Looking to put a punctuation point on a successful fall season, the Kentucky women’s golf team has ground to make up in a difficult field at the Trinity Forest Invitational.
Coming off a team championship earlier in the month at the Bettie Lou Evans Invitational, UK’s home tournament, Kentucky posted scores of 311 and 314 during Monday’s 36-hole opening to the final fall tournament of the season. At 49-over par overall, the Wildcats will try to bounce back Tuesday and put a cap on a strong start to the 2018-19 season.
Tuesday’s round will begin at 9 a.m. ET with a shotgun start. Live scoring will continue to be available at Golfstat.com.
Illinois, the top ranked team in the field at No. 18, leads the 12-team tournament at 3-under park. The Illini’s Crystal Wang is atop the leaderboard at 3-under par.
Kentucky’s competition this week is the toughest it’s faced this season with five teams ranked in GolfStat’s top 50. That field, coupled with high winds on a links-style course at Trinity Forest Golf Club (par 72, 6,233 yards), made for a difficult Monday.
“Really tough day for our Wildcats today,” UK head coach Golda Borst said. “The course got the best of us. We are much better than the scores we shot and this team knows it. Every team and every player that plays this game faces adversity. This was our day to face this. We will get back after it tomorrow and play hard.”
There is recent proof to believe UK can make up some group Tuesday. The Wildcats shot a 54-hole school-record score of 858 (6-under par) to win the Bettie Lou Evans Invitational at the beginning of the month. All five players competing for the team score finished in the top 35 in that tournament, including senior Leonie Bettel, who won her second straight individual championship with a 54-hole school-record score of 205.
Keeping Bettel’s championship run intact will be a tall task, but with eight rounds of par or better this season, including scores of 65, 66 and 68, nothing is out of reach for the senior from Austria, who is currently in a tie for 25th at 6-over par.
Bettel recorded four birdies in the first round but couldn’t find her normal level of consistency with a pair of double bogeys and four bogeys. She limited the mistakes in the afternoon round and shot a 74, but it marked just her third round above par this season.
Junior Josephine Chang added to the team score in both rounds with a 78 over the first 18 holes and a 77 on the latter 18. She’s tied for 44th at 11-over par.
Sophomore Rikke Svejgård Nielsen is in 56th place at 15-over par. She posted a 76 to open the tournament but was foiled in the afternoon with an 83.
Junior Sarah Shipley and freshman Casey Ott had uncharacteristically rough days and are tied for 62nd at 19-over par.
Tuesday’s final round will mark the end of UK’s 2018 fall schedule before a three-month break. Kentucky’s fall season has included a team championship, three individual titles, two top-five team finishes and a number of records.
This week’s appearance at the Trinity Forest Invitational is UK’s first. The tournament, which is in its third season, is being held at Trinity Forest Golf Club (par 72, 6,233 yards), a Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw-designed links-style course that resembles many of the great old courses of the northeast and Great Britain. A rolling meadow with tall native grasses and dramatic bunkering and green complexes, Trinity Forest is the home of the PGA TOUR’s AT&T Byron Nelson Championship.
GO CATS –
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