Women's Golf Prepares for Fall Opener in New Mexico

Sept. 9, 2017

Live Results

SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego State women's golf team opens its 2017-18 campaign in earnest next week when it competes in the Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational, Sept. 11-12, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The two-day, 54-hole tournament commences on Monday with the first two rounds, while the final 18 holes are pegged for a Tuesday completion on the par-72, 6,317-yard UNM Championship Course. A live scoring link for all three rounds will be available courtesy of BirdieFire on GoAztecs.com.

In addition to host New Mexico, the Aztecs will battle seven schools ranked in the Golfweek Preseason Top 30 by Lance Ringler, including Stanford (2), Northwestern (6), Texas (11), Arizona (14), California (22), Oklahoma State (24) and Pepperdine (25). SDSU will also be afforded an early look at two other Mountain West rivals in Fresno State and UNLV, while Central Arkansas, Colorado, Denver, Iowa, Iowa State, UC Davis and Washington State round out the 18-team field.

Seventh-year Aztec head coach Leslie Spalding will bring six golfers to the Duke City, including the starting lineup of seniors Georgia Lacey, Haleigh Krause and Mila Chaves, along with freshmen Gioia Carpinelli and Sara Kjellker. In addition, junior Daniela Anastasi will compete as an individual player.

Lacey is SDSU top returning golfer after collecting first-team all-Mountain West honors for the first team in her career last year. The Torrey Pines High alumna posted a 73.88 scoring average during the 2016-17 campaign, which ranked seventh in the conference, and recorded four top-20 finishes, including a tie for the runner-up spot at the Stanford Intercollegiate.

Krause enjoyed a productive summer, earning medalist honors in her home state at the Oregon Women's Stroke Play Championship in August, carding a 3-under 141 to win by six strokes. Last season, the Eugene native recorded a 75.52 scoring average in 10 tournaments and ranked fourth on the squad with five rounds at or below par.

The Aztecs are hoping Chaves returns to her form as a freshman in 2014-15 when she garnered second-team all-conference accolades and tied for first in regulation at the MW Championship. Last season, the native Paraguayan missed five events in the spring due to injury before earning a start in the NCAA Lubbock Regional. In all, Chaves completed 13 rounds in five starts, logging a 75.92 stroke average, highlighted by a 10th-place tie at the Golfweek Conference Challenge to help the Scarlet and Black capture the team title.

A native of Switzerland, Carpinelli has compiled 15 top-20 finishes in 39 tournaments over the past four years counting toward her No. 64 European Golf Ranking. In 2015, she won the 2015 Swiss National Match Play Championship after recording a runner-up placement at the French International Ladies Stroke Play Championship and a third-place effort at the Slovenian Ladies International - both in 2014.

Meanwhile, Kjellker is a graduate of Sundsgymnasiet in Vellinge, Sweden, the same school that produced former Aztec All-American Emma Henrikson. Kjellker, whose brother Emil plays for the SDSU men's soccer team, emerged victorious at the JSM Match Play event in Halmstad, Sweden, this past July, and was the second-highest placing amateur at the Ulricehamn Ladies Open earlier in June, when she finished ninth on the overall leaderboard.

This year marks the 39th edition of the Branch/McGuire, which became a separate tournament in 1979, after the New Mexico women's squad co-hosted the William H. Tucker Intercollegiatel with the Lobo men's team from 1956-78. With the exception of the 2007-08 campaign when the event was on hiatus, SDSU has appeared in each of the last 14 Branch/McGuire Invites, highlighted by fifth-place finishes in 2011 and 2014.

The Aztecs placed 10th out of 16 teams at the Branch/McGuire Invitational last season, with Krause serving as the team's lone holdover from that excursion. The Eugene, Oregon, native tied for 76th on the individual leaderboard at 13-over 229.

For the first time since 2013, SDSU will be without the services of Sirene Blair, who completed her eligibility last spring. At the 2016 edition in New Mexico, the recent Aztec graduate finished alone in second after posting a school-record 54-hole total of 13-under-par 203, highlighted by a program-low 64 in the second round.

Oklahoma State is the defending team champion at the Branch/McGuire Invite, while Arizona's Krystal Quihuis and Haley Moore are the top two returning individuals after each tied for the third with a 10-under 206. Also back in the mix are OSU's Emma Broze (10th) and Kenzie Neisen (T-17th), Northwestern's Sarah Cho (T-11th), California's Jiyoon Jang (T-15th) and Amina Wolf (T-17th), New Mexico's Darian Zachek (T-17th) and Pepperdine's Hira Naveed (T-17th).

Following next week's tournament, San Diego State will have nearly two weeks off from competition before returning to action for the Golfweek Conference Challenge, Sept. 25-27, in Wolcott, Colorado. The Aztecs are the tournament's two-time defending champions.

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