Cougars Within Striking Distance After First Round

Natalie Newren stands in second place after the leading the Cougars during the first round of the Dick McGuire Invitational. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.(9-13-04)--Natalie Newren shot a blistering 4-under 69, good enough for second place individually, to lead the Cougars during the first round of the Dick McGuire Invitational on Monday.

As a team, the Cougars shot a 4-over 296 to land in fifth place after the first round of competition. The Cougars are only eight strokes behind tournament-leading Georgia. The Cougars trail only Georgia, New Mexico, Pepperdine and Oklahoma State as the tournament continues Tuesday and Wednesday.

Coach Sue Nyhus said she was pleased with the Newren's play on Monday.

"She played super today," Nyhus said. "She had what we call a trophy ball round today. She was bogey-free."

Newren played a steady round, carding four birdies with no bogeys. Newren received some strong competition from his sister Rachel who added three birdies of her own.

Rachel, only a sophomore, shot a 72 to tie for seventh place. Nyhus said Rachel has really worked hard over the summer to improve her game.

"You can already see the results of the experience she gained last year, and the hard work she put in over the summer," Nyhus said.

In just her first tournament as a collegian, freshman Juli Wightman tallied a 77 to finish in a tie for No. 51. Nyhus said Wightman played well on the back nine after getting over her first tournament jitters.

Sophomore Alexis Edwards also chipped in with a 78 and tied Newren with a team high four birdies. Danielle von Armin, who is competing for Cougars for the first time in more than a year, stroked a 79 to tie for No. 67. Nyhus said these two had their ups and downs and just need to put it all together.

Nyhus said each player contributed Monday leading the Cougars' success.

"Alexis, Juli and Dani all played well," Nyhus said. "And with the way the Newrens played, we got a superb effort from our entire team."

One of the Cougars' leading players last year, Margaret Gibby, competed as an individual and stroked a 76. On her final hole of the day, Gibby eagled with a driver-driver-chip to finish her round on a high note. The fact that Gibby didn't qualify for the tournament shows the increased depth of this year's squad. Nyhus said the team is strong from one to seven.

The tournament continues Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. The tournament can be followed live at golfstat.com

Finish Team              Score

1. Georgia 288 (-4)

2. New Mexico 292 (E)

T3. Pepperdine 293 (+1)

T3. Oklahoma St. 293 (+1)

5. Brigham Young 296 (+4)

6. UNLV 297 (+5)

7. Texas A&M 298 (+6)

T8. Baylor 299 (+7)

T8. Arkansas 299 (+7)

10. TCU 301 (+9)

11. New Mexico St. 300 (+8)

12. Hawaii 305 (+13)

13. UTEP 307 (+15)

14. Kansas 308 (+16)

15. Texas Tech. 309 (+17)

16. Northern Arizona 315 (+23)

17. San Diego St. 322 (+30)

BYU Golfers

Place Golfer Score

2. Natalie Newren 69

T7. Rachel Newren 72

T45. Margaret Gibby* 76

T51. Juli Wightman 77

T59. Alexis Edwards 78

T67. Danielle von Armin 79

92 participants

*competing as an individual

Tags: Results