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Home | Tag Archives: utep women’s golf

Tag Archives: utep women’s golf

HP Sports in Depth: Miner Women’s Golf fortunes rising with Mendizabal

The UTEP women’s golf team is coming off one of the best seasons in school history in 2018-19.

If the Miners are going to approach or even exceed that level of excellence during the 2019-20 campaign, Valeria Mendizabal will be at the heart of the success.

A junior from Guatemala City, Guatemala, Mendizabal is UTEP’s top returnee after posting a 73.4 scoring average a year ago.  She was the team co-MVP, placing in the top-10 at three tournaments.

As Mendizabal’s game grew in leaps and bounds last season, the Miners followed her lead and won four tournaments for the first time in school history.  They posted three consecutive tournament victories during the fall season, quite an amazing achievement.

“We couldn’t believe it,” Mendizabal said.  “It all came together.  We had five players who were playing well at the same time, which is very hard to do.”

Along with her teammates, Mendizabal played her best golf during the fall as she tied for second place at the Wyoming Cowgirl Desert Intercollegiate and tied for third place at the Aggie Invitational in Las Cruces.  Overall, she dropped her scoring average from 75.6 the previous year.  Her coach at UTEP, Jere Pelletier, played a major role in her gaining comfort and confidence.

“When I first came to UTEP, I already knew how to play but coming from Guatemala, I was used to beating two or three girls that didn’t play that well,” she said.  “So when I got here and played in my first tournament, I realized how much competition there was.  It’s like playing against 100 girls who can break par.  Coach has helped me to understand that if you want to be a really good player, you have to work hard on your game.  And even if the results don’t come fast, you have to be certain that they will if you keep working hard.”

Mendizabal started playing golf when she was about seven years of age.

“My dad, my brothers and my sister would go to the golf course every Sunday and play nine holes,” she said.  “At first I didn’t really think I was going to be playing for so long, but then I kind of fell in love with the sport and kept practicing and improving.”

When she was 15, Mendizabal realized she had a chance to parlay golf into a college scholarship if she kept getting better.  Meanwhile, she continued to hone her skills in tournament competition.

“I played in pretty big tournaments for Guatemala since it’s a small country,” she said.  “I played the Pan Am Games, and the Central American and Caribbean games.  I played the World Amateur Team Championship two times, and some other big tournaments.  It’s pretty cool to represent Guatemala.  It’s an honor and I’m proud to do it.”

One of the highlights of her young career was playing alongside native countryman José Toledo.

“He plays on PGA Tour Latin America and he is the only pro golfer right now from Guatemala,” she said.  “We played together in the Pan Am Games.  When I was a kid, he was my idol.  I looked up to him and being able to be on the same team as him was like a dream come true.”

How does a girl from Guatemala end up at UTEP?

“A friend of mine went to school here and put me in contact with coach Jere,” she said.  “I came to visit and I talked to coach.  I really liked the campus and I really got along with coach.  Those are the main reasons I’m here.”

Now she’s about to begin her third season with the Miners, as they’ll tee off the 2019-20 season at the MSU/Payne Stewart Memorial tournament on Monday in Springfield, Mo.

With all of the team’s accomplishments last season, one goal went unfulfilled, and that was to win Conference USA.

“I think we need everyone to shoot under par.  That’s what it’s going to take to win conference,” she said.  “We were doing that in the fall [last year], but we didn’t play as well in the spring.  We have good players, we know how to play and coach helps us with our course management.  So I don’t see why we can’t do it [in 2020].”

Some of golf’s all-time greats have said that the sport is at least 80 percent mental.  The mental component of her game is something that Mendizabal continues to work on.

“I already have what it takes to play under par and score well but last year, I had two chances to win individual tournaments and at the end I got nervous and couldn’t finish,” she said.  “I really learned from those tournaments and I think the next time I’m in that position, I’ll be able to manage it better and hopefully win.  When you work so hard for something and you’re so close to getting it and you don’t, it’s hard to recover.  But I just need to get better with my mental game and get stronger.”

Mendizabal is a Finance major at UTEP.  She has flourished in the classroom, earning a Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal (minimum 3.75 grade point average) in each of the last two years.

She’s not sure what the future holds past UTEP, although she’d love to play professionally some day down the road.

“It’s going to depend a lot on my senior year,” she said.  “I love golf obviously, but there’s a lot of competition out there.  If I don’t play pro golf, I think I’ll be a graduate assistant for two years and get my masters, and then go to work.”

Mendizabal’s work ethic, in all likelihood, will make her a success at anything she chooses to do.  She admitted she doesn’t have much time for hobbies.

