Monteiro has 'breakthrough' outing
At last week's TRW Regional Challenge tournament in Palos Verdes, Calif., the Arizona women's golf team had its share of ups and downs.
After shooting an opening-round 4-over-par 288, the Wildcats were comfortably in front at the par-71 Palos Verdes Golf Club.
But, with nine holes to play in the 54-hole tournament, Arizona found itself trailing Southern California by five strokes.
While some teams would have folded, the top-ranked Wildcats pulled together and eventually defeated the Trojans by 10 strokes.
Senior Jenna Daniels said the victory was not a surprise, as the team plays best with their backs to the wall and refuses to give up.
"I just don't think we think in that way," she said. "I really believe that we do our best under pressure."
Daniels, who shot an opening-round 9-over-par 80 after taking five penalty strokes, rebounded with a final-round 67 to lead Arizona. But she credits the team's success in California to Junior Christina Monteiro's steady play.
"She was probably the reason we won this tournament," Daniels said. "It was her breakthrough tournament."
Monteiro was the most consistent of Arizona's golfers, posting two 1-over par and one even-par rounds.
"I didn't go in with any expectations," Monteiro said. "I just focused on beating 'SC."
Each team in the tournament had five golfers, with the top four scores counting in each round.
This was fortunate for Arizona, as Daniels' first-round 80 was discarded.
"It was definitely the worst round I've played in two or three years," said Daniels, who credited her teammates with picking up her slack.
Daniels responded by moving up from 69th place to her finishing spot in an eighth place tie.
"It was a true test for Jenna, and it showed how good she really was to come back and play the way she did," McCorkle said.
McCorkle couldn't have asked for a better tournament from his Wildcats.
They went into Palos Verdes expected to win and that's exactly what they did.
"They played great. We always battle and mentally is how we won this tournament," McCorkle said. "We fought and fought and that was the difference."