Women's spring preview: Mountain West

Women's spring preview: Mountain West

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Women's spring preview: Mountain West

New Mexico’s women’s golf history books are peppered with players who helped the Lobos to greatness before finding success after college. LPGA player Jodi Ewart is the most recent, leading New Mexico to its last team appearance at the NCAA Championship in 2010.

This season, New Mexico claims the Mountain West’s leading scorer in Manon De Roey (pronounced man-OH). The junior from Schilde, Belgium, won the season-opening Ptarmigan Ram Fall Classic, setting a new 54-hole school record in the process (9-under 207). She finished the season with another top 10 at the Branch Law Firm Dick McGuire Invitational, and a 73.25 scoring average. She could be the next great Lobo.

“It’s so refreshing to have such good players com into their own,” Trujillo said of watching De Roey blossom this season. She can remember when a freshman De Roey allowed her emotions to get the best of her. Now, she recovers quickly from mistakes.

As a team, Trujillo said her team had “moments of brilliance” this season. Part of her coaching strategy is to compare her current squad to some of the most successful Lobo teams of the past, such as the one Ewart was part of. The key to this group’s success will be scoring well on the same day. Trujillo spent the fall and the offseason getting her players to believe in themselves.

“I constantly remind them how good they really are,” she said.

In the past, New Mexico has been the dominant team in the Mountain West, winning three consecutive conference titles from 2008-10. TCU took the past two championships, but left the conference this year for the Big 12.

In a deep conference that often goes overlooked amid the larger conferences, Trujillo says the Lobos never have been able to run away with a conference title, and shouldn’t expect any different even with TCU gone. The Lobos won their last two titles at Bayonet and Black Horse in Seaside, Calif., a former PGA Tour Q-School site. This year, the Mountain West Championship will be contested at an LPGA major venue, the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

“We don’t make it easy,” Trujillo said.

Mountain West’s representative in the postseason certainly will be a worthy one.

• • •

Where it stands now

Top of the class: UNLV

Best player in the fall: Manon De Roey, New Mexico

• • •

Past champions

2008: New Mexico

2009: New Mexico

2010: New Mexico

2011: TCU

2012: TCU

• • •

Conference capsules

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