 2000, as the only other member to do so. Martinez and the Cowgirls were the first team to finish their third round and had to sit in anticipation to see if Martinez's name would be at the top of the list. When the New Mexico Lady Lobos finished their round and turned in their scorecards, junior Britney Choy found herself two strokes shy of Martinez.
Martinez's final round 76 (+4) gave her a final total of 221 (+5), two strokes better than the 35-person field. Her first round 70 (-2) was the best of the tournament and the best in her career. The tournament win is the first of her career.
"There's not a better person that deserves this. She played rock solid golf for three days," said UW head coach Josey Stender. "She has worked so hard and I couldn't ask for much of a better leader and team oriented player. It was amazing to watch her keep herself mentally in check especially during crunch time over the past two days."
"I really tried not to put any more pressure on myself than I had to," said MWC Champion Jonelle Martinez. "I wanted to stick to my game and do the same thing that I was doing the whole tournament. I had my spots picked out on each fairway and I felt like I knew the greens pretty well, I just wanted to get it close to the pin."
The Cowgirls as a team finished in sixth place with their three round total of 942 (+78) strokes. New Mexico (903, +39) came away with their second straight title ahead of TCU (917 +53), and UNLV (920, +56). Colorado State (921, +57), BYU (938, +74), Wyoming (942, +78) and San Diego State (946, +82) rounded out the field.
"We played a good front nine and the back nine was a combination of bad breaks and a few errant shots," said Stender. "It was a great experience to have three players playing in their first championship and follow Jonelle through this. Next season we will be returning the entire lineup. These girls definitely have the work ethic and have the opportunity to improve every year. They are ready for it."