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BYU golf: Cougar women's golf team prepares for its first spring tournament in California

By Chris Scheitinger

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Feb. 7 2013 11:10 p.m. MST

PROVO, Utah — In its first spring tournament, the BYU women’s golf team looks to build upon its fall experience on Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 11-12, at The Gold Rush tournament in Yorba Linda, Calif.

After practicing consistently in the heat of St. George, Utah, head coach Carrie Roberts hopes to have her team ready for tournament play.

“As we get closer to tournaments we try to focus, build our confidences and work on just trusting each shot,” Roberts said. “We try to play a lot of competitions and get them in tournament mode, just really build their trust for each shot and try not to get them thinking too mechanical.”

Senior Amanda Keith and junior Annika Kahaiali’i will look to provide leadership and experience at The Gold Rush tournament and throughout the spring season. Keith and Kahaiali’i both competed in the 2011 Gold Rush tournament, helping BYU finish in fourth.

The Cougars will start the spring season with three visits to California, before hosting the BYU Entrada Classic on March 18-19 in St. George. They wrap up the season at the 2013 Cowgirl Classic in Chandler, Ariz., on April 8-10, followed by the West Coast Conference Golf Championships in Bremerton, Wash., on April 15-17.

The Cougars are familiar with many of the courses on their spring schedule having competed on four of the six courses over the last two seasons.

“Those are always fun to go back to, courses that you’re familiar with,” Roberts said. “Conference is kind of the highlight of the season, but we just try to take it one at a time and go from there.”

The five BYU golfers competing at this year’s UC Irvine Invitational, held Feb. 25-26, will have a unique opportunity to shine at the next level. The winner of the tournament will receive a sponsor exemption into the 2013 Kia Classic of the LPGA tour, marking the 2013 UC Irvine Invitational as the only collegiate tournament in the country to grant the winner an opportunity to compete in an LPGA tour event.

“It’s an incredible opportunity for these girls, so hopefully one of our five will be that girl,” Roberts said. “It would be an amazing experience for whoever wins it. It’s awesome.”

With tee times set to start at 8 a.m. PST on Monday, BYU will look to get off to a hot start at The Gold Rush.

Live stats of BYU’s tournament play throughout the spring season and next week’s Gold Rush tournament can be followed at golfstat.com.

Chris Scheitinger is a student at Brigham Young University studying Public Relations. Contact him at cscheitinger@gmail.com

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