Oct. 28, 2009
BOULDER CITY, Nev. - Freshman Sherlyn Popelka gutted out a 1-under par round of 71 to capture a two-stroke victory, leading #20-ranked Arizona to the team championship and a sweep of the honors Wednesday afternoon at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown at the Boulder Creek Golf Club.
“The conditions today were incredibly rough, but the girls hung in there,” said head coach Shelly Haywood, who picks up her first win as head coach of the Wildcats. “It was 48 degrees when they teed off and the wind was blowing around 40 miles per hour. I’m so proud of this team. They finally know how good they are and we’re still a very young team.”
Arizona picked up its first win since capturing the 2003 Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational over six years ago as Cats shot 300 on the day and finished the tournament at 14-over par 878. Florida finished second at 19-over while Louisville (+22), UC Davis (+25) and Arkansas (+32) rounded out the top five.
Popelka earned her first collegiate win and first by an Arizona player since Alison Walshe won the 2008 NCAA West Regional crown with a score of 6-under par. Popelka held off Sara-Maude Juneau of Louisville thanks to a winning score of 7-under par 209. With the title still up for grabs, Popelka rolled in a birdie on the 18th hole to seal her win.
“Sherlyn played an unbelievable round of golf today and had an incredible week,” said Haywood. “What she did on the golf course was remarkable. For her to shoot 4-under the last two days was just remarkable.”
Sophomore Nikki Koller shot 1-over 73 on the day and just missed out on a top 10 finish, ending up tied for 11th place at 6-over par. Sophomore Isabelle Boineau ended up at 8-over for the tournament and finished tied for 17th while sophomore Margarita Ramos shared 28th place at 10-over par.