The New Mexico Lobo women golf team concluded its run at the 2023 NCAA Women’s Golf Championship with a strong fourth-round Monday at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, finishing tied for ninth place.
The Lobos shot a 1-under round on Monday to finish at 11-over for the event, earning the program’s first top-10 finish in 25 years.
The Lobo women earned its best finish at NCAAs since a T8 in 1998, but just missed qualifying for the match play quarterfinals. Stanford (19-under), Texas (14-under), Wake Forest (13-under), South Carolina (1-over), USC (2-over), Florida State (3-over), Texas A&M (4-over) and Pepperdine (8-over) were the eight teams to qualify for match play. New Mexico and Arizona tied for ninth at 11-over, three shots behind Pepperdine for the final quarterfinal spot.
During the event, the Lobos shot the three best rounds at a NCAA Championship in the program’s history. During Friday’s opening round, UNM shot 1-under, the first under-par round at NCAAs in school history. The Lobos shot even par in Saturday’s second round before matching the school record with a 1-under fourth round on Monday.
Lauren Lehigh shot the low round of the day for the Lobos with a 2-under 70, highlighted by an eagle on No. 7. She finished the tournament T-21st on the individual leaderboard at 1-under.
Jenny Lertsadwattana was UNM’s top individual finisher at 2-under, T-18th on the individual leaderboard after a 1-under 71 on Monday. Her T-18th finish was the best individual finish at NCAAs by a Lobo since Jodi Ewart was T-15th in 2010. Lertsadwattana and Lehigh are the third and fourth players in school history to finish a NCAA Championship under par, joining Ryley Webb (1-under in 1998) and Caroline Keggi (3-under when she won the 1987 NCAA individual title).
Myah McDonald, who also had an eagle on No. 7, shot 1-over on Monday, as did Maria Caparros Levin. Lisa-Marie Pagliano shot 78 on Monday to round out the lineup.
“They battled today right to the end,” said head coach Jill Trujillo. “We had a few bogeys late in the round and bounced back with eagles. What more could you ask for? This team has proven they are really great golfers and they earned a lot of respect this week from other teams. Every final round we have had recently, they have competed and shot a low score. Today was no different and it was fun to watch. I can’t say enough about this team. They make straight As, they play great golf and they love each other. They fought for each other again today and that makes me so proud to coach them.”