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.
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.
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.
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.
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
We had to finish the fall on a better note than we did yesterday and we did exactly that today. @fairyleo_ certainly did. She climbed 19 spots in the final round w/another round in the 60s (her fourth of the season) for another top-10 finish.
Aiming to finish strong on the final day of its fall season, the Kentucky women’s golf team bounced back from a tough start to the Trinity Forest Invitational with a final-round 299. Perhaps the most impressive uphill climb came from senior standout Leonie Bettel, who shot the lowest final round of the day – 3-under-par 69 – to notch yet another top-10 finish.
Bettel, who has shot par or better in nine of her 12 outings this fall – already the third most in single-season school history – finished in a tie for sixth with a 54-hole total of 219 (3-over par). After carding a 76 and 74 on the first day, Bettel’s surge up the leaderboard in the final round lifted her 19 spots, making her a perfect 4-for-4 when it comes to top-10 showings this fall.
After the most trying day of an otherwise successful fall season, the Wildcats on Tuesday looked more like the team that won the Bettie Lou Evans Invitationalearlier in the month. UK shot a 299 (11-over par) in the final round, tied for the fourth-best score of the day in a field that featured five teams ranked in the GolfStat top 50, including two in the top 25.
Overall, Kentucky finished in 12th place with a score of 924 (60-over par), the Wildcats’ highest score of the season
Overall, a strong fall that won’t be tainted by yesterday’s difficult round. We reeled of a team championship, another top-five team finish, three individual titles and a number of records this fall. We can and know we’ll do even better in the spring, but all in all a good start.
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