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Aztec Women's Golf Heads To MWC Championship

Jackie Kazarian and the rest of the Aztec line-up will see their first career action in MWC tournament play.
Jackie Kazarian and the rest of the Aztec line-up will see their first career action in MWC tournament play.

April 19, 2005

SAN DIEGO -

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SDSU Heads To MWC Championships
The San Diego State women's golf team travels to the state of Oregon for the second time this season to participate in the 2005 Mountain West Conference championships, April 21-23, in Sunriver, Ore.

This week's 54-hole event takes place at the par-71, 6,312-yard Meadows Course at the Sunriver Resort for the fifth year in a row. Sunriver, located 17 miles south of Bend, Ore., will also be the site of the 2005 NCAA championships, slated for May 17-20.

The Aztecs are paired with New Mexico and BYU for Thursday's first round, which is set to begin at 9 a.m. PDT. Tee times could be pushed back an hour or more depending on weather conditions, which are forecasted for the mid to low 60s with a chance of showers on both Thursday and Saturday.

Schools will play 18 holes each of the three days. Only six of the MWC's eight member institutions sponsor women's golf (Air Force, Utah do not), but the field will increase by one next year with the addition of TCU.

MWC Rookies: Aztec Line-Up For This Week
Aztec head coach Felicia Brown will take three freshmen, one sophomore and one senior to this week's Mountain West Conference championships. None of the five SDSU players have ever competed in a MWC tournament prior to this year.

Senior Megan Mulhaupt (Trabuco Canyon, Calif.), who missed the team's last event due to academic commitments, will be the lone upperclassman. She will be joined by sophomore Jamie Oliver (Los Alamitos, Calif.) and freshmen Anna Booth (Coffs Harbour, Australia), Jackie Kazarian (Dana Point, Calif.) and MacKenzie Swecker (Winnemucca, Nev.).

Booth is the only Aztec to participate in each of the team's nine tournaments this season. Kazarian, Mulhaupt and Oliver have missed just one event, while the MWC championships will be the fifth career tournament for Swecker.

The Competition
Three of SDSU's opponents this week are ranked in the top 50 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings as of April 12. New Mexico, which won the first four MWC championships, is rated as high as 11th by Golfstat. The Lobos are followed by reigning conference champion No. 25/26 UNLV and No. 40/36 Brigham Young. Colorado State is not far behind at No. 55/52, while Wyoming is ranked as high as 150th out of the 226 NCAA Division I women's golf programs.

The Aztecs own a 3-0 record versus Wyoming this season, but are winless against the other four schools. SDSU's most frequent opponent in 2004-05, has been Brigham Young, which has finished higher than the Aztecs in five tournaments.

Individually, seven of the top 11 finishers from last year's MWC tournament return, including a former medalist in Colorado State's Lynette Duran (2002).

The MWC is well represented in this year's individual national rankings with No. 23 Kailin Downs (New Mexico), No. 36 Elena Kurokawa (UNLV), No. 63 Rachel Newren (BYU) and No. 81 Christine Fernandez (New Mexico).

SDSU In The MWC Tournament
In the five-year history of the Mountain West Conference, SDSU has finished second twice, fifth on two occasions and fourth once.

Last season, the Aztecs posted their best ever team score in MWC tournament action with an 885 to place fourth. SDSU was fifth in 2003, following a runner-up performance in both 2001 and 2002. The Aztecs were disqualified in the inaugural tournament in 2000, after two players turned in incorrect score cards in the third and final round.

Individually, the highest SDSU finish came in 2002, when Heather Rollo tied for second place with a 218, just two strokes out of first. Jenna Wilson owns the school record for the best score in a 54-hole conference tournament with a two-over par 215 in 2004.

• In 24 years of competing for a conference title, the Aztecs have come up empty each time but have recorded five runner-up finishes.

Mountain West History Lesson
• New Mexico dominated the first four years of the MWC championship, claiming the team title by at least 11 shots in each of the first three years before coming back to defeat UNLV in 2003 by one stroke. The Lady Rebels got their revenge in 2004, knocking off the Lobos by two strokes to claim the conference championship.

