ALBUQUERQUE -- At the final round of the Dick McGuire, the Cougars accomplished their goal of moving up from sixth to fifth place and beating top-ranked teams.
"Our motto today was to move up in the standings," junior Margaret Gibby said. "Everyone finished strong and that made the difference in the final round."
Gibby led BYU to fifth place with her steady play as she finished the tournament tied at 27th place and help the Cougars beat No. 20 UNLV. The Cougars placed among top teams at the McGuire and improved their play from last year's finish at 16th.
"I was proud that the girls beat several teams who were ranked ahead of them," head coach Sue Nyhus. "We had players come through for us when we needed it."
Senior Nicole Newren-Chandler had BYU's best score for the final round (+2), shooting three birdies in the front nine. She had the greatest improvement from the previous rounds and closed the tournament tied for 37th place.
"There was a lot of pressure when we were tied at sixth," Newren-Chandler said. "Overall the team played exceptionally well, but we had to play smart to stay ahead."
The third day was a difficult golfing day for the Cougars, as the wind made it tough to control the ball on the fairway. Nyhus said even with the weather conditions, the team battled through it.
Freshmen Alexis Edwards and Rachel Newren had a strong showing at their first collegiate tournament at 20th and 29th place, respectively. Although Edwards' score was not recorded with BYU's final result, she displayed tremendous potential as she competed as an individual.
The leader and host of the tournament, New Mexico, won for the third straight year with a score of five-under-par. Junior Kailin Downs led the Lobos, tying the 54-hole record with a score of 70-68-74--212 (-7) en route to claiming her first career individual championship.
BYU returns to action Oct. 6-8 at the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational in Redmond, Washington.
Complete results can be seen on www.golfstat.com.
1. New Mexico - 295-281-295-871 (-7)
2. Oklahoma State - 300-285-302-887 (+11)
3. Tulsa - 310-288-304-902 (+26)
4. Pepperdine - 306-289-314-909 (+33)
5. BYU - 309-303-311-923 (+47)
6. Texas A&M - 310-303-313-926 (+50)
T7. Texas Tech - 313-298-316-927 (+51)
T7. UNLV - 307-306-314-927 (+51)
T7. New Mexico State - 310-309-308-927 (+51)
T7. TCU - 310-305-312-927 (+51)
11. San Diego State - 314-306-310-930 (+54)
12. Baylor - 310-302-323-935 (+59)
13. UTEP - 313-299-326-938 (+62)
14. Arizona State - 309-308-322-939 (+63)
15. Hawaii - 323-303-326-952 (+76)
16. Colorado State - 321-308-331-960 (+84)
17. Wyoming - 340-328-336-1004 (+128)
T20 Alexis Edwards* 78-71-77-226 (+7)
T27 Margaret Gibby 78-74-77-229 (+10)
T29 Rachel Newren 80-70-80-230 (+11)
T37 Nicole Newren-Chandler 79-79-75-233 (+14)
T46 Natalie Newren 77-80-79-236 (+17)
T60 Catalina Guacaneme 75-82-83-240 (+21)
* indicates player competing as an individual