Mortellaro winds up third
Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations
          Release: 03/09/2011
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. - University of Idaho junior Kayla Mortellaro had a closing round 69 to finish third at the UNLV Rebel Spring Invitational on a day during which all of the Vandals improved significantly over their round two scores.

Mortellaro's 69 went with her 140 (71-69) during the opening two rounds for a total 209 – just three strokes back of the winnng score by Pepperdine's Danielle Kang and BYU's Kelsey Vines. As a team, the Vandals closed with a 293 to tie their best round of the season.

"We were fortunate to be able to tee off of No. 10," said coach Lisa Johnson, whose team struggled with the wind during its second round. "It was a change. We started by making some pars and giving ourselves birdie opportunities. That set the tone."

Teo Poplawski tied for 15th after a final round 71 put her at 218 for the tournament. Junior Gracie Schory had her best round as a final with a closing 76 to finish at 237 and in a tie for 60th. Freshmen Rachel Choi (240 for 71st) and Julia Hitchins (253 for a tie for 82nd) rounded out the Vandal scoring. Allyssa Nilsson, playing as an individual, finished at 274 and in 85th.

Mortellaro, who is ranked sixth in the world amateur golf rankings, led the tournament in par 4 scoring by playing them in five-under. She tied for the tournament lead with 14 birdies and tied for third in par 5 scoring (four under).

The Vandals, who had dropped into a tie for 11th after the blustery second round, wound up ninth at 904. Pepperdine won the 54-hole tournament with an 844. BYU was second with an 858 with Oklahoma third at 863.

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