• Four different schools have had a player win the individual title, including UNLV (2004), New Mexico (2003), Colorado State (2002) and Wyoming (2000). New Mexico also had the medalist in 2001.

• The first MWC championship took place at the Sunbrook Golf Club in St. George, Utah. The tournament then moved to Sunriver the next five seasons, however, the first round of the 2003 event was played at the Awbrey Glen Golf Course in Bend, Ore., due to inclement weather.

• This year's 6,312-yard course is the longest in MWC championship history. The course yardage has topped 6,000 three other times with the previous longest being 6,110 in 2003.

• New Mexico and UNLV own all but one of the 12 MWC championship records. UNLV claimed the title a year ago by setting records for best 54-hole score (856), lowest single round (276), lowest first round (289), lowest individual round (66) and lowest first round (68).

The only record that the two schools don't own is largest winning margin, which is held by Wyoming's Jordan Lintz (3).

MWC Championship Results
Live stats will be provided for this year's Mountain West Conference championship. The stats will be available on the MWC website (www.themwc.com) or via Golfstat (golfstat.com).

Last Time Out: BYU Dixie Classic
The San Diego State women's golf team knocked 24 strokes off its first round score to surge into ninth place at the BYU Dixie Classic in St. George, Utah, April 4-5. The Aztecs finished the tournament 84-over par 660, including a 318 in the final 18 holes, at the par-72, 6,151-yard Entrada golf course at Snow Canyon.

SDSU, which shot a first round 342 in harsh weather conditions, jumped two slots in the team standings, tying North Texas. The Aztecs' 318 in the second and final round is the team's best 18-hole performance this spring and was the eighth-best in the 14-team field in the second round. UNLV claimed the overall title by 14 strokes over Arkansas, posting a two-day total of 41-over 617.

Aztec sophomore Jamie Oliver recorded the best individual finish of her career, coming in tied for 13th with the help of a second round 77 to put her tournament total at 15-over 159. Her 159 is five strokes better than her previous spring season high for 36 holes.

Oliver edged freshman Jackie Kazarian, who had three birdies on the day to card a six-over 78. Kazarian tied for 16th place on the individual leader board with a 16-over 160, logging her third top-20 finish this spring.

Senior Toni Lutz (Anaheim, Calif.) bettered her first round score by four strokes to tie for 23rd with a 162, including a 79 in the final 18 holes.

While all five Aztecs improved their scores from day one, freshman MacKenzie Swecker jumped the biggest with an 84 after finishing with a 95 in the first round.

Up Next
The winner of this week's Mountain West Conference championship earns an automatic bid to the NCAA regional tournament. If SDSU claims the MWC title, it will head to the NCAA west regional in Las Cruces, N.M., May 5-7. Other regional sites this year include Gainesville, Fla., (East) and Lubbock, Texas (Central).

Each of the three regional tournaments will include 21 teams and three individuals, not on those teams. The participants will be selected by the NCAA women's golf committee and are announced on April 25.

The top eight teams and two individuals (not on those teams) from each region will advance to the NCAA championships, May 17-20, in Sunriver, Ore.

Roster Notes
Aztec senior Cameron MacFarland, who participated in one tournament this past fall, earned her degree in December and will not compete in the spring ... senior Heather MacRae (Dunblane, Scotland) and newcomer freshman Megan McLeod (Fallbrook, Calif.) are not expected to see action in spring 2005 ... this year's spring SDSU roster is at both extremes when it comes to class levels. The Aztecs have four seniors, no juniors, one sophomore and five freshmen.

Recapping 2003-04
- SDSU made the program's first trip to the NCAA tournament since 2001 and its third trip overall.

- SDSU ended the year ranked No. 40 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings after placing fourth at the MWC championships.

- SDSU earned their first win in three years during the fall when they set a school record by shooting 878 to win the Lady Aztec Invitational. SDSU has also recorded two runner-up finishes and was in the top four in four of its last five outings.

Head Coach Felicia Brown
Head coach Felicia Brown is in her third season at the helm of the SDSU golf program after serving as an assistant in 2001-02. A native San Diegan, Brown prepped locally at San Marcos High School before playing collegiately at Arizona.

She is assisted by Doug Barba for the second year in a row.