Aztecs finish strong at Dick McGuire Invitational

by Rafael Avitabile, Staff Writer

The San Diego State women’s golf team finished in fifth place at the Dick McGuire Invitational hosted by the University of New Mexico on Tuesday. The invitational was held at the par-73 6,192 yard UNM Championship Course in Albuquerque.

The Aztecs, coming off of a win last week at the Ptarmigan Ram Classic, posted a combined 10-over-par 886, which was 18 strokes behind the tournament champion Northwestern University.

SDSU failed to match its play from the previous tournament and wound up seated in eighth place at 16 over after the first 36 holes. However, a 6-under final round vaulted them three positions into a top-five finish. Only Pepperdine University, who was seven under, played better Tuesday golf.

Last year’s Mountain West Freshman of the Year, Sirene Blair, finished four shots back from the winner in a three-way tie for third place at 5-under par. With a three round split of 72, 72 and 70, Blair helped herself earn a second top-five finish in as many events. The sophomore took home second place last week at the Ptarmigan after fellow teammate Emma Henrikson bested her by one stroke in the final round.

Unfortunately for Henrikson, she was unable to carry that momentum with her to New Mexico, and she carded rounds of 77 and 74 to open on Monday. In her opening round, Henrikson found the bottom of the cup for birdie just one time on the par-4 tenth hole.

A new day seemed to be a decent enough remedy for the First Team All-Mountain West Conference player, as the team’s No. 1 golfer went bogey-less in her final 17 holes en route to a 1-under-par 72. Strong final round play drove the junior up the leaderboard nine spots into a tie for 25th at 4-over.

That Aztecs will get close to a month off of competition before they head to east in mid-October to compete in the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational hosted by the University of Texas. In its showing at the tournament last fall, SDSU finished in 6th place out of the 16 teams in the field.

Until then, watch for the release of the latest NCAA Women’s team rankings on Golfweek.com. As of Aug. 26, SDSU is ranked 58th as a team, while Henrikson and Blair are ranked 95th and 121st, respectively.

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