BYU won the first-ever women's WAC golf team championship, while San Diego State's Wendy Kaupp, the golfer without a team, captured the individual crown Saturday at Hobble Creek Golf Course.
After years of finishing behind New Mexico State in the High Country Athletic Conference, the BYU golfers got rid of their nemesis when the women's leagues reorganized this year."This is something we've been aiming for all year," said longtime BYU Coach Gary Howard. "We weren't sure if we'd be able to build a team soon enough, so this is very gratifying."
The Cougars had taken a 6-stroke lead over New Mexico in Thursday's first round with a 319 total. Friday's second round was washed out when heavy rainfall flooded some of the greens.
On Saturday, the Cougars improved to 314 as Barry led the way with a 73 and Ruby Chico had a 74. Their 644 total was 11 better than the Lobos. Wyoming finished third at 673, Colorado State was fourth at 727 and UTEP rounded out the field at 755.
Kaupp and BYU's Robin Barry finished in a tie for low honors at 154 after rounds of 75 and 73, respectively. They went to the par-4 1st hole for a playoff where Barry outdrove Kaupp by a few yards. Kaupp, hitting first, decided to hit an "easy 5-iron" and stuck it just two feet from the pin.
After watching Kaupp's great shot, Barry pulled her shot to the left just off the green. When she couldn't get up and down, all Kaupp needed was a two-putt, but she made her birdie anyway.
"I didn't expect to win," she said. "This is the best thing that could happen to me."
Because of a coaching change last summer, San Diego State was left without a team. But Kaupp, a fifth-year senior, competed on her own all year, playing in nine tournaments.
She capped off her career with a victory and earned co-WAC player of the year honors along with BYU's Chico, who finished third at 157.
BYU senior Lachell Simmons, who led by three after a 76 in Thursday's first round, started off with a triple bogey and struggled in with an 84.