|Posted April 8, 2008|
Pack's Madrid impresses in Pueblo curtain call, finishes third
As the ThunderWolves' women's golf team wrapped up the
ThunderWolf Invitational, held Monday and Tuesday at the Walking
Stick Golf Course in Pueblo, one thing was for certain - senior
Nicole Madrid, the dean of Pack women's golf, was going to make her
last collegiate tournament appearance in Pueblo a memorable
Madrid, a 2004 graduate from Central High School in Pueblo, quietly put together her best round in her collegiate career, putting up an 80 on Monday and following that up with an 83 Tuesday to finish tied for third place out of the field of 30. Madrid said she was proud of her effort and performance in her Pueblo curtain call.
"I thought I would start tearing up at 18, but I kept my composure," Madrid said. "I had a lot of expectations of myself coming in, and I played pretty steady, only having a few little breakdowns on a few holes."
In this competitive tourney, those little breakdowns cost her. She ended the first day of competition tied for second overall, only trailing Mesa State's Maggie Cole by one stroke. Though her second round 83 was one of the best rounds of her career, coming on the heels of a career-high 80, it was simply not enough. Cole woudl win by turning in an 81 in the second round, and an outstanding round by Fort Hays State's Shelby White, shooting a tourney-best 78, catapulted her to the second place crown. Madrid finished third, just three strokes shy of Cole, who she was grouped with both days of the tourney.
"Playing with girls [the caliber of Cole] in my group makes me want to work harder and strive to do better," Madrid said. "I prefer to play with the best girls because it makes me better."
Madrid's performance this week marks a good end to a memorable career at CSU-Pueblo. When the women's golf program was forged in 2005, Madrid was the centerpiece of the young team, the first golfer that coach Josh Hartman recruited to the program.
"Without Nicole as the foundation, we wouldn't have had a successful startup of this program," Hartman said. "A lot of players have come and gone, and she's been the once constant and a real leader this team could count on."
Madrid said she remembers being excited at the opportunity to be centerpiece of a collegiate golf program. She came to CSU-Pueblo after taking a year off from golf, going to UC-Colorado Springs to attend school. She jumped at the opportunity to come home to Pueblo and help start the golf program.
"It was a big rush," Madrid said of being the program's first recruit. "But it has been a great run. It was more than I ever expected and it has been so much fun."
Madrid, who actually has one more year of eligibility left, has chosen to leave the program early because of a lucrative job offer - managing the pro shop at the Broadmoor Golf Course in Colorado Springs. The business and marketing major said it was a dream job offer, giving her the opportunity to work around the game of golf as well as use her skills and degree in the best possible fashion.
"I've always said that if I could stay in the golf world, I'd be satisfied," Madrid said. "It's a great opportunity and I'm very excited about it."
Madrid will not be done with her collegiate career just yet - she has two more regular season tournaments left in the season, first at Mesa State then at Western New Mexico. If she equals her ThunderWolf Invitational performance, she might have a chance to get in to regionals.
"I'll try to play lights out there and hope for the best," she said.