The Kentucky women’s golf team, looking to build off a tenth-place finish at the Florida Invitational, concluded the Gamecock Intercollegiate at the Columbia Country Club on Wednesday. Unfortunately for them, they took two steps back instead of one step forward, finishing 15th in the 18-team field with a 32-over-par (+32).
“I think we were all a bit disappointed in how we played this week, how we scored this week,” head coach Golda Borst stated in a recap interview. “We are not where we want to be on the leaderboard.”
UK was led by sophomore Jensen Castle, who finished tied for 15th at two-over-par (+2). Her rounds went three-over (+3), two-under (-2) and plus-one (+1) respectively, garnering praise from her top teacher.
“Jensen is starting to find her groove,” Borst said about the South Carolina native. “She is very close to playing well.”
Freshman Laney Frye tied for 29th with a five-over (+5) tally. Frye started the first two rounds strong, shooting even par on both Monday and Tuesday. She found herself at seven-over (+7) through 12 holes during round three, but rallied back a bit with and birdies on two of her next five.
Senior Rikke Svejgård Nielsen finished the tournament tied for 67th with a 12-over (+12), while sophomore María Villanueva rounded out the Wildcat field 13-over (+13), slotting at 74th in solo play. Borst said afterward that none of her players are satisfied with their level of play in Columbia, but that they’ll raise their game as they get re-accustomed to taking the course frequently.
“I don’t know that any player is where we want to be individually… the most important thing for the team is just getting out and playing golf again,” she said. “Having tournaments and competition is the best way to take a player's game to the next level.”
“It’s always uncomfortable [learning lessons]… there’s never good timing to learn hard lessons,” she continued. “But we have got a good team… we’ve got to make sure to take the positives out of this.”
Duke’s Erica Shepherd recorded a seven-under par (-7) for the tournament, claiming the first-place individual award in the process of leading Duke (even-par) to the overall victory.
The next tournament for women’s golf comes just over two weeks from now, when the team heads to Athens, Georgia for the Liz Murphy Collegiate Classic. The Cats tied for eighth in the fall rendition of the event back on Nov. 6-8 in 2020. They’ll look to do even better this go around, which takes place March 19-21.