Shorthanded Cougars sixth at NCAAs

BYU's strong team chemistry kept the Cougars in contention for its second NCAA Championship Invitation in the last three years

ST. GEORGE -- Playing with a short-handed team, the 14th-ranked Cougars fell back to sixth place on a challenging day at the NCAA Women's Golf West Regional at Entrada at Snow Canyon on Friday.

The Cougars entered the day tied for second place after a stellar first round, but a post first-round car accident left BYU without the services of Natalia Jimenez. Playing with just four in the lineup put the pressure on BYU in the crucial second round. In college golf, teams are made up of five players with the top four scores counting toward the team score.

"I was very proud of the way out team played together today under some difficult conditions," said BYU head coach Sue Nyhus. "Not only were we down one player, but the wind kick up in the afternoon and the back nine was extremely difficult."

Senior Rachel Newren had a big round for the Cougars. The Mountain West Conference Player of the Year is tied for fifth place after Friday's second round. Her clutch two-over-par 73 kept BYU in contention for its second NCAA Championship invite in the last three years.

With the top eight teams advancing to the NCAA Championships, the Cougars find themselves in sixth place with 18 holes remaining. BYU is eight strokes ahead of New Mexico and Washington State, who are tied for eighth place.

Tenth-ranked Oklahoma State shot a six-over-par 290 to move into first-place. The Cowgirls were led by Pernilla Lindberg who fired a three under-par 68. No. 11 Stanford is in second place at 19 over par, while No. 1 seed Arizona State is in third place at 22 over par. UC Irvine and Pepperdine were able to leap-frog BYU in to fourth and fifth place and are 29 over and 32 over respectively. Meanwhile the Cougars who were just seven over par on Thursday, shot 27 over on Friday for two-round total of 34 over par.

The Cougars will tee off at 7:30 a.m. on hole No. 10 with UC Irvine and Pepperdine. Fans can follow the drama of the final round live online at www.golfstat.com.

According to Coach Nyhus, being able to play the back nine first and to start early in the morning will be a big advantage for the Cougars.

"I like our position going into the final round. We drew a favorable tee time in the morning," said Nyhus. "Starting off the back nine is a real advantage because we are able to play the most difficult part of the golf course before it gets to hot."

Temperatures are expected to be in the high 90s for the final round Saturday.

1    Oklahoma State  291 290 581 +13 

2 Stanford 287 300 587 +19

3 Arizona State 294 296 590 +22

4 UC Irvine 295 302 597 +29

5 Pepperdine 301 299 600 +32

6 Brigham Young 291 311 602 +34

7 Denver 299 306 605 +37

T8 New Mexico 298 312 610 +42

T8 Washington St. 301 309 610 +42

T10 San Jose State 308 305 613 +45

T10 Florida 309 304 613 +45

T10 Campbell 305 308 613 +45

13 Idaho 308 309 617 +49

14 Hawaii 313 306 619 +51

15 San Francisco 310 316 626 +58

16 California 321 307 628 +60

17 UNLV 319 310 629 +61

18 Memphis 320 312 632 +64

19 Sacramento St. 318 318 636 +68

BYU INDIVIDUAL SCORES

T5 Rachel Newren +3 72 73 145

T23 Juli Erekson +7 71 78 149

T48 Daphne Vines +12 76 78 154

T48 Danielle von Arnim +12 72 82 154

- Natalia Jimenez +6 77 W W

Tags: Results