Rico Paces Wyoming to Top-Five Finish at Lexus Classic
March 13, 2012
Senior Juanita Rico fired a final-round 72 (E) on Tuesday to earn fourth individually at the Fresno State Lexus Classic and guide the University of Wyoming women's golf team to fifth in the final team standings at 914 (+50). CSU Fullerton's 893 (+29) paced the 13-team field at the Copper River Country Club.
"A top-five finish in a quality field like this is exactly where I know this team can be," UW head coach Josey Stender said. "This showing definitely validates all the hard we've been putting in. It's exciting to continually play at a high level, especially at the start of the season, so now it gives us motivation to push ourselves further."
Rico collected her third top-10 finish in UW's last four tournaments, while the Cowgirls shot the lowest team round of Tuesday at 303 (+15) to earn their third top-five team finish of 2011-12, their most since 2008-09.
"I'm so proud of how Juanita continues to push herself and lower her scoring comfort zone," Stender said. "She's comfortable playing at or around par and I think it's just a matter of time until she wins. Her finish against this quality field will really help her resume for all-conference honors."
Rico posted her lowest round of Wyoming's two spring tournaments thanks to three birdies, three bogeys and 12 pars, while sophomore Emily Wood set a season low for the second time in two days with a 76 (+4) in the final round to finish 32nd at 233 (+17). Fellow sophomore Stacey Blunt also fired a 76 (+4) on Tuesday to tie with freshman Samantha Stancato for 22nd in the tournament at 232 (+16). Junior Dana Zamprelli hit 79 (+7) on the final day for 52nd at 239 (+23).
"We're playing calm and staying level out there," Stender said. "We're playing within ourselves and that is coming with the maturity and quality of these athletes. It's a credit to them and the hard work they've done."
Wyoming continues its season at the Bison Challenge at Paiute on Friday and Saturday in Las Vegas.
Fresno State Lexus Classic Final Standings
Wyoming Final Individual Results