BYU women's golf takes 12th at Texas A&M Mo-morial

COLLEGE STATION -- Behind strong final-round performances from Newren sisters Rachel and Nicole, the BYU women's golf team took 12th place Tuesday at the Texas A&M Mo-morial Invitational.

Freshman Rachel Newren, despite being under the weather and saddened by a death in the family, shot a 75 on the last 18 holes. Newren's sister, Nicole, tallied a 77, scores that were good enough for 34th and 38th respectively in the individual player rankings.

BYU head coach Sue Nyhus said she was proud of her team, but sees room for improvement.

"We had a lot of good moments out there," she said. "We're still not putting it all together, but there are signs of some great things to come.

The Cougars, who scored 318-309-310--937 in the two-day event, fell behind in the first round Monday and played catch-up thereafter, finishing four strokes behind UTEP (313-303-317--933). Kansas State (292-313-304--909) won the Invitational by shooting 1-under-par on a playoff hole, breaking a tie with Missouri (298-304-307--909) for the top spot.

"The first round put us behind," Nyhus said. "If it weren't for that, we would have been right there."

Alexis Edwards (80-80-78--238), Margaret Gibby (79-75-85--239), and Natalie Newren (84-78-80--242) rounded out the rest of the Cougars' five. Kansas State's Christine Boucher (70-77-72--219) was the tournament's top individual, shooting just 3-over-par overall.

Gibby, whose second-round score of 75 tied Rachel Newren for BYU's low, said that mental toughness is the key.

"After starting out poorly on the first round I was determined to focus," Gibby said. "I had a game plan for each hole."

BYU finished 14th at the Mo-morial in 2003. Last year's champion, Baylor, took ninth place on Tuesday.

The Cougars are back in action March 8-9 at the Bobcat Desert Classic in Goodyear, Ariz. BYU's trio of Newren sisters left the team after Tuesday's play to attend a funeral, but will rejoin the team in time for next week's tournament.

Texas A&M Mo-morial      College Station, Texas

March 1-2, 2004 Blackhorse Golf Club

Par: 72 Yardage: 6,100

12 BYU 318-309-310--937 (+73)

T 34 Rachel Newren 82-76-75--233 (+17)

T 38 Nicole Newren-Chandler 77-80-77--234 (+18)

T 59 Alexis Edwards 80-80-78--238 (+22)

T 61 Margaret Gibby 79-75-85--239 (+23)

T 72 Natalie Newren 84-78-80--242 (+26)

Fin. Top 20 Teams Score

T 1 Kansas State Univ. 292-313-304--909

T 1 Missouri, U. of 298-304-307--909

3 TCU 307-308-297--912

T 4 Texas A&M University 303-305-306--914

T 4 Arkansas, U. of 311-295-308--914

6 Indiana University 299-305-311--915

T 7 Northwestern Univ. 303-304-309--916

T 7 Kansas, U. of 302-302-312--916

9 Baylor 303-309-309--921

10 Southern Methodist 310-302-312--924

11 Texas El Paso, U. of 313-303-317--933

12 Brigham Young Univ. 318-309-310--937

13 Wisconsin, U. of 317-316-307--940

14 Arkansas-Little Rock 317-304-320--941

15 Texas Tech Univ 319-302-322--943

16 McLennan CC 334-336-345--1015

Fin. Top 20 Players School Score

1 Christine Boucher Kansas State Univ. 70-77-72--219

T 2 Amanda Costner Kansas, U. of 72-74-75--221

T 2 Maria Ohlsson Missouri, U. of 75-74-72--221

T 4 Malinda Johnson Wisconsin, U. of 74-77-71--222

T 4 Alice Kim Northwestern Univ. 76-72-74--222

T 6 Karen Dennison Indiana University 72-73-78--223

T 6 Brooke Tull TCU 78-75-70--223

8 Amanda McCurdy Arkansas, U. of 76-72-76--224

T 9 Josefin Svenningsson Baylor 73-77-75--225

T 10 Camille Blackerby TCU 77-76-73--226

T 10 Gena Johnson Arkansas, U. of 77-72-77--226

T 10 Denise Knaebel Missouri, U. of 72-77-77--226

T 13 Missy Ryan Southern Methodist 76-76-75--227

T 13 Christa Spedding Texas A&M University 74-76-77--227

T 15 Danah Ford Indiana University 77-76-75--228

T 15 Anne Mallory Texas El Paso, U. of 77-75-76--228

T 15 Kelli McKandless Baylor 75-77-76--228

T 15 Karen Quintelier Kansas State Univ. 71-79-78--228

T 19 Nicole Melton Texas A&M University 77-76-76--229

T 19 Molly Redfearn Indiana University 76-76-77--229

T 19 Linda Svensson Arkansas-Little Rock 78-75-76--229