BEND, Ore. -- The 12th-ranked University of New Mexico women's golf team defeated UNLV by one stroke to win its fourth consecutive Mountain West Conference women's golf championship Saturday in Bend, Oregon. It's the Lobos' 13th conference title in school history.
The tournament was played on the Meadows Course at the Sunriver Resort, which played to a par-71 and 5,180 yards.
The Lobos, featuring an all-underclassmen lineup, roared back from an 11-shot deficit after the first round to grab the league crown under difficult weather conditions. The first two rounds were delayed due to rain, sleet and/or snow.
UNM and UNLV were tied for the team lead entering Saturday's final round and the competition stayed tight throughout the afternoon. The winning margin was not determined until the final hole. New Mexico's Katrina Leckovic, the individual winner with a 54-hole total of 216, made a par-4 on No. 18 while UNLV's Sunny Oh made a bogey five. UNM finished at 890, one stroke better than the Rebels. Colorado State was third at 917, followed by BYU (926), San Diego State (934)and Wyoming (989).
Leckovic, a junior from Burnaby, British Columbia, overcame the weather to become the first Lobo to capture the MWC individual title. Leckovic shot a career-low 67 in the second round.
Sophomore Kailin Downs carded a 222 (+8) to finish in third place, her highest finish at the MWC Championships.
Sophomore Christina Spence tied for fourth at 223, the best three-round total of her career.
Sophomore Shannon Johnson tied for 14th with a score of 232 (+18). Junior Kellyn Newman was 23rd at 240 (+26).
All-conference and postseason honors will be distributed at the MWC banquet scheduled for later this evening.
New Mexico now awaits its destination for the 2003 NCAA Regional which will be announced on Monday. Arizona State will host the West Regional, Nebraska the Central Regional and Wake Forest the East Region. Eight teams and two individuals (not affiliated with advancing teams) from each region will advance to the 2003 NCAA Championships to be held in West Lafayette, Indiana. Purdue University is the host.
1--New Mexico -- 316-280-294--890 (+34)
2--UNLV -- 305-291-295--891 (+35)
3--CSU -- 309-303-305--917 (+61)
4--BYU --314-305-307--926 (+70)
5--SDSU -- 321-301-312--934 (+78)
6--Wyoming -- 335-325-329--989 (+133)