CEDAR CITY, Utah, Oct. 24 – Southern Utah’s women’s golf team opens its spring 2014 season next week when the Thunderbirds compete at the inaugural Grand Canyon Invitational in Goodyear, Ariz. The two-day, 54-hole tournament is being held at the par 72, 6,022-yard Wigwam Golf Club, with 36 holes on Monday and 18 on Tuesday.

Scheduled to compete for the Thunderbirds are juniors Monica Jung and Shantell Spackman, sophomores Rynae Baca and Nicole Thomas and freshman Taylor Viquelia.

The 14-team field is scheduled to include SUU, Cal State Bakersfield, Creighton, Idaho State, McNeese State, Montana State, Northern Arizona, North Dakota State, Santa Clara, Nebraska-Omaha, Northern Kentucky, Utah Valley, Weber State and host Grand Canyon.

SUU wrapped up the fall season with a fifth place finish at Cal Poly’s Firestone Grill Invitational. Monica Jung led the way for the Thunderbirds with a fourth place finish.

The Coach: Richard Church (Utah ‘89) is in his 14th season as head golf coach and his 19th on the staff at Southern Utah. Prior to taking over the program from former Coach John Evans, Church spent four seasons as the Thunderbirds’ assistant coach. During his tenure on the SUU staff, Church has coached five academic all-Americans, one Mid-Continent Conference medalist, two Mid-Con runner-ups and the University’s only two NCAA post-season competitors in golf. He is the only women’s golf coach in SUU history.

Last Time Out: Monica Jung shot 2-over par 148 for a share of fourth place to lead Southern Utah to a fifth place  finish at Cal Poly’s Firestone Grill Invitational. Jung opened with a 75 on Monday but shot even par 73 on Tuesday over the par 73, 5,996-yard Cypress Ridge course to finish six shots off the pace of medalist Annie Freman of Santa Clara. SUU finished at 630, 18 strokes behind team champion and tournament host Cal Poly, which shot 608 (310-298) over its home course. Taylor Viquelia finished second among Thunderbirds in 25th place at 159 (81-78), with Rynae Baca 29th at 160 (81-79), Nicole Thomas 38th at 163 (84-79) and Shantell Spackman 45th at 165 (86-79). Carly Parsons finished 65th playing as an individual (85-97, 182).