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Sirene Blair Wins First Collegiate Tournament in Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS – Bolstered by freshman Sirene Blair’s individual medalist honor, the 48th-ranked San Diego State women’s golf squad claimed its first team title of the season on Tuesday at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown. The Aztecs posted a final-round 289 to finish the tournament with a combined 3-over 579, edging a trio of schools by two shots as UNLV, UCF and Texas Tech all tied for the runner-up spot at the par-72, 6,261-yard Stallion Mountain Golf Club.
Despite three bogeys on the back nine, Blair, who entered the week with a No. 32 individual ranking by Golfstat, sank a whopping eight birdies on the day to complete her finest round of the season with a tournament-low 67. With her performance, the South Jordan, Utah, native secured her first individual crown as a collegian with a collective total of 6-under 138, thwarting a late charge by UCF’s Ashley Holder, who finished two strokes behind at 4-under 140 after matching Blair’s 67 over the final 18 holes.
“Our team was very patient and committed to the process today,” said SDSU head coach Leslie Spalding. “I was extremely proud of their effort and determination.”
Ironically, the Aztecs’ last team tournament title also featured a medal winner as Christine Wong led the Scarlet and Black to victory at the Wyoming Cowgirl Desert Intercollegiate in 2011.
In addition to Blair’s heroics, the SDSU cause was aided by sophomore Emma Henrikson (Malmö, Sweden) and junior Paige Spiranac (Scottsdale, Ariz.), both of whom tied for 13th at 1-over 145. Henrikson vaulted 18 places from the 31st position after posting a final-round 71, which featured four birdies, including a crucial make on the par-3 No. 17. Spiranac, meanwhile, played steady golf for most of the day, overcoming the sting of three bogeys with 13 pars and a pair of birdies on the way to a 73.
Shannon Lubar (Littleton, Colo.) also figured in the Aztecs’ winning total after the SDSU sophomore carded a 78 on Tuesday. Despite suffering six bogeys and a double-bogey, Lubar came through with a pair of clutch birdies down the stretch, including one on her final hole, the par-5, 497-yard No. 2.
Rounding out the Aztec starting lineup was senior Maureen Dunnagan (Lexington, S.C.), who tumbled into a tie for 67th at 10-over 154 after shooting an 81 over the final 18 holes.
SDSU was also represented at the tournament by juniors Kristina Lynn (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Amy Alston (Mission Viejo, Calif.), both of whom competed as individual golfers. Lynn wound in the 58th position at 9-over 159 after carding a final-round 78, highlighted by an eagle at the par-5, 479-yard No. 13, her next-to-last hole of the day. Meanwhile, Alston fired an 82 on Tuesday to finish in 92nd with a combined 165.
San Diego State will have the next three-and-a-half months off before opening its spring schedule at the Peg Barnard Invitational, Feb. 15-16, 2014, in Stanford, Calif.
Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown
Stallion Mountain Golf Club
Las Vegas, Nev.
Par 72, 6,261 yards
Team Scores (Top 5 of 17 schools)
1. San Diego State 290-289–579 (+3)
T2. UNLV 288-293–581 (+5)
T2. UCF 291-290–581 (+5)
T2. Texas Tech 292-289–581 (+5)
5. Minnesota 290-296–586 (+10)
Individual Leaders (Top 7 of 95 individuals + SDSU)
1. Sirene Blair, San Diego State 71-67–138 (-6)
2. Ashley Holder, UCF 73-67–140 (-4)
3. Elin Arvidsson, Texas Tech 70-71–141 (-3)
4. Michelle Butler, Missouri 71-71–142 (-2)
T5. Cassie Deeg, Nebraska 71-72–143 (-1)
T5. Kimmy Hill, Texas Tech 74-69–143 (-1)
T5. Shawnee Martinez, Long Beach State 73-70–143 (-1)
T13. Emma Henrikson, SDSU 74-71–145 (+1)
T13. Paige Spiranac, SDSU 72-73–145 (+1)
T58. Kristina Lynn, SDSU* 75-78–153 (+9)
T67. Maureen Dunnagan, SDSU 73-81–154 (+10)
T85. Shannon Lubar, SDSU 82-78–160 (+16)
92. Amy Alston, SDSU* 83-82–165 (+21)
*-competed as an individual