Deming senior Darian Zachek matched her career-best with a second-place finish, helping the host University of New Mexico women’s golf team to a fifth-place finish in the Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational that concluded Tuesdsay at UNM Championship Course.
Zachek shot 73 in the third and final round after a career-best 67 in round two to finish 6-under 210, one stroke behind medalist Hira Naveed of Pepperdine.
The Lobos’ three-round total of 4-over 868 was only 10 shots back of team champion Kent State in cluster at the top.
“I think they exceeded their own expectations — but not mine,” said UNM coach Jill Trujillo. “I know we have a solid group.”
New Mexico State, led by Pun Chanachai’s 6-over 222, finished 14th in the 16-team field.
While Zachek came close, a UNM player has not won the Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational since 2008.
“Darian is typically pretty quiet, but you can just tell on her face that she really wants it and I know she really wanted this win,” Trujillo said. “I think she has honed her skills over the last three years to get where she is now and everything is better — her distance control, her putting, her short game, and that almost leads to the perfect storm. I have no doubt she’ll get a win this season.”
The Lobos are set to return to action on Sept. 28-30 at the Schooner Fall Classic at Belmar, Okla. NMSU is back in play at the Ptarmigan Ram Classic in Fort Collins, Colo., on Sept. 17-19.