Margaret Gibby leads the MWC Championships after two rounds. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
BEND -- BYU's Margaret Gibby holds a two stroke lead heading into the final round of the 2004 Mountain West Conference Championships at Sunriver Resort in Sunriver, Ore.
Gibby moved into first place thanks to her second consecutive round of 70 (one-under par). Her 36-hole total of two-under 140 is two strokes ahead of 2003 MWC Champion Katrina Leckovic and Shannon Johnson, both of New Mexico, whom are tied for second with an even 142 apiece. If Gibby can hold on, it will be her first career victory at BYU and BYU's first conference champion since Sharon Probst in 1992.
Gibby's strong performance helped the Cougars jump into third place behind a pair of top-20 teams in UNLV and New Mexico. No. 20 UNLV holds a slim one-stroke lead over four-time defending champion No. 5 New Mexico. The Cougars, currently ranked No. 56, are nine shots behind the Lobos after shooting 11-over 295 on Friday.
"This is a talented team and we're learning to have fun out there," BYU head coach Sue Nyhus said. "We're making some good decisions and I'm pleased with our progress."
The three Newren sisters also had solid outings in Friday's second round. Freshman Rachel and senior Nicole are tied for 15th place after finishing four and five over respectively. Natalie, who shot a seven-over 78 on the first day, came back with a strong 74 on Friday.
The Cougars hold a one stroke lead over San Diego State and a four-stroke lead over Colorado State heading into the final round. The Cougars have finished in fourth the past three Mountain West Championships and a third place finish could go a long way into solidifying BYU's NCAA West Regional invitation.
"We're going to go out tomorrow and attack the golf course and whatever happens, happens," Nyhus said.
The third round will begin at 10 a.m. (PT) Saturday morning. Follow the MWC Women's Golf Championship live on Golfstat.com live scoring.
1. UNLV 289-291=580 (+12)
2. New Mexico 291-290=581 (+13)
3. BYU 297-295=592 (+24)
4. San Diego State 301-292=593 (+25)
5. Colorado State 294-302=596 (+28)
6. Wyoming 329-330=659 (+91)
1. Margaret Gibby, BYU 70-70=140 (-2)
2. Katrina Leckovic, New Mexico 70-72=142 (E)
Shannon Johnson, UNLV 71-71=142 (E)
4. Sunny Oh, UNLV 73-70=143 (+1)
5. Elena Kurokawa, UNLV 68-76=144 (+2)
Hwanhee Lee, UNLV 72-72=144 (+2)
Jenna Wilson, San Diego State 73-71=144 (+2)
BYU OTHER INDIVIDUAL SCORES
15. Rachel Newren, BYU 76-75=151 (+9)
15 Nicole Newren-Chandler 75-76=151 (+9)
18. Natalie Newren 78-74=152 (+10)
22. Alexis Edwards 76-78=154 (+12)