The University of Kentucky women’s golf team is set to participate in the 2023 Southeastern Conference (SEC) Women’s Golf Championship at Greystone Golf and Country Club (Legacy Course) in Birmingham, Alabama, from April 12-16. The Wildcats enter the tournament with a 289.1 stroke average, placing them seventh in the conference and just half-a-stroke below the school record.
The first round tees off on Wednesday at 10:40 a.m. ET, with Kentucky paired with Florida and Vanderbilt. The tournament will feature a 54-hole, stroke-play format from Wednesday through Friday. The top eight teams will then advance to match-play quarterfinals on Saturday morning, with the top four moving on to the match-play semifinals later that day. The championship match will be held on Sunday between the top two remaining teams.
This year marks the tenth consecutive year (excluding 2020) that the SEC has held its annual championship at Greystone. This is also the fifth year that both stroke play and match play have been used in the championship format. Kentucky’s best finish at the SEC Championship during the Golda Borst era came in 2013 when they recorded a 58-over-par 922, tying for fifth place.
The Wildcats are looking to make their first cut since the inception of the NCAA Championship format, which includes three rounds of stroke play for all teams followed by up to three rounds of match play for advancing teams. Last season, UK finished tied for 11th place with a 31-over-par score.
Kentucky’s lineup for the SEC Championship will feature familiar names, including Jensen Castle, Laney Frye, Ivy Shepherd, Marissa Wenzler, and María Villanueva Aperribay. This lineup has already won two tournament titles in their six events as a fivesome this season and has achieved three top-five finishes in 2022-23.
Castle and Frye, both of whom recently competed in the 2023 Augusta National Women’s Amateur, lead the team with impressive stroke averages of 70.7 and 71.0, respectively. If they maintain their current pace through the postseason, both players could set new single-season stroke average records for the school.
The rest of the lineup, consisting of Shepherd (73.8), Wenzler (74.2), and Villanueva Aperribay (74.4), have all earned top-11 finishes this season. The Wildcats are anticipating sunny skies and a high of 77 degrees for the first round of the championship, with chances of rain or thunderstorms later in the week.