Cowgirl Golf through One Round at the MWC Championship

April 20, 2006

ST. GEORGE, Utah -

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The University of Wyoming Cowgirl golf team completed 18 holes on Thursday at the 2006 Mountain West Conference Women's Golf Championship. The Cowgirls scored 321 (+33) as a team at the Entrada at Snow Canyon golf course in St. George.

Two-time defending MWC Champion UNLV leads the seven team field after the first day. The Rebels carded a team total of 291 (+3) for round one and hold a nine shot advantage over BYU, who currently sits second at 300 (+12). New Mexico is third with a team score of 303 (+15), followed by San Diego State (310), Colorado State fifth (311), TCU sixth (312) and Wyoming seventh.

Wyoming had just recently played the Entrada course at the BYU Dixie Classic earlier this month. At that event UW's best team round was 337. UW's first round score today was 16 strokes better than that mark.

"We showed some improvement today over our performance on this same course several weeks ago," said UW head coach Josey Stender. "So I have to be pleased with that improvement, however, this whole team knows that we can play better. We need more consistency from our entire line-up.

"The course is set up differently than it was for the BYU tournament. It is more scorable. We need to take advantage of the layout. We start on the front nine for this event, which is easier than the back nine, and that should help give us some good scoring opportunities to begin each round.

"I'm proud of Lindsay (Bauknecht) for her effort today. She was the last on our team to qualify for this tournament, but she used the pressure that she had faced in those qualifying rounds to help her today.

"We want to show the rest of the field that we can finish respectably. With our play we need to show the other teams that they should not count us out."

Individually, there is a five way tie for first. Mikaela Backstedt (New Mexico), Young Pak (UNLV), Grace Woo (UNLV), Seema Sadekar (UNLV) and Rachel Newren (BYU) are locked at even par. TCU's Catherine Matranga sits one stroke behind the leaders with a one-over 73 in sixth place.

The top golfer on the day for the Cowgirls was sophomore Laura Mengelkamp, who shot 76 (+4). That score places Mengelkamp in a tie for 11th in the field of 35 golfers.

Three strokes back of Mengelkamp are sophomore Lindsay Bauknecht and freshman Mikala Henzlik, who each carded rounds of 79 (+7).

Each team played five golfers and counted the top four scores, meaning that Wyoming also had to count a round of 87 (+15) by junior Michelle Camaione towards their team total. Junior Whitney Hernandez, 88 (+16), was UW's fifth competitor.

The second of three rounds begins Friday at 10 a.m. (MT). Wyoming will be paired with Colorado State.

Live scoring of the 2006 MWC Women's Golf Championship is available at www.TheMWC.com and Golfstat.com.