ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- University of Texas senior Julia Best (Bulverde, Texas) and freshman Alex Richards (Austin, Texas/Lake Travis) shot final rounds of three-over par on Tuesday to help UT move up one spot to a 16th-place finish at the Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational at the UNM Championship Golf Course.
Arizona State captured the two-day, 54-hole event by shooting seven-under par to outdistance second-place BYU and UNLV, who shot seven-over par. Texas finished the tournament with a stroke count of 925 to finish at 49-over par.
Sophomore Kristin Walla (Aspen, Colo.) led Texas through the 54-hole event at seven-over par by carding rounds of 73, 76 and 77 to finish in 31st place. Best held steady throughout the tournament with rounds of 76, 75 and 76 to finish in a tie for 32nd place.
The freshman Richards was a model of consistency, scoring all three rounds at a three-over 76 to place 39th.
"I thought Alex had a great first event," said UT coach Susan Watkins. "I thought she did a great job on this par-73 course."
Sophomore Caney Hines (San Antonio, Texas) wrapped up the event with her best round of the tournament, carding a five-over 78 on Tuesday to finish in a tie for 88th place.
TCU's Catherine Matranga took medalist honors by shooting five-under par through 54 holes. The tournament featured four schools -- Arizona State, UNLV, Florida and Texas A&M -- who competed in the 2006 NCAA Championships. The par-72, 6,069-yard course will host the NCAA Women's Golf Championships in 2008.
Texas played the final two rounds without junior Kelley Louth (Victoria, Texas), who withdrew from the tournament on Monday after sustaining an injury during the opening round, in which she shot a six-over 79.
"It was unfortunate that Kelley got hurt," Watkins added. "She was making a good comeback in the first round, and her play would have made a huge difference in our final results."
The Longhorns return to fall tournament play on Friday, Oct. 6 at the Lady Tar Heel Invitational in Chapel Hill, N.C. Texas will take part in the Weis Cup -- an exhibition against Texas alumni -- on Tuesday, Sept. 26.
Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational
16. Texas - 304-314-307, +49
31. Kristin Walla - 73, 76, 77, +7
T32. Julia Best - 76, 75, 76, +8
T39. Alex Richards - 76, 76, 76, +9
T88. Caney Hines - 80, 87, 78, +26