Wyoming Freshman Jonelle Martinez in Contention at the Lady Irish Invite

Sept. 23, 2006


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The University of Wyoming Cowgirl golf team proved competitive on Saturday during the first 36 holes at the seventh annual Lady Irish Invitational in South Bend, Ind. Led by a sixth place performance from freshman Jonelle Martinez the Cowgirls are in eighth of 14 teams, eight strokes back of Iowa.

In rainy weather, UW shot team rounds of 311 (+23) and 322 (+34) to put themselves within striking distance of several teams heading into Sunday's final 18 holes.

"I was proud of my team for grinding away through the rain and difficult greens today," said Cowgirl head coach Josey Stender. "This course is much different than what we are used to; narrow with undulating greens and playing long from the wet weather. We were able to adapt to the different style and post some good scores. The girls played steady and played within themselves. Tomorrow our goal will simply be to eliminate the big numbers.

"Jonelle's play is an example of what this team needs. A young player who comes in and plays well is encouragement to the rest of the team that our team is improving. Her play is solid and composed, and nothing gets to her. She has the maturity of an upperclassman."

Martinez opened the day with a morning round of 74 (+2) and then followed that with an afternoon score of 76 (+4). Her total of 150 (+6) is only four strokes off of the lead in the field of 73 golfers.

Also in the top 20 for the Cowgirls is junior Laura Mengelkamp. Mengelkamp carded rounds of 79 (+7) and 76 (+4), and is tied for 20th place.

The host school, Notre Dame, is atop the team standings at 612 (+36) and has a slim one-stroke cushion over Illinois State. Cincinnati's Hillery Wilson holds the individual lead by two strokes at 146 (+2).

The 54-hole event is being held at the Warren Golf Course in South Bend, par 72 and measuring 5,965 yards.