April 19, 2006
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming women's golf team will begin play tomorrow at the 2006 Mountain West Conference Women's Golf Championship, which will run April 20-22 in St. George, Utah.
The 2006 MWC Women's Golf Championship will be held Thursday through Saturday at Entrada at Snow Canyon in St. George. This marks the first time in MWC history that the tournament will be played in Utah. Opened in September 1996, the Johnny Miller Signature Golf Course will be played at par 71, 6,299 yards during the tournament.
"We are going into this tournament with the mindset that if we play to our potential, then we can beat several teams," said UW head women's coach Josey Stender. "Although the MWC features some of the elite programs in the country, there are schools in this field that we can be competitive with and that is our goal.
"Our line-up has played well through some tough qualifying over the past few weeks and has prepared well for this course and the competition we'll face. That needs to be our focus. We are coming in with no past expectations and I think we can use that to our advantage."
Each team will play five golfers and count the top four scores. Wyoming's contingent will consist of a freshman, two sophomores and two juniors. UW will travel juniors Michelle Camaione and Whitney Hernandez, sophomores Lindsay Bauknecht and Laura Mengelkamp, as well as freshman Mikala Henzlik.
Last year, Mengelkamp tied for 12th at the MWC Championships as a freshman. This year she has shot rounds of 70 twice and has had four top-ten individual finishes. Her year highlight came at the Ron Moore Women's Classic this past fall, where Mengelkamp fired rounds of 72, 74 and 71, finishing runner-up of 73 golfers. Laura now has six top-four finishes in her collegiate career. She is averaging 77.63 strokes after playing 27 rounds so far this season. UNLV freshman Da Sol Chung currently leads the MWC with a 72.58 average.
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 54 holes, 18 each day, with tee times at 10 a.m. (MT).
The Cowgirls will be grouped with San Diego State during first round action, while TCU will be paired with New Mexico. Colorado State, BYU and UNLV will form the final group.
"We are fortunate to be paired with San Diego State on the first day," added Stender. "We have played well against them earlier this season and that should help our mindset."
The winner of the MWC Tournament receives the conference's automatic bid to one of three NCAA Regional Tournaments, May 11-13.
The UNLV Rebels, currently ranked #13 by Golfstat, will be looking to defend their back-to-back MWC Women's Golf Championships. The New Mexico Lobos had won the previous four MWC team titles. The Rebels' Elena Kurokawa won the 2005 individual crown.
Wyoming does own a bit of MWC Championships history, thanks to Cowgirl Jordan Lintz winning the inaugural conference tournament individual title in 2000.
The MWC will provide live stats for the Championship. You can find the live stats link on the MWC Golf Championship webpage linked at the top of this page. Simply click the live stats link to track all the action. You can also go directly to Golfstat.com to find the live stat link.