Newren in second at MWC Championship

Sophomore Rachel Newren is in 2nd place after the first round of the MWC Championship

SUNRIVER -- BYU sophomore Rachel Newren, just two weeks removed from her first career victory, is just one stroke out of the lead after the first round of the Mountain West Conference Championship at the Meadows Golf Course in Sunriver, Oregon on Thursday.

Newren led the Cougars with a first-round 70 and trails day-one leader UNLV's Elena Kurokawa by one stroke. Newren is the reigning MWC golfer of the month and showed why with three birdies and just two bogies.

"Rachel (Newren) is playing very smart golf right now," BYU coach Sue Nyhus said. "She's in good rhythm and patient and she's managing herself and her game very, very well."

While Rachel Newren was climbing the leaderboard, her teammates didn't fare as well. Sophomore Alexis Edwards was the next Cougar at six-over and in a tie for seventh place. Margaret Gibby-Wright finished the day at seven over and in 14th place. Freshman Juli Wightman shot eight-over while Natalie Newren was nine-over-par.

Despite having to count a couple high scores the Cougars stayed with the leaders during the first day. The Cougars, who are the No. 3 seed in this year's tournament, are in fourth place and trailing third place Colorado State by two strokes. Last year's champion UNLV leads the field and holds a five-stroke advantage over second-place New Mexico and a nine stroke advantage over BYU.

"I believe we still have a chance to win this tournament," Nyhus said. "We're still right there. I'm encouraged that we could have a so-so first round and still be in the hunt."

BYU will have an opportunity to close the gap during Friday's second round. Scoring will be posted live on the internet at www.golfstat.com

INDIVIDUAL SCORES

1. Elena Kurokawa UNLV 70

2. Rachel Newren BYU 71

T3. Christine Fernandez UNM 72

T3. Christina Spence UNM 72

T5. Kristen Campos CSU 73

T5. Hwanhee Lee UNLV 73

7. Jaimie Oliver SDSU 74

8. Lynett Duran CSU 75

9. Seema Sadekar UNLV 76

T10. Chelsea Benton CSU 77

T10. Alexis Edwards BYU 77

T14. Margaret Wright BYU 78

T18. Juli Wightman BYU 79

T20. Natalie Newren BYU 80

TEAM SCORES

1. UNLV +11

2. New Mexico +16

3. Colorado St. +18

4. BYU +20

5. San Diego St.+32

6. Wyoming +48

Tags: Results