Mar 252009
 
Authors: Justin Warren

The CSU women’s golf team concluded the BYU Dixie Classic Wednesday afternoon, finishing second among the 15 teams competing.

“We were fortunate enough to play with the University of Denver and the University of Florida, which are both great golf programs. For my girls to beat an SEC team and Washington, it puts them in a whole new ballpark and gives then some confidence heading into the final two tournaments,” head coach Angie Hopkins said.

The Rams finished their first two rounds Tuesday sitting in the second spot and remained in that position after shooting four over par in the final round on the 5,981 yard, par-72 La Entrada at Snow Canyon golf course in St. George, Utah.

The second place finish was the highest finish of the season and the sixth top-10 performance for the Rams in their seven tournaments so far.

The University of Denver, which ended the first round one under par, took first place in the BYU Dixie Classic with a three round total of 13 over par.

In the third spot behind the Rams was the University of Florida, shooting 51 over par as a team, while Washington finished fourth, totaling 60 over par. Fellow Mountain West Conference school San Diego State rounded out the top five with a 68 over par performance.

BYU, the tournament host, moved up one position in the final round to conclude the tournament in sixth spot shooting 70 over par on their home course.

The other competing MWC team, Wyoming, ended their three rounds in ninth after shooting 83 over par.

Dawn Shockley of Denver finished atop the individual leader board shooting an even par for the tournament.

With a two-over-par performance in the final round, CSU senior Natalie Stone moved herself up three spots to finish tied for fourth place among 83 golfers. Stone finished seven over par in her three rounds.

CSU freshman Brianna Espinoza finished the tournament second among the Rams golfers with a nine over par performance. Espinoza was one of only three golfers to shoot under par in the final round, which was good enough to move her up nine positions after Tuesday’s rounds.

“She (Espinoza) played really solid. This was only her fourth time to play this golf course. For her to step up and play that well, it says a lot for her,” coach Hopkins said.

Freshman Melissa Martin and junior Kasey Claussen came close to finishing in the top ten with Martin tying for 11th pace and Claussen tying for 13th position.

Senior Stefanie Ferguson finished last for the Rams in a tie for 18th place after shooting 14 over par for the tournament.

Next up for the Rams will be the MountainView Invitational beginning this Saturday in Tucson, Ariz., hosted by both CSU and Colorado.

“This group could finish top five. That would be a great finish in this type of field,” coach Hopkins said. “They have a lot of confidence right now. They played really well on a difficult golf course and we are ready to go.”

Golf beat writer Justin Warren can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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