Women's golf takes fourth in BYU Dixie Classic

ST. GEORGE -- It was a family affair this week at the 19th annual BYU Dixie Classic.

Rallying behind BYU's terrific trio of Newren sisters (Rachel, Nicole, and Natalie), the women's golf team snagged fourth place at the Dixie Classic on Tuesday. All three sisters placed in the top 20 as the ever-improving Cougars finished fourth or better for the third consecutive time.

"We're on the verge of a breakout tournament," BYU head coach Sue Nyhus said. "We are really close."

Also close was the battle for third between BYU (300-314-308--922) and San Diego State (297-314-308--919). Heading into the final round, the Cougars trailed the Aztecs by three stokes, but picked up eagles from Rachel Newren and Alexis Edwards on the first hole to jump ahead briefly. However, in the end, the Cougars finished the same three strokes behind the Aztecs.

BYU was led by freshman Rachel (75-77-74--226), whose ninth-place finish was her career best. Behind her were Nicole (73-81-75--229), a senior, and junior Natalie (75-75-80--230), who placed 17th and 19th, respectively. Rounding out the Cougars' five were Margaret Gibby (77-83-79--239), who placed 34th, and Alexis Edwards (82-81-80--243), who finished 40th.

The Cougars got off to a great first-round start on Monday, but found it hard to maintain on the second 18 holes when the winds picked up. A steady 308 in the final round solidified BYU's fourth-place finish.

BYU competed against three top-50 clubs in a tough field of the following 12 schools: Colorado (89), Colorado State (65), Hawaii (66), Long Beach State (86), Montana State, Nevada (71), Portland State (62), San Diego State (43), San Francisco (32), UNLV (21), Weber State (110), and Wyoming (140).

A quick look at the current national rankings on golfweek.com would have told the story before the tournament began. The No. 57 Cougars were outdone by UNLV (296-291-289--876), San Francisco (294-308-301--903), and San Diego State, the three teams that precede BYU in those rankings.

However, the Cougars, who in March finished third at the Bobcat Classic and second at the Anteater Invitational, are making a late-season climb up the national standings.

"Our program is moving in the right direction," assistant coach Dave DeSantis said.

The Dixie Classic was played for the first time at Entrada at Snow Canyon, a par-72 course that measures 6,150 yards.

The top individual was UNLV's Sunny Oh (70-72-73--215), who is ranked No. 30 in the nation.

The Cougars rest until April 22 when they fly to Sunriver, Ore. for the Mountain West Conference Tournament.

BYU Dixie Classic               St. George, Utah

April 5-6 Entrada at Snow Canyon

Par: 72 Yardage: 6,127

Fin. Name Score

4 Brigham Young 300-314-308--922 (+58)

T 9 Rachel Newren 75-77-74--226 (+10)

T 17 Nicole Newren-Chandler 73-81-75--229 (+13)

T 19 Natalie Newren 75-75-80--230 (+14)

34 Margaret Gibby 77-83-79--239 (+23)

T 40 Alexis Edwards 82-81-80--243 (+27)

Fin. School Score

1 UNLV 296-291-289--876 (+12)

2 San Francisco 294-308-301--903 (+39)

3 San Diego State 297-314-308--919 (+55)

4 Brigham Young 300-314-308--922 (+58)

5 Colorado State 318-303-308--929 (+65)

6 Nevada 317-314-305--936 (+72)

7 Portland State 314-312-313--939 (+75)

8 Weber State 323-316-311--950 (+86)

9 Hawaii 322-318-313--953 (+89)

10 Colorado 320-321-320--961 (+97)

11 Long Beach State 314-335-329--978 (+114)

12 Montana State 320-332-339--991 (+127)

13 Wyoming 346-334-337--1017 (+153)

Fin. Top 20 Players School Score

1 Sunny Oh UNLV 70-72-73--215 (-1)

2 Seema Sadekar UNLV 73-73-72--218 (+2)

3 Mariko Shimozaki San Francisco 73-76-72--221 (+5)

4 Jenna Wilson San Diego State 70-80-72--222 (+6)

T 5 Hannah Hoch Colorado 76-72-75--223 (+7)

T 5 Heather MacRae San Diego State 71-75-77--223 (+7)

7 Sara Odelius Hawaii 81-73-70--224 (+8)

8 Nikki Jacoby San Francisco 74-77-74--225 (+9)

T 9 Nicole de Gennaro Nevada 78-76-72--226 (+10)

T 9 Dale Gammie Hawaii 71-76-79--226 (+10)

T 9 Rachel Newren Brigham Young 75-77-74--226 (+10)

T 12 Jordan Auten San Francisco 72-79-77--228 (+12)

T 12 Hwanhee Lee UNLV 77-75-76--228 (+12)

T 12 Young Pak UNLV 76-78-74--228 (+12)

T 12 Rebecca Randolph Portland State 73-78-77--228 (+12)

T 12 Dawna Virdell Colorado State 76-71-81--228 (+12)

T 17 Kristi Larsen San Francisco 75-76-78--229 (+13)

T 17 Nicole Newren-Chandler Brigham Young 73-81-75--229 (+13)

T 19 Shayna Miyajima San Diego State 75-79-76--230 (+14)

T 19 Natalie Newren Brigham Young 75-75-80--230 (+14)