April 1, 2011
The Wyoming women's golf team makes its final preparations for the Mountain West Conference Championship by hosting the fifth-annual Cowgirl Classic at the picturesque Ocotillo Golf Resort in Chandler, Ariz., on Monday and Tuesday, April 4th and 5th.
The Cowgirls will play host to 23 teams and a total of 122 student-athletes on the par-72 course that runs a total of 6,184 yards. The first two rounds of 18 holes each will commence on Monday with a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m. (PT), while Tuesday's final 18 holes will start at the same time. The field includes five teams in the top 100 of the latest GolfWeek.com rankings, including No. 56 BYU.
"We expect to play very well at our home tournament and be in the mix to win it," UW head coach Josey Stender said. "We have played very competitively for at least one round with all the teams in the field, so now we need to string together three rounds."
The 2010 Cowgirl Classic was a record-breaking event, as UTEP claimed the team title with the best team score in tournament-history at 883 (+19) and Northern Arizona's Stephanie Kim posted the best individual score at 216 (E) to earn the individual title. Kim also shot the lowest round ever at the Cowgirl Classic with a 68 (-4) and Northern Arizona's 294 (+6) in the third round was the lowest team round in the event's four-year run. Both Kim and Northern Arizona will be back this year.
Wyoming looks to improve on last year's total of 950 (+86) and a 13th-place team finish with four of the five Cowgirls returning. UW has shown marked improvement this spring, including setting season bests at last week's MountainView Collegiate in team score 910 (+46) and individual score 219 (+3) by junior Juanita Rico. Rico and senior Molly Black have paced the Cowgirls so far this season with a matching 77.0 stroke average. The duo has been UW's top golfer at seven of eight events.
Sophomores Dana Zamprelli and Taylor Smalley also return to Ocotillo for Wyoming. Smalley shot a career-low 73 (+1) during the first round of the MountainView Collegiate, while Zamprelli has been in UW's lineup in three of four tournaments this spring. Freshmen Emily Wood and Stacey Blunt, along with redshirt junior Jenna Zamprelli, round out Wyoming's competitors at the Cowgirl Classic and will be vying for a lineup spot for the upcoming MWC Championships on April 14-16 in Phoenix, Ariz.
"Our tournament provides us with that sort of intangible little extra confidence, so that will help us continue to work on our consistency," Stender said. "Everyone has played the course, including practice rounds for the freshman, so between that and the pride of hosting a home event, our confidence will be high."
Complete results and a recap will be posted on WyomingAthletics.com following each day, while fans can follow live results on GolfStat.com by clicking on the link above.