Following a long mid-season break, the UK women’s golf team has returned to action. In their first tournament in nearly three months, they began the three-round of the UCF Challenge this morning at Eagle Creek Golf Club (par-72) in Orlando, Florida. 

After the opening round, the Cats find themselves in the middle of the pack, with a 289 (1-over-par) placing them ninth in the 17-team field. They trail frontrunner Arkansas (-15) by 16 strokes. 

Marissa Wenzler led the way for UK, carding a 1-under-par 71. The sophomore out of Centerville, Ohio found a consistent groove in the middle of her round, where she went on a 14-hole bogey free streak. 

Just behind Wenzler was fellow sophomore Jensen Castle, who made her mark at the end of her round. She birdied four of her final seven holes to propel herself up the leaderboard, ultimately finishing at an even-par 72.  

In her first action of the season, María Villanueva Aperribay finished with a 1-over-par 73. The San Sebastián, Spain native got off to a great start, birdieing three of her first six holes.  

Like Aperribay, Rikke Svejgård Nielsen saw her round one end with a final score of 73. The senior fired an almost unblemished, tallying par on every hole except for No. 12, which she bogeyed.

"We are making progress and I know good things will come, along with lower scores,” head coach Golda Borst said afterward. “We are a few swings away… we look forward to getting back after it tomorrow.”  

The Cats will look to build on a respectable first round and make up some ground between themselves and the Razorbacks in round two, which begins at 8:00 a.m. E.T tomorrow morning.