Kentucky WGOLF Breaks Records at NCAA Pullman Regional

In a thrilling display of skill and strategy, junior golfer Laney Frye from Lexington, Kentucky, shattered the individual 18-hole school record in the final round of her junior season at the NCAA Pullman Regional on Wednesday. She registered an impressive 63, -9, while her team, the University of Kentucky women’s golf team, also broke the 18-hole school record with 271, -17, stirring tension as they neared the cutline.

“It’s bittersweet,” confessed head coach Golda Borst. “I am extremely happy and proud, but I am also sad because the season came to an end. It’s tough. They left it all out there, and that’s what we asked them to do. We made a great run, and I am beyond proud of them.”

Despite their remarkable performance, the Wildcats could only secure the sixth place on a 16-under-par 848, falling three shots short of the five-team cutline. However, this score marked the ‘Cats’ best 54-hole outcome in all 20 of their NCAA Regional appearances, setting a milestone for the team.

The final round was a splendid symphony of school and personal records, a testament to the Wildcats’ most successful season yet. The team achieved a 289.9 stroke average across 33 rounds of golf in 2022-23, setting another school record. This achievement surpassed their previous record of 289.53 in 2019-20, a season curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Frye, the All-Southeastern Conference Second Teamer, was a significant contributor to this feat. She delivered a bogey-free performance to secure the 18-hole school record. Frye also registered seven birdies in the span of nine holes and an eagle on her final hole, the par-5 No. 9. Her performance concluded with a 10-under-par 206 at the NCAA Pullman Regional, tying her career low and finishing T8.

The Wildcat’s previous best was a 67, a score she had matched four times in her career and three times in the 2022-23 season. Her final round score of 63, coupled with a first-round 71 and a second-round 72, improved her school record of par-or-better rounds this season to 20. This score eclipsed her previous school record of 14, which she set and matched in the last season.

Frye’s stellar performance in the final round also improved her single-season stroke average to 70.9, setting yet another school record.

Frye wasn’t the only Wildcat to shine in the tournament. Four of the five players in the lineup recorded a par-or-better round. Marissa Wenzler matched her career low with a 4-under-par 68, while Jensen Castle and Ivy Shepherd scored 2-under-par 70s in the final round.

Castle, a senior from West Columbia, South Carolina, was a standout performer with five birdies in the final round alone, finishing in a tie for 26th place. Shepherd, a graduate from Peachtree City, Georgia, exhibited a resilient performance, bouncing back from 2-over through six holes to finish in a tie for 32nd place.

María Villanueva Aperribay, a senior from San Sebastián, Spain, earned a 1-over-par 73, finishing in a share of 42nd place. All three seniors in the UK lineup, including Castle, Wenzler, and Villanueva Aperribay, will be returning to Kentucky for a fifth season in 2023-24.

Despite falling short of the cutline, the Wildcats’ performance at the NCAA Pullman Regional was a testament to their determination, resilience, and skill. The numerous records set during the tournament underscore the team’s significant progress and potential.

Frye’s performance throughout the season was undoubtedly a highlight, with her record-breaking final round capping off an impressive junior year. Her contributions to the team were significant, helping the Wildcats achieve their most successful season yet.

Yet, the record-breaking performance was not limited to Frye. The Wildcats as a team demonstrated their collective strength and prowess. Wenzler’s 4-under-par 68 in the final round echoed her career-best performance, while Castle and Shepherd’s 2-under-par 70s showcased their steadiness and talent.

The seniors’ commitment to the team and their decision to return for another season speaks volumes about their dedication to Kentucky’s golf program. Castle, Wenzler, and Villanueva Aperribay’s return will provide the Wildcats with valuable experience and leadership in the 2023-24 season.

As they look ahead to the next season, the Wildcats will undoubtedly draw on the successes and lessons learned from this record-breaking season. The experience they’ve gained, the records they’ve set, and the milestones they’ve achieved are all stepping stones toward their future successes.

These are exciting times for the University of Kentucky women’s golf team. The records set during the NCAA Pullman Regional are a testament to the hard work, talent, and dedication that these athletes possess. With the return of the seniors and the continuation of their collective growth, the Wildcats are poised for even greater success in the seasons to come.

In the words of head coach Golda Borst, it may be “bittersweet” to see such an extraordinary season come to an end. Still, there’s no denying that the future of the University of Kentucky women’s golf team looks brighter than ever, and we can’t wait to see what they will achieve in the seasons to come.


T8 Laney Frye 71, 72, 63 … 206 (-10) 

T26 Jensen Castle 72, 72, 70 … 214 (-2) 

T32 Ivy Shepherd 70, 76, 70 … 216 (E) 

T37 Marissa Wenzler 74, 75, 68 … 217 (+1)  

T42 María Villanueva Aperribay 74, 71, 73 … (+2) 

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