SMU Opens Spring Slate At UCF Challenge

Go smu! Alex Rossi
Go smu!
Alex Rossi
Go smu!

Feb. 7, 2014

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ORLANDO, Fla. (SMU) - The SMU women's golf team will open its 2014 spring season on Sunday when the Mustangs return to the links to take part in the UCF Challenge at Eagle Creek Golf Club. The three-round 54-hole tournament will run through Tuesday.

THE FIELD

15 teams: (68) Campbell, (53) East Carolina, (50) East Tennessee St., (71) FIU, (57) Georgia State, (49) GRU Augusta, (22) Iowa State, (105) Kennesaw State, (21) Kentucky, (33) Miami, (62) Minnesota, (65) New Mexico, (43) SMU, (123) USF, (58) Texas State, (29) Tulane, (24) UCF, (97) Western Carolina, (45) Wisconsin

HEAD COACH Jeanne Sutherland

At the midway point of her third season at SMU, and her 18th season as a college coach overall, Jeanne Sutherland and the Mustangs will make their first of at least three trips to the Sunshine State, and their first of two trips to Orlando this season.  Sutherland was a two-time Regional Coach of the Year and a four-time Conference Coach of the Year during her 15 seasons at the helm of Texas A&M's program.

SECOND YEAR LEADERS

Sophomore Jenny Haglund is a little more than three months removed from finishing The Alamo Invitational at two-under, the second best tournament finish of her career. That tournament followed the best finish of her career, a three-under finish to end up in 11th at the Betsy Rawls Invitational. Haglund has led the Mustangs in all four tournaments this season, with her top finish being a sixth-place output in SMU's opener at the Golfweek Conference Challenge.

Classmate Alexandra Rossi also shot a three-under 213 at the Betsy Rawls Invitational, thanks to a three-under 69 in the final round of the tournament. Rossi has finished in the top two on the team in each of the last two tournaments, and is coming off a five-over 221 at The Alamo Invitational.

Haglund comes off a 2012-13 campaign that saw the Mustang rookie finish in the top 20 in five of her nine tournaments played, including back-to-back third place finishes at the Central District Invitational and the 2013 Clover Cup. Haglund golfed six of her 25 rounds at par or better, including a five-under 67 in the second round of the Clover Cup.

Rossi golfed three of her 25 rounds at par or better in 2012-13, including a pair of 68s in final rounds at the Chip-N Club Invitational and the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic. The Austin, Texas, native won the Chip-N Club Invite with a three-over 219. Rossi has recorded two rounds at par or better in the early going of her sophomore campaign, including her third-career round in the 60s last time out, a three-under 69.

ONE MORE GO-ROUND

Senior Maria Elena Villamil has finished second on the team in three of four tournaments this season, and is coming off a 5-over 221 at The Alamo Invitational. Villamil finished second on the team and 20th at the tournament at the Golfweek Conference Challenge. The Spanish international went 76-78-75 (229) at the opening tournament of her senior campaign. Villamil followed that performance up with a 25th-place spot on the leaderboard at the Schooner Fall Classic. The Mustang senior shot a two-under 70 in the opening round of the Betsy Rawls Invite, the lowest round of her career. Villamil is in her final season with the Mustangs, a year after she was second on the team with 11 tournaments played (31 rounds). Villamil's top finish was at the Chip-N-Club Invitational, a 15th-place mark in the opening tournament of the 2012-13 campaign.

A FRESH START

Freshman Lindsey McCurdy has a spot in the Mustangs lineup for the fourth-consecutive tournament, as the program begins the second half of its season. McCurdy will be competing in her fourth-consecutive tournament. McCurdy finished The Alamo Invitational at 10-over the last time out, the best tournament of her young career.

JUST ANOTHER WALK IN THE PARK

Junior Jennifer Park will compete in her third tournament of the campaign, and her first since the Schooner Fall Classic. Park is the only Mustang to compete in all 12 tournaments in 2012-13. Park, who transferred from ULM after her freshman campaign, was an All-Sun Belt Conference selection in 2011-12. Park finished the 2012-13 campaign with a low round of 67, and five rounds at par or better. The Mustang sophomore shot a 72 and a 73 to qualify in the fourth spot in the Mustangs' lineup for this week's action.

LAST TIME OUT

SAN ANTONIO, Texas. (SMU) - Sophomore Jenny Haglund shot an even-par 72 to finish The Alamo Invitational in 13th at two-under, to lead the SMU women's golf team to an 11th-place finish in its final tournament of the fall on Tuesday at Briggs Ranch Golf Course in San Antonio.

"We didn't bring our best golf games to the course today, and we paid for that, dropping a few spots on the leaderboard today," head coach Jeanne Sutherland said. "There were a bunch of teams that were closely matched in the middle of the field this week, and after doing a great job finishing out the tournament in Austin last time out, we went the other way today.  With that said, we had a really good fall, and we're not going to stay focused on today's performance very long. We'll learn from today and work hard in the offseason to get better before we get back underway in the spring."