Rebels Win 2013 Mountain West Championship
April 27, 2013
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - UNLV secured its first Mountain West Women's Golf Championship since 2006 on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif. The Rebels posted a 54-hole total of 40-over-par 904 (314-290-300). This marks UNLV's fourth overall Conference crown since the league's inception in 1999.
“Our thought going into the day was ‘let’s have fun and do this as a team,’" Head coach Amy Bush said. "We had one goal on our mind coming to California and that was to bring home some hardware, and we succeeded at that.”
"It was tough tournament but the team fought and fought and really wanted this championship," Bush said. "It was really fun to watch. After our tough first round, it could have gone either way. But we talked as a team and came back in the second round and just wanted to have fun. The team came out and that was their goal for the day, and they did it and recorded a tournament low round. We had great individual rounds, with Mayko firing three under and Dana firing one under and Demi keeping the team atop the leaderboard. We then continued our momentum into the final round. I am really proud of our girls and it is really fun to be to be their coach.”
Boise State shot a third-round score of 14-over 302 to edge Fresno State for second place on the par 72, 6,324-yard course. The Broncos carded a 54-hole total of 52-over 916, while the Bulldogs tallied a combined 54-over 918 in their first-ever MW tournament. Fellow Conference newcomer Nevada, Reno came in fourth overall with a 58-over 922, followed by San Diego State at 62-over 926. New Mexico finished the tournament in sixth place with a score of 85-over 949, while Colorado State and Wyoming rounded out the field with respective scores of 86-over 950 and 105-over 969.
New Mexico junior Manon DeRoey, who recorded first and second-round scores of 3-over 75, earned her first individual MW championship after surviving a one-round playoff with UNLV junior Demi Mak.
“I can’t say how proud I am of Demi to finish runner-up in this event," Bush said. "She has a lot of experience and finished runner up last year at the WAC Tournament. She was super helpful this season, in terms of her experience and I’m looking forward to moving onto regional’s and see what she can do there and how we can compete as a team."
DeRoey and Mak entered the final day of competition tied for third on the leaderboard and each carded a third-round 1-over 73 to force the playoff at 7-over 223. DeRoey notched one of only eight birdies throughout the tournament on the 18th hole, while Mak parred for runner-up position.
“I just played according to plan and I did what I could do to help my team," Mak said. "I didn’t try anything new and went for it when I could, but I didn’t want to put our team in a bad position with some bad shots. As a team today we played great and that’s why we won. I wasn’t really looking at the individual score in the later holes because I was really focused on the team score. We knew coming in that if our team played according to plan we were going to home with some hardware, and we did just that.”
Two strokes separated the top five individuals. 2011-12 MW Golfer of the Year Christine Wong rounded out the top three at 8-over 224, followed by Nevada, Reno's Nikki Prichard and UNLV's Mayko Chwen Wang in a tie for fourth at 9-over 225. Wang led all participants with 10 birdies throughout the tournament, including eight in the second round. Both she and Nevada, Reno's Carly Simpson recorded the tournament's low-round of 3-under 69. Wang's came in Friday's second round action and Simpson's in Saturday's concluding round.
All of the Rebels finished in the top-25 as Dana Finkelstein finished tied for ninth at 12-over 228 (81-71-76), Katerina Prorokova tied for 13th at 16-over 232 (76-81-75) and Marguerite Swearingen finished 23rd at 21-over 237 (81-77-79).
UNLV will now wait to compete in the NCAA Regional Championship on May 9-11.