UNLV Secures Back-To-Back Women's Golf Mountain West Championships
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – UNLV led wire-to-wire for a second consecutive year on its way to its sixth Mountain West Women’s Golf Championship after recording a three-day total of four-over 868. The Rebels have won three team championships since the tournament moved to the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California in 2012.
UNLV’s team score of 868 (+4) is the lowest since 2011 (TCU – 865).
The Rebels entered Wednesday’s final round with a one stroke lead on San Diego State, but used a strong performance on the back 9 to secure a three-stroke victory over San Diego State (871). Finishing five strokes behind the Aztecs was San José State (+12), which finished in third-place for the second time in four appearances in the MW Championship. The Spartans carded the low round on Wednesday with a 289.
Fresno State (+25) and New Mexico (+31) rounded out the top 5. Nevada finished in sixth-place (+47) and were followed by Wyoming (+61), Colorado State (+69) and Boise State (+71). The Cowgirls’ seventh-place finish is a team-best at this event since 2012 (seventh).
The Rebels are the first team to win back-to-back team championships since TCU did it in 2011 and ’12. This is the second stretch of multiple championships for UNLV, winning three times in a row from 2004 to ’06.
San Diego State freshman Fernanda Escauriza earned her first individual MW championship, using a third-round 70 (-2) to secure the victory. Escauriza, who is the first Aztecs to earn medalist honors at the event, is the fifth freshman to claim the MW women’s golf individual championship and first since 2014 (Fresno State’s Gudrun Bjorgvinsdottir). Her score of six-under 210 is tied as the second-lowest performance in MW tournament history and is only the second champion in MW annals to card all three rounds under par (71-69-70).
Only two strokes separated Escauriza from runner up San José State’s My Leander, the No. 26th-ranked golfer in the nation. Leander’s teammate Abegail Arevalo (-3) finished in third place. This is the first time since 2010 that teammates have finished in the top 3 at the MW championship. Arevalo turned in a 68 on the final 18 holes, the low round of the day, to secure her best collegiate finish. This is the second consecutive year that Arevalo has shot the low round of the final day.
New Mexico’s Manon Molle, who set the Mountain West two-round record with a score of 137, finished in a tie for fourth-place after a final round score of 77 (+5). Molle finished tied with UNLV’s Elizabeth Prior.
Molle led all participants with 14 birdies throughout the tournament, while Leander led the event with 44 pars.
NCAA regional bids will be announced in the coming days. This year’s sites are Athens, Georgia, Columbus, Ohio, Lubbock, Texas and Albuquerque, New Mexico.