“I’m always playing golf,” she said.  “But if I have time, I like to watch a movie and relax for a bit, because we have a pretty busy life.  But most of the time, I’m on the golf course, just trying to get better.”


The UTEP Women’s Golf fall season is set to get underway Monday when the Miners travel to Springfield, Missouri, for the MSU/Payne Stewart Memorial.

The 54-hole event is hosted by the Missouri State Bears and is made up of a 12-team field for the two-day event. The tournament will feature a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m. MT on Monday and Tuesday. The MSU/Payne Stewart Memorial will be held at the 71-par, 5,981-yard course at Twin Oaks Country Club in Springfield.

“We are excited to get the season started at Missouri State,” head coach Jere Pelletier said. “The girls have worked hard over the summer and they are looking forward to putting their games to the test starting Monday.”

Monday’s action will feature 36 holes, while the final round of 18 holes is slated for Tuesday morning.

In addition to the Bears, the rest of the field includes Arkansas State, Austin Peay, Creighton, Drury, McNeese State, Oklahoma City, Oral Roberts, South Dakota, UMKC and Wichita State.

The MSU/Payne Stewart Memorial is named in honor of the Springfield native and PGA Tour standout who perished in a plane crash in 1999.

Miner fans can follow along with all the action with live scoring available on

For complete coverage of UTEP Women’s Golf, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPwgolf (Twitter) and @UTEPwomensgolf (Instagram) or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics at

UTEP Women’s Golf Captures Third Consecutive Tournament Title

The UTEP women’s golf team claimed its third tournament win this season, shooting a total score of 862 at the 41st Annual FIU Pat Bradley Invitational in Sarasota, Florida on Tuesday afternoon.

“We had a great overall team effort and I couldn’t be prouder of our ladies,” UTEP head coach Jere Pelletier said. “Each player really stepped up when they needed to and played smart golf. The team is showing great course management skill and it’s paying off for them.”

UTEP finished the tournament with rounds of 290, 287 and 285. This is the third consecutive win for the Miners, having previously taken the Wyoming Cowgirl Desert Classic and the NM State Aggie Invite. The Miners finished three strokes ahead of USF (865), six strokes ahead of fellow Conference USA team FIU (868) and 11 strokes ahead of C-USA member Southern Miss (873).

Lily Downs and Shannon O’Dwyer led the team, finishing tied for seventh with a one-under par 215. Downs (74-70-71) picked up her 15th career top-10 finish and O’Dwyer (72-70-73) notched her first top-10 showing as a Miner.

Abbie Anghelescu (72-73-72) shot a one-over par 217 to finish tied for 14th place.

Sophomore Valeria Mendizabal had the top performance of the day for the Miners, shooting a three-under par 69. She finished the final day at 220 overall (73-78-69) and tied for 24th place. Audrey Haddad rounded out the tournament with a four-over par 220 (73-74-73) and tying with Mendizabal.

The Orange and Blue will close out the fall schedule with the Little Rock Classic on Oct. 28-30 in Hot Springs Village, Ark.

Miners Take The Lead At 41st Annual FIU Pat Bradley

BOCA RATON, Fla. – Junior Shannon O’Dwyer moved up seven spots to finish day two of the FIU Pat Bradley Invitational tied for third place.

In addition to O’Dwyer’s move, the whole UTEP women’s golf team improved by three spots to take over first as a team.

The Miners have posted rounds of 290 and 287 for a total of 577 with 18 holes remaining. The team holds a four-stoke lead over second-place, Conference USA foe Southern Miss (581 – +5).

O’Dwyer has shot a two-under par 70 (142). She trails Gonzaga’s Quynn Duong, who fired a five-under par 67 (140).

Senior Lily Downs sits tied for 10th-place, shooting a two-under par 70 (144). Abbie Anghelescu stands one-over par 73 (145), tied for 13th place. Audrey Haddad is tied for 16th overall (147). Valeria Mendizabal is tied for 39th place (151).

The final round is set for Tuesday with a shotgun start at 6:30 a.m. MT.

UTEP Women’s Golf Prep For Pat Bradley Invitational

Coming off back-to-back first-place finishes at the Wyoming Cowgirl Desert Invite and the Aggie Invit, the UTEP women’s golf team return to action on Sunday when it participates in the FAU Invitational at Lakewood Ranch Country Club in Boca Raton.

The Miners have racked up two tournament wins and a second-place finish at the MSU/Payne Stewart Memorial. Joining UTEP and host FAU will be Cincinnati, Eastern Michigan, Florida Gulf Coast University, Georgia State, Gonzaga, Jacksonville, McNeese State, Texas A&M-CC, UMKC, South Florida, Southern Miss and Wyoming.

