Former New Mexico State University golfer Alena Sharp will compete for Canada in the upcoming Summer Olympics in Rio de Janerio along with fellow former Aggies Gwladys Nocera (France) and Ursula Wikström (Finland).
With the 2016 Olympics set to begin on Aug. 5 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, New Mexico State Aggie fans will be invested more than usual as three former Aggie women’s golfers take the international stage.
Alena Sharp (Canada), Gwladys Nocera (France) and Ursula Wikström (Finland) will look to go for gold as they represent their respective countries in the 31st running of the Olympiads. Sharp played with both Nocera and Wikström in college.
Sharp, a First-Team All-American in 2003 and 11 year LPGA Tour veteran will take a break from arguably one of her best seasons on tour to represent Canada in Rio. She recently finished in a tie for 21st at the 71st U.S. Women’s Open with a 1-over 289 card.
The Ontario, Canada, product finished her Aggie career with five victories, three of which came as a senior. Sharp reached as high as No. 5 in the Golfstat/NCAA rankings her senior year and owned a 73.25 stroke average. She also picked up Honorable Mention All-America honors as a junior, First-Team All-Big West Conference as a freshman and First-Team All-Sun Belt Conference the other three years.
Nocera, who was a senior when Sharp was a freshman, crossed paths with her former teammate earlier this month at the U.S. Women’s Open where she fired in a 4-over 292 card and finished in a tie for 38th. The French national currently plays on the Ladies European Tour where she has grabbed victories in each of the last three years and 15 in total since turning pro in 2002. Nocera was a regular on the LPGA Tour before making the transition to the LET in 2012. Since then, she’s taken home the trophy four times on the Ladies European Tour.
She wrapped up her Aggie career in the spring of 2000 and reached a Golfstat/NCAA ranking as high as No. 19. Nocera earned All-America Honorable Mention selections in 2000 and earned back-to-back First-Team All-BWC selections in 1999 and 2000.
The third and final Aggie heading to Rio to compete in the Olympics is Wikström, who went by Tuuti during her time in Las Cruces. She concluded her career with a 75.14 stroke average at NM State. Like her fellow Olympias, Wikström garnered All-American Honorable Mention distinction as well as First-Team All-SBC in 2001.
The Finnish native turned pro in 2003 after graduation and has finished in second several times. Her best finish in 2016 has been a tie for 13th at the 2016 Buick Championships at Shanghai Qizhong Garden Golf.
First-round action for the women is set for Aug. 17 with the winner crowned on Aug. 20 at the par-71, 6,245 yards Olympic Golf Course.