She had a powerful performance on the back nine. —Sue Nyhus, UVU women's golf coach
HIGHLAND, Utah — Utah Valley University freshman Lynn-Marie Nagel birdied two of the last three holes Wednesday to hold of Houston Baptist's Kelsey Lou-Hing to win top medalist honors at the Great West Conference Women's Golf Championships at the Alpine Country Club.
"She had a powerful performance on the back nine," UVU women's golf coach Sue Nyhus said of Nagel, who was four-under par on the final nine. "She made some crucial downhill fighting putts."
Lou-Hing got a birdie on the final hole to pull within a shot, but Nagel converted a two-putt par to win UVU's first women's individual conference or tournament championship.
Nagel opened the tournament Monday with a school and Great West Conference record 69 and followed it up with rounds of 76 and 77. She finished with 6-over par 222.
"(The opening-round 69) gave her a boost of confidence that she could do what she knew she could do," Nyhus said.
For the tournament, Nagel recorded eight birdies. She was 3-under on par 5s, seven-over on par 4s and two-over on the par 3s.
"She played very smart," Nyhus said. "She has a very mature game, and it's matured beyond the freshman level. It was a great performance specifically on the last four or five holes."
As a team, the Wolverines (925) finished second to Houston Baptist (904), while Chicago State (932) was third, followed by Texas-Pan American (964) and North Dakota (983).
For the tournament, the Wolverines shot well below their team scoring average in all three rounds.
"We finished the season strong," Nyhus said. "I think the girls really pulled it together the last few weeks and stepped up and did what we knew they could do."
As a team, the Wolverines shot rounds of 298, 311 and 316.
"We had two days with everyone shooting in the 70s," Nyhus said. "That was something that we have been striving for all year, and I'm glad it came to fruition at the conference championship. We rose to the occasion."
"They were steady all week," Nyhus said. "Both of them shot three rounds in the 70s, and I am proud of them for that."
Nyhus, who is in her second season with the Wolverines, was named the conference coach of the year for the third time in her career. She earned the award twice while coaching at BYU.
Jay Hinton is a sports information assistant at Utah Valley University