Eighteen holes will be played on each day on the par-72, 6,828-yard course, beginning on Sunday slated for 6 a.m. MT.

Making the trip to the Sunshine State will be Valeria Mendizabal, Lily Downs, Audrey Haddad, Shannon O’Dwyer and Abbie Anghelescu. Downs leads the team with a 72.6 scoring average, earning three top-10 finishes on the season.

Mendizabal sits at 75.1, followed by Haddad (76.5), Anghelescu (76.5) and O’Dwyer (77.5).

Mendizabal is coming off her best individual performance at the Aggie Invitational. She shot even-par 216, finishing tied for third overall. Downs is very familiar with the Lakewood Ranch course, earning a second-place showing in 2017.

Official stats will be available online.


UTEP Golf Update: Women Tied for First in Missouri; Men Tied for 13th in Soggy San Antonio

The fall golf season is underway, with both the men’s and women’s teams tied, but in very different situations.

The UTEP women’s golf team, in its first action of the 2018-19 season, is tied for the lead with 36 holes complete at the MSU/Payne Stewart Memorial at Twin Oaks Country Club (par 71, 6,000 yards).

Meanwhile, the UTEP men’s golf team teed off its 2018-19 season at the Lone Star Invitational on a rainy Monday afternoon. After the shotgun start time of 8 a.m. CT, heavy rain delayed play for four hours. When play did resume, the Miners ended the first day shooting 313 (+25) and ranking tied for 13th at the TPC San Antonio Oaks Course (Par 72, 7,435 yards).

The women (298-281-579) are tied for first place with Memphis (286-293-579) after day one. A total of 15 teams are participating in the tournament, which concludes on Tuesday with 18 holes.

UTEP’s Lily Downs (142, E) and Abbie Anghelescu (143, +1) led the Miners and ranked fourth and fifth overall, respectively. Downs fired rounds of 72 and 70, and Anghelescu shot 75 and 68.

Over on the men’s side, Host school UTSA leads the pack after firing a 289 (+1). Arkansas State (291), Little Rock (295), Sam Houston State (296) and Texas State (297) round out the top five.

UTEP sophomore Santiago Castilla shot a 77 (+5) to lead the Miners and ranking tied for 42nd after 18 holes. Ben Getman, Settavut Paradee and Oskar Ambrosius (participating as an individual) are each ranked tied for 49th after shooting a 78, while Eduardo Gonzalez and true freshman Marcus Khaw are ranked tied for 68th after posting an 80.

For the men, he first day of competition was reduced to 18 holes due to the heavy showers. The 15 programs will play the final 36 holes on Tuesday (8 a.m. CT shotgun start) to complete the tournament.

The women returned to action Tuesday for the final round scheduled for an 7:30 a.m. MT shotgun start.

UTEP Men’s, Women’s Golf Team Tee Off 2018 Season This Week

The UTEP women’s and men’s teams hit the links this week, opening up their 2018-19 seasons.

The UTEP women’s golf team will open the 2018-19 season at the MSU/Payne Stewart Memorial on Monday and Tuesday in Springfield, Mo. and the men’s golf season will begin in San Antonio at the Lone Star Invitational September 10-11. 

“We are very excited for this season,” said women’s head coach Jere Pelletier. “I’m very confident in our team this year. We’ve played well in the past at this tournament and should be a familiar course for our players.”  The tournament will be played at the par-71, 6.000-yard Twin Oaks Country Club. Thirty-six holes will be played on Monday and 18 holes on Tuesday.

Taking the course for the Miner men and ninth-year UTEP head coach Scott Lieberwirth will be sophomores Oskar Ambrosius, Santiago Castilla, seniors Ben Getman and Settavut Paradee, junior Eduardo Gonzalez, and true freshman Marcus Khaw.

For the Miner women it’s the first of five fall tournaments, who will also participate in the Pirate Collegiate Classic (Sept. 17-18 in Greenville, N.C.), the Wyoming Cowgirl Desert Intercollegiate (Sept. 29-30 in Palm Desert, Calif.), the Aggie Invitational (Oct. 8-10 in Las Cruces, N.M.) and the Little Rock Classic (Oct. 28-30 in Hot Springs Village, Ark.)

For the men, rounds one and two will begin Monday, as tee time is set for a shotgun start at 8 a.m. CT/7 MT. Round three is set for Tuesday also with an 8 a.m. CT start.

For more information visit the official website for the Miner Men’s Team and Miner Women’s Team.

UTEP Women’s Golf Posts Solid First Day at NMSU

The UTEP women’s golf team is in the thick of the title chase with 18 holes complete at the NM State Aggie Invitational on Monday in Las Cruces.

