Rachel Newren captures BYU Dixie crown
ST, GEORGE -- BYU sophomore Rachel Newren earned her first career victory with a final round 71 at the BYU Dixie Classic at Entrada at Snow Canyon on Tuesday.
Newren's one-shot victory was BYU's first individual title since Carrie Summerhays' in 2001, four years ago.
"She got off to a great start and hung in there down the stretch," BYU assistant coach Dave DeSantis said. "We're really proud of her and this victory will be something she can draw from when she is in contention in the future."
The one-under score also help BYU move into third place behind higher-ranked UNLV and Arkansas. With wind and rain concelling Monday's second round, Tuesday's ideal conditions led to drastically lower scores. In the 35th-ranked Cougars' lone home tournament of the season, BYU moved up two spots thanks to a third round score of 303--30 strokes better than Monday's round.
UNLV won the Dixie Classic for the third consecutive year beating top-seeded and 16th ranked Arkansas by 14 strokes. The Cougars were just five strokes back from the visiting Razorbacks, while Portland State fell to fourth place, just two back of BYU.
"This was a good final round for us," DeSantis said. "We are improving and hoping to peak as we gear up for the conference tournament and the NCAA regionals.
Individually, Newren trailed first round leader Hwanhee Lee of UNLV by three strokes, but quickly made up the difference with an eagle and a birdie on Tuesday's first two holes. Newren was three under after nine holes, but bogied holes 10 and 11. Newren, BYU's top golfer, was able to rebound and finish one-under and tournament champion thanks to a big five-foot putt on 18.
"I stayed composed and mentally tough the whole time," Newren said. "The hard work has finally paid and this is hopefully the first of many tournament wins at BYU."
UNLV's Seema Sadekar finished in second place for the second year in a row while teammate Lee slipped to third when she bogied holes 12, 14, 15 and 16. Stacy Lewis of Arkansas, the top-ranked individual in the tournament shot a tournament-low 70 to finish in fifth place.
Senior Margaret Gibby-Wright had her best finish of the season. With a final-round 77 she ended the tournament tied for 11th at 12-over par. Senior Natalie Newren was also solid for the Cougars as she finished 15-over and tied for 15th place. Freshman Juli Wightman continues to impress as she finished six-over on the day and in a tie for 32nd place. Alexis Edwards went five-over on Tuesday and moved into 32nd place as well.
BYU will now set its sights on the Mountain West Conference championship on April 21-23 in Sunriver, Oregon.
1. UNLV 320-297--617 +41
2, Arkansas 330-301--631 +55
3. BYU 333-303--636 +60
4. Portland State 330-308--636 +62
5. Colorado 335-310--645 +69
6. Idaho 339-310--649 +73
7. Colorado State 339-313--652 +76
8. Boise State 332-323--655 +79
9. North Texas 336-324--660 +84
9. San Diego St. 342-318--660 +84
11. Oral Roberts 336-326--662 +86
12. Arkansas State 349-333--682 +106
13. Weber State 356-332--688 +112
14. Wyoming 349-348--697 +121
BYU INDIVIDUAL SCORES
1. Rachel Newren 78-71--149 +5
T11. Margaret Gibby-Wright* 79-77--156 +12
T13. Natalie Newren 82-77--159 +15
T32. Juli Wightman 86-78--164 +20
T32. Alexis Edwards 87-77--164 +20
T44. Ashley Childers * 88-79--167 +23
T52. Danielle von Arnim 91-79--170 +26
*playing as an individual, not counted