Newren's 72 leads BYU to a third-place finish at Bobcat Classic

GOODYEAR -- Behind a stellar final round from junior Natalie Newren, the BYU women's golf team came within a hair Tuesday of winning the Bobcat Desert Classic, settling instead for a very respectable third place.

Newren, who tied her career-low for a single round with an even-par 72 on the last 18 holes, helped the Cougars match their best finish of the 2003-2004 campaign. BYU also took third at the Lady Aztec Invitational in October.

"We gained some confidence here," Newren said. "It's all about having the attitude that we are better than the competition.

BYU (301-297--598) had a chance to win the tournament Tuesday, but fell a stroke short of Boise State (303-294--597) and Western Michigan (307-290--597), who tied for top honors. The Cougars' second-round score of 297 was their third lowest of the season.

Head coach Sue Nyhus said she was pleased with her team's strong showing at the Bobcat.

"This will help us build confidence," she said.

Newren (77-72--149) and junior Margaret Gibby (75-74--149) placed ninth in the individual standings, just ahead of freshmen Rachel Newren (74-77--151) and Alexis Edwards (75-77--152), who placed 17th and 23rd, respectively. Senior Nicole Newren-Chandler (79-74--153) finished at 26. The tournament's top individual was Lindsay Snowden of UC Riverside, who shot 71-75--146.

Newren-Chandler said the Cougars performed well because of their team unity.

"We played really well as a team," she said. "Our motto is: Do it for the team."

The Bobcat Classic, although held in Goodyear, Ariz., is a two-day, 36-hole event hosted by Montana State and played at the 6,050-yard, par-72 course at the Palm Valley Golf Club.

BYU, who is currently ranked 60th in the nation by golfweek.com, was the top-ranked team in a field of the following 17 schools: Boise State, Oral Roberts, SW Missouri State, Montana State, Montana, Eastern Washington, Wyoming, Sacramento State, Weber State, Northern Arizona, Western Michigan, University of Toledo, Campbell, Cal Riverside, Idaho State, Grand Canyon, and Western New Mexico.

Northern Arizona, the winner of the 2003 Bobcat, took 13th place Tuesday.

The Cougars will not have much time to rest as they get set to compete against a tough field in the Anteater Invitational March 15-16 in Irvine, Calif. BYU finished 12th in the Texas A&M Mo-morial last week in College Station, Texas.

Bobcat Desert Classic        Goodyear, Ariz.

March 8-9, 2004 Palm Valley Golf Club

Par: 72 Yardage: 6,050

Fin. Name Score

1 BYU 301-297--598 (+22)

T 9 Margaret Gibby 75-74--149 (+5)

T 9 Natalie Newren 77-72--149 (+5)

T 17 Rachel Newren 74-77--151 (+7)

T 23 Alexis Edwards 75-77--152 (+8)

T 26 Nicole Newren-Chandler 79-74--153 (+9)

Fin. Team Score

1 Western Michigan 307-290--597 (+21)

2 Boise State 303-294--597 (+21)

3 BYU 301-297--598 (+22)

4 Western New Mexico 304-298--602 (+26)

5 Toledo 304-308--612 (+36)

6 North Texas 318-299--617 (+41)

7 Eastern Washington 312-310--622 (+46)

8 Oral Roberts 317-307--624 (+48)

9 Weber State 307-318--625 (+49)

T 10 SW Missouri State 314-314--628 (+52)

T 10 Cal Riverside 312-316--628 (+52)

12 Sacramento State 310-319--629 (+53)

13 Northern Arizona 320-312--632 (+56)

14 Montana State 324-320--644 (+68)

15 Montana 325-320--645 (+69)

16 Wyoming 338-319--657 (+81)

17 Idaho State 329-330--659 (+83)

18 Grand Canyon 359-357--716 (+140)

Fin. Name School Score

T 1 Lindsay Snowden Cal Riverside 71-75--146 (+2)

T 1 Jasu Acharya Montana 74-72--146 (+2)

T 1 Sara Boogard Toledo 73-73--146 (+2)

T 1 Katharine Dorris Western New Mexico 75-71--146 (+2)

T 5 Jenny Judd Boise State 77-70--147 (+3)

T 5 Courtney O'Neill Cal Riverside 73-74--147 (+3)

T 7 Jennifer Hedberg Boise State 74-74--148 (+4)

T 7 Erin Thorne Western Michigan 75-73--148 (+4)

T 9 Andra Lancaster North Texas 77-72--149 (+5)

T 9 Sally Hinton SW Missouri State 77-72--149 (+5)

T 9 Kim Cammer Western New Mexico 76-73--149 (+5)

T 9 Margaret Gibby BYU 75-74--149 (+5)

T 9 Lindsay Dunigan Western Michigan 77-72--149 (+5)

T 9 Natalie Newren BYU 77-72--149 (+5)

T 15 Le-anh Nguyen Cal Riverside 78-72--150 (+6)

T 15 Amanda Fisher Oral Roberts 75-75--150 (+6)

T 17 Jeanie Bagnell Eastern Washington 76-75--151 (+7)

T 17 Ashley Hogg Boise State 75-76--151 (+7)

T 17 Kristen Kennedy Western New Mexico 75-76--151 (+7)

T 17 Rachel Newren BYU 74-77--151 (+7)

T 17 Lindsey Huebert Boise State 77-74--151 (+7)

T 17 Stephanie Donkin Western Michigan 79-72--151 (+7)