The Miners shot 297 as a team, leaving them four strokes back of the leader UC Irvine (293) and two strokes behind second-place and tournament host NMSU (295).

The second round is set for Tuesday with the final round to be played on Wednesday.

UTEP’s Alisa Rodriguez shot a one-under-par 71 and is tied for fourth place.  June Ting and Lily Downs are tied for 10th place (75), Sofia Castiello is tied for 16th place (76) and Crystal Wu is tied for 21st place (77).

The individual leader is Stephen F. Austin’s Jessica White (67).

UTEP also sent Abbie Anghelescu to compete as an individual.  Anghelescu is tied for 38th place (80).

UTEP Women’s Golf Takes Seventh at Bob Hurley Shootout

TULSA, OKLA. — The UTEP women’s golf team fired its best round of the tournament on Tuesday at the Bob Hurley Shootout in Tulsa.  The Miners picked up a seventh-place finish with a total of 927 (318-309-300).

Lamar was champion of the 17-team event (298-301-296-895), with Oral Roberts second (306-299-303-908) and Stephen F. Austin third (307-306-299-912).

The Miners’ June Ting surged to a third-place tie by carding an even-par 71 on Tuesday.  Her total was 222, nine-over-par (75-76-71).  Ting shot the second-lowest round of the tournament on Tuesday behind Stephen F. Austin’s Jessica White (70).

UTEP’s Alisa Rodriguez tied for 16th place (76-78-75-229), Lily Downs tied for 39th place (85-75-75-235), Sofia Castiello tied for 65th place (82-82-79-243) and Crystal Wu took 82nd place (91-80-82-253).

Lamar teammates Wenny Chang (75-74-72-221) and Elodie Chapelet (73-75-73-221) tied for the individual title.

UTEP continues its fall season at the Aggie Invitational next week (Oct. 3-5) in Las Cruces.

UTEP Women’s Golf Takes 7th Place at Conference Championships

FORT MYERS, FLA. – The UTEP women’s golf team wrapped up its 2015-16 season on Wednesday.  The Miners put together an outstanding final round at the Conference USA Championships and tied for seventh place.

UTEP fired a 291 over the final 18 holes, its best round of the season.  The Miners registered the second-best score of the day behind champion Middle Tennessee (284).

Middle Tennessee captured its second consecutive league title (296-296-284-876).  Old Dominion was second (300-293-296-889), Southern Miss third (300-303-293-896), UTSA (306-303-298-907) and WKU (305-304-298-907) tied for fourth, FIU sixth (299-313-300-912), Marshall tied for seventh (309-306-313-928), UAB ninth (312-319-304-935), Florida Atlantic 10th (307-325-312-944) and North Texas 11th (312-326-311-949).

The individual medalist was FIU’s Meghan MacLaren, who shot three-under-par both Wednesday (69) and for the tournament (213).  She edged runner-up Hanley Long of Middle Tennessee (215) by two strokes.

As for the Miners, they had three individuals shoot one-over or better on the final day.  June Ting finished in 30th place (77-82-73-232), Sofia Castiello tied for 31st place (83-79-71-233), Alisa Rodriguez finished 33rd (83-76-75-234), Amber Herrera tied for 35th (86-78-72-236) and Lily Downs tied for 41st (81-80-78-239). Castiello matched her career-low round as a Miner.

UTEP Women’s Golf Struggles on Day One of C-USA Championship

FORT MYERS, FLA. — The UTEP women’s golf team shot 324 collectively on day one of the Conference USA Championships on Monday, leaving the Miners in last place with 36 holes remaining.

Middle Tennessee is in first place (296), FIU second (299), Southern Miss and Old Dominion tied for third (300), WKU fifth (305), UTSA sixth (306), Florida Atlantic seventh (307), Marshall eighth (309), North Texas and UAB tied for ninth (312), and UTEP 11th with 18 holes complete at the Verandah Club in Fort Myers, Fla.

The Miners were led by June Ting, who shot a five-over-par 77.  That leaves her tied for 26th place, seven strokes back of the leader, Southern Miss’ Valentina Haupt (70).

UTEP has four players stacked between 42nd and 53rd place in a field of 55 golfers.  Lily Downs is tied for 42nd place (81), Sofia Castiello and Alisa Rodriguez are tied for 49th place (83), and Amber Herrera is in 53rd place (86).

UTEP Women’s Golf Ties For Sixth at Little Rock/ASU Invitational

MAUMELLE, ARK. — The UTEP women’s golf team tied for sixth place at the Little Rock/ASU Invitational on Tuesday in Maumelle, Ark.

