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College golf: Kent State wins, Lobos 9th in Branch/McGuire event

Kent State captured the 2019 Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational women’s golf event concluding Tuesday at the UNM Championship Course. Host New Mexico finished ninth in the 15-team field. (Click here for results.)

Kent State, along with Indiana one of two NCAA women’s teams from last spring in this field, finished Wednesday with the best round of the tournament, 10-under 278, and finished 16-under 848 for the event. UNM shot 19-over (291-295-297) 883.

The individual medalist was Pepperdine’s Momoka Kobori, who blistered the course with an 8-under 64 on Tuesday to finish 9-under 207. She led her team to a runner-up (9-under 855) finish.

Junior Caroline Jansson and freshman Napat “Jenny” Lertsadwattana led the Lobos through the final round, finishing with a three-round score of 1-over-par 217 to tie for 14th overall.

Lertsadwattana, of Bangkock, however, wasn’t one of the five starters, and her score didn’t count.

UNM’s other scorers were junior Tiana Cruz (38th, 7-over 223) sophomore Kamie Hamada and freshman Lauren Lehigh (tied at 9-over 225, 45th), and junior transfer Serena Chon (13-over 229, 66th overall).

UNM MEN: Gustavo Morantes, who played for the Lobos from 2014-18, was named assistant coach on Tuesday.

“His experience as a Lobo golfer and his time playing professionally will provide an advantageous perspective for our team while his work ethic and competitiveness he displayed as a student-athlete serve as a great example to our squad,” said UNM men’s head coach Glen Millican.

Morantes replaces Chris Massoletti, who accepted an assistant coaching job at Cal.

Morantes played 45 round through his Lobos career, posting a career stroke average of 73.96 and one collegiate tournament win – a tie at the National Invitational Tournament hosted by Arizona with a score of 11 under 205 as a sophomore.

Morantes, a native of Caracas, Venezuela, graduated in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and is pursuing a masters agree in sports administration from UNM. He is married to the former Darian Zachek, a former member of the UNM women’s team.