April 16, 2008
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Watch a Free Video Feature with Wyoming Cowgirl Golfers:
senior Kaelee Aegerter, senior Lindsay Bauknecht, senior Laura Mengelkamp and head coach Josey Stender.
The University of Wyoming Cowgirl golf team will begin play tomorrow at the 2008 Mountain West Conference Women's Golf Championship, which will run April 17-19 in Albuquerque, N.M.
The 54-hole event will be played at the University of New Mexico's Championship Course, which is par 73 and measures 6,167 yards. The course is also the site of the 2008 NCAA DI Women's Golf Championships Finals, May 20-23.
Wyoming enters the championship with some momentum, having set new all-time school marks for low team round and low 54-hole total this past fall, along with two runner-up team finishes during the season, most recently at the Cowgirl Classic last week in Chandler, Ariz.
"In my three years of coaching at UW, this season has been the best as far as how we've played and how we've finished," said UW head women's coach Josey Stender. "This week is the pinnacle of the season for us and everything seems to be coming together. Everyone traveling has had some career-best numbers this spring and that gives us confidence heading into this event."
Each team will play five golfers and count the top four scores. UW's traveling squad have all had recent success this spring and will consist of seniors Kaelee Aegerter, Lindsay Bauknecht and Laura Mengelkamp, as well as sophomores Sarah Fogerty and Jonelle Martinez. This will be the fourth MWC meet for Bauknecht and Mengelkamp and the second for Aegerter, Fogerty and Martinez.
A steady top player for the Cowgirls, Mengelkamp has tied for 11th, 12th and 14th at past MWC Championships. She has the squad's best stroke average this season, 77.43. Last week Laura tied for fifth place at UW's home event in Arizona. It was her second top-five finish this season, the sixth in the top-15. She now has ten top-five finishes in her career and 29 in the top-25 of a major field.
Fogerty, UW's second best average at 78.23, earned the first top-five finish of her young career at the Cowgirl Classic, where she tied for fourth place with a score of 224 (+8). She has also finished in seventh place three times this season. In total, Sarah now has five top-ten finishes in two seasons, nine in the top-25. Her finish and score at the Cowgirl Classic also tied for the team-best individual finish of the season and low event score of the season with Mengelkamp.
With her 15th place showing in Chandler, Martinez now has six top-25 finishes in her career. Her final round of 73 (+1) was a career-best. Jonelle's stroke average this season is 79.85.
Bauknecht, who did not travel with UW last fall, has come on strong this spring and tied for 25th at the Cowgirl Classic, the sixth top-25 finish of her career. Last season she tied for 17th place at the MWC Championship.
Aegerter also played sporadically this season, but qualified for the Championships with an 18th place tie last week in Chandler, the first top-25 finish of her career. She also tied a career-best in the final round with a 75 (+3).
Last season the Cowgirls placed seventh at the conference meet, one stroke behind SDSU. Mengelkamp was UW's top finisher, tying for 11th out of 35 golfers.
Seven of the nine MWC schools sponsor women's golf programs. The seven women's golf programs are: Wyoming, Brigham Young, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State, TCU and UNLV.
The championship will consist of 18 holes each day, with tee times beginning at 8:30 a.m. (MT).
Wyoming will be grouped with Colorado State during first round action, while TCU will be paired with UNLV. BYU, New Mexico and San Diego State will form the final group.
The winner of the MWC Tournament receives the conference's automatic bid to one of three NCAA Regional Tournaments, May 8-10.
The MWC is one of the most competitive golf conferences in the nation, with four of seven teams ranked nationally in the top-50 by GolfStat.com. New Mexico is ranked #22, TCU #27, BYU #30 and UNLV comes into the MWC Championship at #47.
Three teams have won MWC Women's Golf team titles; the 2007 champion TCU Horned Frogs, the UNLV Rebels have won three crowns, and the New Mexico Lobos, who won the initial four MWC team titles. Lobo sophomore Jodi Ewart is the defending individual champion, having captured 2007 medalist honors by one stroke over TCU's Valentine Derrey.
UNLV freshman Therese Koelbaek has the best stroke average in the conference this season at 73.96. UNM's Ewart is second at 74.39.
The MWC will provide live stats for the Championship. You can find the live stats link on the MWC Golf Championship webpage at www.TheMWC.com. Simply click the golf championship link to track all the action. You can also go directly to www.GolfStat.com to find the live stat link.