LAS CRUCES, N.M. (Oct. 17, 2012) - The New Mexico State women's golf team travels to Las Vegas, Nev., to be part of the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown tournament hosted by UNLV, being played Oct. 21-23.
The three-round tournament begins Sunday, Oct. 21, at the par 72, 7,351-yards Stallion Mountain Golf Club and concludes on Tuesday, Oct. 23. The first two rounds will begin at 7:30 a.m. (MT) while the final round will have a shotgun start beginning at 7:45 a.m. (MT).
The Aggies are coming off an 11th place finish at their home tournament, the Price's "Give Em' Five" Intercollegiate. NM State's final team score of 41-over-par 905 during the tournament was the team's best score of the season. The Aggies finished the tournament with single round scores of 299-304-302, which were their first, fourth and third-best rounds of the season respectively.
"The team is improving with every tournament," head coach Jackie Booth said. "The difference between our final score in Kansas (NM State's previous tournament) and at home was over 40 shots less."
NM State will have their work cut out for them in the Nevada desert as the 18-team field is loaded with teams from all corners of the country. Many of the power conferences will be represented in the tournament including the SEC, the Big 12, the Mountain West, the Pac-12 and, most notably, the Big 10 which will have four teams participating including Penn State. The Nittany Lions have won the last two tournaments they have competed in, were recently named the Golf Digest team of the week and currently sit atop the scoring rankings according to Golfstat.com.
The Aggies will also have some familiarity with a few of the teams as four competed in NM State's home tournament, including the second, third and fourth place finishers in Washington State, Idaho and Colorado State respectively.
The total list of teams participating with NM State in Las Vegas includes: host UNLV, Colorado State, Kansas State, Mississippi State, Penn State, Washington State, Fresno State, Kennesaw State, Missouri, San Diego State, Wisconsin, Idaho, Long Beach State, Central Florida, Indiana, Minnesota and North Texas.
Participating for the Aggies as part of the five-golfer team will be freshman Kacey Dalpes, sophomore Laura Barron, juniors Amelie Buhl and Mieke Canan and senior Aileen Meredith. Canan will be playing in her first tournament as part of the NM State team. She did participate as an individual during the Aggies' home tournament. The other four players have been part of the Aggie team during all three previous tournaments this season.
Dalpes and Meredith continue to lead NM State going into the UNLV tournament. Dalpes leads the team in scoring average (76), lowest round (70), best finish (Tied for 7th) and birdies (21). Meredith is second on the team in scoring average, low round, and best finish and is tied with Barron for second with 17 birdies.
Dalpes, Meredith, Barron and Buhl are all coming off their best total score of the season during the Aggies' home tournament. Also, Barron and Buhl, who has 12 birdies on the season, shot three rounds in the 70s for the first time all season in Las Cruces. Canan, meanwhile, finished her first tournament of the season with an impressive five birdies and two rounds in the 70s.
"The coaching staff is very excited about how well the team is adjusting to improving their mental games and also their course management," Booth said. "They have a lot of heart and desire to improve."
The NM State women's golf team last competed in a fall tournament in Las Vegas in November of 2004 when it was part of the Las Vegas Founders' Showdown. The Aggies, however, have participated in the UNLV Spring Invitational held in Boulder City, Nev., in four of the last five years, including last year.
Last year's Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown was dominated by UC Davis which finished with a 15-stroke win over Pepperdine and San Diego State. Individually, Pepperdine's Grace Na led from start to finish and won the tournament with a 7-under-par 209, two shots in front of Kayla Mortellaro from Idaho.
Remember to log on to NMStateSports.com for a recap of each day's team and individual results or log on to Golfstat.com to follow the action live with live scoring.