Cougars hold lead at MWC Championships

Newren holds a two-shot lead after the second day. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

St. George, UT -- The MWC field was challenged by the wind on Thursday, as the No. 15 ranked BYU women's golf team shot a 22-over-par 306 to finish with a 32-over-par total and the lead.

The sun did not shine all day and the wind picked up in the afternoon; when the Cougars were making the turn. The back nine was a different story, as BYU failed to hold on to their sixteen-shot lead and TCU slowly got closer and closer. At the end of the day the Cougars had the same six-shot lead they started with in the morning. If BYU can continue to hold off TCU tomorrow, the Cougars would claim their first MWC championship and their first conference championship since 1992. Since the inception of the MWC only New Mexico and UNLV have won the women's golf championship. If the Cougar want to break their 15-year championship drought they will need to do better at adjusting to the windy conditions.

"The wind started blowing and I lost my confidence," said junior Juli Erekson, "As a team we failed to adjust our game and our expectations and struggled at the end."

Despite their struggle, all five Cougars remained in the top-20. Rachel Newren paced both the team and the field with a three-over-par 74 and a148 total for a two shot lead. Next for the Cougars were Danielle von Arnim and Erekson who shot seven-over-par 78 and eight-over-par 79 respectively to finish with a 152 total and tied for sixth.

Sophomore Natalia Jimenez improved her first round 78 by 3 shots, to finish with an 11-over-par 153 and a tie for eighth. Daphne Vines sits in 16th place with a 16-over-par total.

UNM freshman Jodi Ewart made a run for the lead today as she shot an even-par 71 and sits in second place, two shots from Newren's lead. Both Newren and Ewart are in contention for the MWC Player of the Year.

"Tomorrow is going to be an exciting day on the course," said senior Danielle von Arnim, "We are going to leave everything out there and show why we are in the top-15 in the nation."

The final round will start tomorrow at 11:10am MST. Follow the Cougars on golfstat.com, as they play for their first--ever MWC title.

TEAM RESULTS

1. Brigham Young 294-306--600 +32

2. TCU 300-306--606 +38

3. New Mexico 314-304--618 +50

4. Colorado State 315-312--627 +59

5. UNLV 317-320--637 +69

6. San Diego State 324-314--638 +70

6. Wyoming 321-317--638 +70

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS

1. Rachel Newren 72-74--146 +4

T6. Danielle von Arnim 74-78--152 +10

T6. Juli Erekson 73-79--152 +10

T8. Natalia Jimenez 78-75--153 +11

16. Daphne Vines 75-83--158 +16