Blair Finishes Second in New Mexico with Record-Setting Score
Sept. 13, 2016
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- San Diego State women's golfer Sirene Blair (South Jordan, Utah) finished second at the Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational Tuesday after posting a school-record 54-hole total of 13-under-par 203 at UNM Championship Course.
The Aztec senior fired a final-round 70 on the par-72, 6,317-yard track to jump one spot on the individual leaderboard for her 11th top-five placement as a collegian. In the process, Blair eclipsed her own program standard of 11-under 205 set at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown last October.
Not to be outdone, Blair also set a school record for lowest 18-hole score with a 64 in round two, which was completed earlier in the morning after inclement weather suspended play on Monday. Despite a bout with the flu, the three-time all-Mountain West performer tied for the tournament lead with 21 birdies on the week, including nine in the second round. The South Jordan, Utah, native followed that effort with five additional drains in round three, featuring an impressive make on the par-4, 407-yard No. 10, which ranked as the toughest hole for the event.
With her result, Blair ended the week five shots in back of Colorado's Esther Lee, who captured medalist honors with an 18-under 198, while four golfers landed in a tie for third at 10-under 206, including Krystal Quihuis and Haley Moore of Arizona, Oklahoma State's Linnea Johansson and Monica Vaughn of Arizona State.
Collectively, SDSU tied for the fourth-best team score on Tuesday with a 4-under 284, but managed to jump just one spot in the standings, finishing 10th overall at 8-over 872. Oklahoma State (-20) took home the crown after winning by nine strokes over second-place Arizona State (-11), while Baylor (-10), Northwestern (-9) and Arizona (-3).
The Aztecs also received a solid performance by Natalie Vivaldi (Oceanside, Calif.), who landed in a seven-way tie for 17th at 1-under 215 in her debut for the Scarlet and Black after transferring from Colorado last summer. The SDSU senior matched Blair with a 70 on Tuesday, draining five birdies, including a successful conversion on the par-3, 149-yard 16th, which ranked as the fourth-toughest hole of the third round.
Elsewhere, sophomore Kitty Tam (Hong Kong, China) finished the tournament in a tie for 74th at 12-over 228, one shot in front of fellow classmate Daniela Anastasi (La Jolla, Calif.) and junior Haleigh Krause (Eugene, Ore.), both of whom tied for the 76th position.
All three players posted their lowest scores of the week on Tuesday, including Anastasi, who offset three bogeys with four birdies en route to a 71. The La Jolla High alumna and UC Davis transfer opened with consecutive drains at No. 1 as well as the par-4, 397-yard No. 2, which ranked as the second-most difficult hole of the third round. Krause, meanwhile, managed to ease the sting of four bogeys somewhat with three birdies of her own, including a successful make on the aforementioned 16th green. Conversely, Tam notched just one birdie against three bogeys before settling for a 74.
The Aztecs will have nearly two weeks off from competition before returning to action for the Golfweek Conference Challenge, scheduled for Sept. 26-28 in Wolcott, Colo. SDSU will be looking to defend its team title from a year ago at Red Sky Golf Club.
Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational
Team Scores (Top 5 of 16 teams + SDSU)
Individual Leaders (Top 5 of 93 players + SDSU)