LAS CRUCES, N.M. (May 2, 2013) – It was a season of reinvention for the New Mexico State women’s golf team, a team that will return in the fall with most of its top players still on the roster.
The 2012-13 campaign started with the Aggies losing their two best players from the previous season, one to graduation and one to transfer. It also started with co-head coach Paul Brilliant, who had been part of the women’s golf program at NM State since its inception in 1982, announcing his retirement.
The full reigns of the program were handed over to Jackie Booth, who had been the co-head coach, along with Brilliant, for the previous five seasons. This would be the second stint as Aggie head coach for Booth, a Las Cruces native, as she also coached NM State from 1992-97.
At the conclusion of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Championship, Booth and her Aggies had competed in a total of 10 tournaments, five in the fall, including NM State’s home tournament the Price’s “Give ‘Em Five” Intercollegiate, and five in the spring, including the WAC Championship.
After beginning the season with a 17th place finish in Colorado at the Colonel Wollenberg’s Ram Classic (Sep. 10-11), the Aggies rebounded by marking their best finish of the season during their next tournament, the Marilynn Smith Sunflower Invitational hosted by Kansas (Sept. 24-25). NM State finished in a tie for sixth out of 13 teams.
The Aggies next hosted their home tournament in Las Cruces (Oct. 8-10). It would be the most productive tournament of the season for NM State. The team carded three of its four best rounds of the season during the Price’s “Give ‘Em Five,” including an 11-over-par 299 during the first round, the team’s best round of the season. The Aggies final score of 41-over 905 was also a season’s best.
NM State kicked off the spring schedule in California with its second top 10 finish of the season, at the Folino Invitational (Feb. 17-19). The Aggies concluded the season by shooting their third-best total score of the season, a 77-over-par 941, at the WAC Championship.
The Aggie lineup at the WAC Championship epitomized what NM State was all about during the 2012-13 season, a young team. Only one senior, Aileen Meredith, played in more than three tournaments for the Aggies in 2012-13.
Booth took no seniors and only one junior, Amelie Buhl, to Arizona for the WAC Championship. The rest of the squad was compromised of two freshmen, Kacey Dalpes and Viviana Macias, and two sophomores, Laura Barron and Paige Darwin.
Placing her mark as one of the better freshman golfers NM State has ever seen was Dalpes. The Alamogordo, N.M., native played in all 10 tournaments during the season. She was the Aggies’ top finisher in eight of those tournaments, including the WAC Championship.
Dalpes led NM State in all major categories including scoring average (77.17), low round (70), low total score (+3 219), best finish (T7), rounds at par or better (3) and birdies (51). She also had the Aggies’ only two eagles of the season and finished 64th in the country in par-3 scoring with a 3.13 average. Dalpes had a total of four top 20 finishes, including back-to-back top 10 finishes during the Price’s “Give ‘Em Five” (T7) and the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown (T9).
Meredith competed in seven tournaments throughout the season and finished second to Dalpes in scoring average (78.90), low round (72), low total score (+9 225) and birdies (37). She was the only other Aggie golfer aside from Dalpes to shoot a round of par or better, shooting two rounds at even par. Meredith had two top 20 finishes with her best finish coming at the Marilynn Smith Sunflower Invitational where she finished in a tie for 11th.
Aside from Dalpes, the only other NM State golfer to compete in all 10 tournaments in 2012-13 was Buhl. She finished the season with an 81.87 scoring average, 26 birdies and a best round of 3-over 75, which she shot twice. Her best finish was a tie for 35th during the Folino Invitational.
Barron, meanwhile, only missed one tournament in 2012-13. She finished third on the team in scoring average (81.52), total score (+13 229) and birdies (36). Barron’s best finish came at the Marilynn Smith Sunflower Invitational where she finished in a tie for 33rd and her best round of the season came during the final day of the season, a 3-over 75 during the final round of the WAC Championship.
Macias joined the Aggies during the spring semester and participated in all five spring tournaments. She finished with an 82.00 scoring average and her best finish was a tie for 45th at the BYU at Entrada Classic. She also holed 18 birdies in just 12 rounds of play.
Darwin played in six tournaments in 2012-13, including the final four of the season. She finished with a scoring average of 83.71 and 11 birdies.
Also competing for NM State in 2012-13 were seniors Marisa Bautista and Cheryl Lo and junior Mieke Canan. Bautista competed in three tournaments, two as an individual player, and had her best finish at the Marilynn Smith Sunflower Invitational. Lo and Canan each competed in two tournaments for Aggies. Lo had her best finish during NM State’s home tournament. Canan, meanwhile, had her best finish at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown.
With most of the top Aggie golfers returning, the 2013-14 season looks to be one of great golf for NM State. Remember to keep logging on to NMStateSports.com throughout the spring and summer for updates on all team information.