BYU women's golf team starts 2003-04 season

Junior Natalie Newren will be one of five golfers playing at the Dick McGuire Invitational this weekend. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- The BYU women's golf team will kick off its 2003-04 season on Sept. 25-27 at the 25th annual Dick McGuire Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M.

The Cougars will take their top-qualifying players with three of the five from the same family. The returning Newren sisters from Salt Lake City, senior Nicole and junior Natalie, will be joined by their youngest sister, freshman Rachel Newren.

"It is such a rare occasion that the sisters will play with each other," head coach Sue Nyhus said. "I'm very pleased to have them on our team this year."

This will be one of few times in BYU history where siblings play together on the same team. The sisters also have a brother, sophomore Steve Newren, playing for the University of Utah.

"I'm grateful their parents raised them to be not only talented young women, but very well-rounded individuals," Nyhus said.

The three Newren sisters will be playing together this weekend at the Championship Golf Course, which measures 6,069 yards with a par of 73, hosted by the University of New Mexico.

"It is going to be an exciting year," Nyhus said. "The experienced members of the team have stepped up and are competing well."

The other Cougars playing are junior Margaret Gibby and sophomore Catalina Guacaneme. Both are returners from last season and have competed well in the qualifying rounds that determine the top players going to the tournament.

"I feel confident with all of the returning players," Nyhus said. "I'm very impressed with the depth of the team and we've have already seen improvement from last year."

Gibby and Natalie Newren were starters last season and are looking to compete even stronger this year. Last year, Gibby recorded two top-10 finishes and led BYU with the lowest individual stroke average last season with a 77.5.

At last year's Dick McGuire Invitational, Natalie led the Cougars with a 39th finish. As the lone senior on the team, Nicole will provide experience and leadership for BYU.

Rachel Newren, the youngest of the three sisters, joins the Cougars after earning Utah Player of the Year her junior and senior years in high school. She has been a great asset early with the lowest qualifying score for her first collegiate competition.

Guacaneme, who is the youngest player on the team, finished her freshman year with an overall stroke average of 77.8 and led BYU with a 15th-place finish at the MWC Championships.

The Cougars will begin play of 18 holes Thursday, starting at 10:10 a.m. Friday and Saturday the team will compete according to their scores from the previous rounds. Tee times begin at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday.

The competitive field features 17 teams, four of which played in the 2003 NCAA Championships: Pepperdine (2), Oklahoma State (T5), Arizona State (18), and Tulsa (21).

The complete field: Arizona State, Baylor, Brigham Young, Colorado State, Hawai'i, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Oklahoma State, Pepperdine, San Diego State, Texas A&M, Texas El-Paso, Texas Tech, TCU, Tulsa, UNLV and Wyoming.