The Kentucky women’s golf team is off to a tremendous start to individual summer play with a second Wildcat – Marissa Wenzler – winning a championship in the last two weeks.
Two weeks removed from incoming freshman Laney Frye winning the inaugural Pete & Alice Dye Junior Invitational in Carmel, Indiana, Wenzler took home championship honors Thursday at the 105th Metropolitan Women’s Amateur Championship in West Chester, Ohio.
Wenzler outdueled none other than Frye to place first.
With a score of 5-under par, including a final-round 68, Wenzler edged Frye by two shots to win the 36-hole tournament at the Wetherington Golf & Country Club (par 72). Frye held the lead after day one and was one shot back of Wenzler heading into the final hole.
Wenzler parred and Frye bogeyed 18 to finish 1-2 atop the 38-player field. Senior-to-be Sarah Fite also competed and placed 11th at 10-over par.
The Wetherington Golf & Country Club played tough for most of the field. Wenzler and Frye combined for four of the seven rounds under par over the two-day tournament.
The victory for Wenzler continues her meteoric rise. After winning the 2018 Ohio High School Athletic Association state championship, Wenzler played a key part in a record-setting 2019-20 season for Kentucky women’s golf.
Wenzler played in all six team events for a group that set the new school scoring record, won two championships and placed second in another. As a freshman, Wenzler posted a 73.18 stroke average, the third-best mark in school history, behind only fellow teammate Jensen Castle (71.88 in 2019-20) and Leonie Bettel (73.16 in 2018-19).
In her first season of college golf, Wenzler posted three top-20 finishes, including tying for sixth at the Cardinal Cup. Six of her 17 rounds were par or better, and the team used her scoring in 15 of 17 rounds, tied for the team high.
Frye, the lone freshman in the UK women’s golf 2020 signing class, won the Dye Junior Invitational at the end of May at Crooked Stick Golf club with a 54-hole score of 2-under par for a five-stroke victory,
At the top of Frye’s impressive high school credentials is the 2018 Kentucky High School Athletic Association state championship. She nearly made it two in a row with a runner-up finish in 2019.
Frye was the anchor behind back-to-back team state championships for Lexington Christian Academy in 2018 and 2019. As a result, she was named Kentucky Miss Golf in both years as well. She’s also a three-time All-State First Team selection.
Outside of high school competition, Frye has posted a number of strong showings. She won the Kentucky Girls Junior Amateur last summer at nearby Cherry Blossom Golf Club with a two-round score of 7-under par, she medaled at the U.S. Golf Association Girls Junior qualifier, and she qualified for the 2019 Girls Junior PGA Championship – one of the top tournaments in the country – in Hartford, Connecticut, where current UK freshman Jensen Castle placed second.
Frye has certainly included herself in that mix of the country’s top players. In the most recent Rolex AJGA rankings, she is ranked No. 331 overall and No. 100 in the class of 2020. She is No. 187 in Golfweek’s ratings and No. 52 in the class of 2020.
Fite is coming off a breakout season with career-best numbers in every major category in four appearances in the shortened season. She posted a career-best 75.3 stroke average with career 18-hole and 54-hole lows in 2019-20 and matched career bests with one top-10 showing and two top-20 finishes.
Kentucky’s 2020-21 roster is shaping up to be the strongest group of players in program history. All 10 players from the record-setting 2019-20 season are returning after winning two team championships, setting a new team scoring record and posting 10 top-10 individual finishes.
The group will join Frye and Augusta transfer María Villanueva Aperribay, who posted a 73.6 stroke average in her first season in college.
GO CATS –
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