Apr 142010
 
Authors: David de Besche

Phil Mickelson may have swept the competition to win the Masters Sunday, but he’s not the only force on the links.

Starting today, the ladies of the Mountain West Conference will compete in the MWC Championships on the greens at Black Horse Golf Course in Seaside, Calif. This is the second year players from CSU will converge on the par-72 course.

Running an impressive 6,000-plus yards, the track will test the approximately 40 golfers in pursuit of the championship.

And having competed at Black Horse the year before, the Rams are comfortable with the terrain.

“We have done well here, and know how to play this course,” said Angie Hopkins, who’s coached the team for eight years.

CSU will be paired with rival Wyoming in group one, while group two consists of New Mexico and San Diego State. Rounding out the field, in group three, are TCU, UNLV and BYU.

The Rams are sending five girls to California to bring a championship back to Fort Collins.

Led by senior standouts Kasey Clausen and Natalie Stone, competing Rams include sophomores Melissa Martin and Brianna Espinoza and freshman Emily Roering.

All but Roering has competed at Black Horse in the championships last year. With this experience, the Rams hope to improve last year’s fourth-place finish and bring the school its first MWC Championship in women’s golf.

“We have four returning this year, which is an advantage,” Stone said, “and we have seen this course before, which is big.”

Teams always want to improve their performance coming into the end of the season, and the Rams have done so since the beginning of March. In the team’s last five tournaments, they have placed 15th, 7th, 4th, an impressive 1st in the Mountain View Invitational and 3rd in last week’s Cowgirl Classic.

“It’s been a confidence booster, coming into conference,” Hopkins said.

The team has worked together to move into a successful position heading into the championships. Rounds by Clausen and Stone, however, have furthered that success.
Clausen is sitting at a notable 6th position on the MWC leader boards, averaging 74.93 strokes per round, while Stone is right on her heels at 11th, with an average of 75.83.

“We’re definitely going in with a lot of confidence,” Clausen said, “we know we can compete with these other schools.”

The MWC Championships starts at 9 a.m. today at the Black Horse Golf Course and conclude after Saturday’s round, which begins at 8:30 a.m.

Sports reporter David De Besche can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

Championships

What: MWC Women’s Golf Championships.
When: Today, Friday, Saturday.
Where: Black Horse Golf Course in Seaside, Calif.h1. Championships

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