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UVU golf: women’s golf team heads to Mesa for WAC Championships

By James Warnick

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, April 24 2014 2:29 p.m. MDT

The Utah Valley University women's golf team heads to Arizona for this weekend's Western Athletic Conference Championships being held at the Longbow Golf Club in Mesa.

The 2014 WAC Women's Golf Championship runs Friday through Sunday, with each day consisting of a single round of 18 holes of golf. The Longbow Golf Club will be played at a par-72, 6,163-yard course, and all nine WAC schools will compete at the tournament.

Live scoring will be available throughout the tournament on GolfStat's website. Friday's opening round in Mesa begins at 7 a.m.

UVU will send juniors Brooke Whittaker, Heather Mathison and Hannah Herman, as well as freshmen Kimberly Nyhus and Monica Yeates to its first-ever WAC Championship. There, the Wolverines look to win the tournament and secure an automatic bid to the NCAA West Regional for the first time in school history.

Earlier this season, Utah Valley picked up its first-ever outright tournament title as it took home the Wildcat Invitational in the fall. In their last two tournaments, the Wolverines placed 20th at the Wyoming Cowgirl Classic in Maricopa, Ariz., and 15th at the BYU at Entrada Classic in St. George, Utah.

Whittaker leads UVU on the season with a 78.54 scoring average and finds herself ranked 17th in the WAC. Nyhus is next with an 80.70 scoring average and enters the tournament on the heels of carding a 75 in her final round of play at the Cowgirl Classic.

"I'm really proud of the girls and we're looking forward to this weekend's conference championship," head coach Sue Nyhus said. "The girls have had to overcome a number of unusual challenges to get where they're at. But I expect them to play well down at Longbow and we're excited to get there and represent Utah Valley University."

Idaho enters the tournament as the only team in the field that has ever previously claimed the championship as it won the 2007 title. The Vandals' Leilanie Kim is also the highest returning finisher from last year, as she took 11th with a 10-over-par 226 in 2013.

UVU will not be the only newcomer in the field this season as Bakersfield, Chicago State, Grand Canyon, Kansas City and Texas-Pan American will also compete at the tournament for the first time. As GCU is currently making its transition from Division II to Division I, it will not be allowed to record a team score. However, the Antelope golfers will be allowed to compete individually.

This weekend's tournament marks the 24th annual WAC Championship.

James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.

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