The Miners shot 308 on the final day of the tournament for a 54-hole total of 927 (313-306-308).  Central Arkansas finished first (299-295-308-902) out of nine teams, with Wichita State second (296-304-306-906) and Missouri State third (302-304-311-917).

Sophomore June Ting posted her best finish of the season, taking 11th place with an 11-over-par 227 (80-70-77).  Alisa Rodriguez also notched a top-20 showing, landing 18th with 231 (79-75-77).

Sofia Castiello tied for 24th place (73-82-79-234), Lily Downs finished 36th (83-83-75-241) and Patricia Rico-Avello tied for 37th place (81-79-82-242) for the Miners.

Missouri State’s Verena Gimmy held on to first place with a three-over-par 219.

UTEP’s next tournament will be the Wyoming Cowgirl Classic April 4-5 in Maricopa, Ariz.

UTEP Women’s Golf Team Opens Little Rock/ASU Invitational in Seventh Place

MAUMELLE, ARK. — The UTEP women’s golf team is in seventh place through 36 holes of the Little Rock/ASU Invitational on Monday in Maumelle, Ark.

The Miners fired rounds of 313 and 306 respectively for a total of 619.  A total of nine teams are participating in the event, with Central Arkansas topping the field (299-295-594) heading into Tuesday’sfinal round.

UTEP has two players in the top-20 of the individual standings.  June Ting is tied for 11th place with a six-over-par 150 (80-70), and Alisa Rodriguez is tied for 19th place with a 10-over-par 154 (79-75).

Ting is just four strokes behind the leader, Missouri State’s Verena Gimmy, who carded a two-over-par 146 (74-72).

The Miners’ Sofia Castiello is tied for 24th place (73-82-155), Patricia Rico-Avello is tied for 33rd place (81-79-160) and Lily Downs is in 47th place (83-83-166).

UTEP Women’s Golf Finishes 11th at Texas State Spring Event

NEW BRAUNFELS, TEXAS – The UTEP women’s golf team landed in 11th place at its first tournament of 2016, the Texas State Spring Event in New Braunfels, Texas.

The Miners fired rounds of 309, 315 and 309 for a total of 933.

Sam Houston State (297-285-296-878) fended off Middle Tennessee (292-286-305-883) and Long Beach State (300-287-296-883) to capture the crown at the 15-team event.  The individual champion was UTSA’s Julie Houston, who was competing as an individual but carded a one-over-par 214 (69-69-76) to win by one stroke.

UTEP’s top finisher was Lily Downs with a 15-over-par 228 (74-76-78).  She tied for 31st place.  Alisa Rodriguez tied for 38th place (75-73-83-231), Patricia Rico-Aiello tied for 46th place (79-81-74-234), June Ting finished 69th (81-85-78-244) and Mirabela Woods tied for 72nd place (83-87-79-249).

The Miners will next compete at the Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational March 22-23 in Honolulu, Hawaii.​

UTEP Women’s Golf Sits in 11th at Texas State Spring Event

NEW BRAUNFELS, TEXAS – The UTEP women’s golf team is in 11th place through 36 holes of its first tournament of 2016, the Texas State Spring Event in New Braunfels, Texas.

The Miners stand 56-over-par with a total of 624 heading into Monday’s final round.  UTEP shot 309 in the first round and 315 in the second round.

Middle Tennessee heads up the 15-team field (292-286-578), with Sam Houston State in second (297-285-582) and UTSA in third (301-285-586).  North Texas is the fourth Conference USA team in the field.

Leading UTEP is Alisa Rodriguez who is tied for 15th place with a six-over-par 148 (75-73).  The Miners’ Lily Downs is tied for 26th place (74-76-150), Patricia Rico-Avello is tied for 60th place (79-81-160), June Ting is in 72nd place (81-85-166) and Mirabela Woods is in 76th place (83-87-170).

UTEP Women’s golf teams ends Fall Season

HOT SPRINGS VILLAGE, ARK. — The UTEP women’s golf team concluded its fall season by notching a 10th-place finish at the Little Rock Classic on Tuesday in Hot Springs Village, Ark.
The Miners fired rounds of 309, 306 and 304 for a total of 919; Missouri State won the 15-team event (304-296-287-887).
UTEP’s Alisa Rodriguez tied for eighth place, carding a five-over-par 221 (75-75-71).  June Ting tied for 32nd place (79-76-75-230), Lily Downs tied for 49th place (79-76-80-235), Sofia Castiello tied for 54th place (76-79-81-236) and Amber Herrera tied for 67th place (80-82-78-240).
The Miners will open their spring slate at Texas State Feb. 14-15.
Author: UTEP Athletics
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