W. Golf Opens Spring Slate at Stanford This Weekend

Maureen Dunnagan and the Aztecs are headed north to Stanford for their 2014 spring opener this weekend.

Feb. 13, 2014

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SAN DIEGO - The San Diego State women's golf team returns to the course this weekend following a three-and-a-half month break when it travels north to the Bay Area for the Peg Barnard Invitational, Feb. 15-16, in Stanford, Calif.

The two-day 36-hole tournament will contested on the historic 6,084-yard, par-71 Stanford Golf Course, and a live scoring link for both rounds, courtesy of Golfstat, will be available on www.goaztecs.com.

The Aztecs, who enter the spring ranked 38th by Golfstat, will compete against seven other top-50 squads, including No. 9 Stanford, No. 16 Oregon, No. 28 California, No. 37 UC Davis, No. 42 Denver, Mountain West rival and No. 47 UNLV, as well as No. 50 Colorado. SDSU will also tangle with two additional conference adversaries in Fresno State and San José State, while Long Beach State, Oregon State, San Francisco and UC Irvine round out the 14-team field.

The Aztecs compiled a 12-3 head-to-head record during their fall schedule against nine schools in this weekend's event, including a combined 5-0 mark versus league foes Fresno State and UNLV.

Head coach Leslie Spalding's troops will feature sophomore Emma Henrikson (Malmö, Sweden), freshman Sirene Blair (South Jordan, Utah), junior Paige Spiranac (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and senior Maureen Dunnagan (Lexington, S.C.), while freshman Maria Fernanda Villegas (Ensenada, Mexico) is set to compete in her debut tournament for the Scarlet and Black.

Blair made a huge splash in her first semester on Montezuma Mesa last fall, capturing back-to-back Mountain West Golfer of the Month awards after recording top-10 finishes in all four of SDSU's events, highlighted by her first collegiate title at the Las Vegas Showdown. She owns a team-best 71.82 stroke average and also climbed to No. 23 in the latest Golfstat individual rankings.

Henrikson was the Aztecs' second-highest finisher in all four tournaments during the fall, posting a 73.73 scoring average to go with three top-15 performances, including an eighth-place tie at the Minnesota Invitational. The 2012-13 MW Freshman of the Year, Henrikson landed just outside the Golfstat individual top 100 this week at No. 104.

In addition, Spiranac finished the fall campaign on a high note with a 13th-place tie at the Las Vegas Showdown to help San Diego State capture the team title, along with Dunnagan, who matched her season-low score of 73 during the opening round of that event.

The Aztecs will be making their first-ever appearance at the Peg Barnard Invitational, named for a renowned Stanford athletics fundraiser. SDSU went seven years between its last two visits to The Farm, earning a berth in the 2004 NCAA West Regionals before coming away with a 12th-place finish at the Stanford Intercollegiate in October of 2011.

Host Stanford is the defending tournament champion, while the Cardinal's Mariah Stackhouse looks for a repeat individual title after winning as a freshman. Stackhouse set an NCAA scoring record with 10-under 61 during the second round at last year's competition.

Following the Peg Barnard Invitational, the Aztecs will have two weeks to prepare for the Bruin Wave Invitational, co-hosted by UCLA and Pepperdine, March 3-4, at El Caballero Country Club in Tarzana, Calif.

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