Kentucky Women’s Golf Closes Fall Season at Cardinal Cup
SIMPSONVILLE, Ky. – Off to one of the best starts in recent program history, the Kentucky women’s golf team will try to close out the fall season this week on a continued high note at the Cardinal Cup before a midseason break for the winter.
Coming off a school-record 18-hole score in the final round of the Ron Moore Women’s Intercollegiate, the Wildcats hope to cap the successful fall season just down the road at the U of L Golf Club in Simpsonville, Kentucky.
Kentucky is one of 16 teams in the annual Cardinal Cup, hosted by the University of Louisville. It’s UK’s first appearance in the tournament in the Golda Johansson Borst era.
Admission is free and fans are encouraged to attend. Live stats will be available at Golfstat.com. The Wildcats will tee of Sunday at 10:30 a.m.
“We are really looking forward to competing in our backyard this week,” Borst said. “This is my first time taking the team to Louisville's event and I know this whole group is ready to represent the Big Blue Nation in Cardinal country.
“This week will be a good opportunity for us to end the season on a positive note as we compete close to home and against some of the best teams in the country.”
Six of the 16 teams competing this week's 54-hole tournament are ranked in Golfstat’s top 50, including No. 7 Florida State, No. 22 Illinois, No. 33 East Carolina, No. 42 Wisconsin and No. 50 Louisville. The Wildcats checked in at No. 48 in this week’s rankings.
The tournament will be held at the U of L Golf Club, just a short drive from Lexington, Kentucky. The course will play at 6,393 yards with a par of 72.
“The U of L Golf Club is very similar to our home course, Big Blue (at the University Club), so I know the girls are comfortable out there,” Borst said. “I think that will add to the confidence of the team so they can be more aggressive around the greens.”
Borst will close the fall with senior Jordan Chael, junior Isabelle Johansson, freshman Sarah Shipley, sophomore Claire Carlin and junior Grace Rose. Freshman Josephine Chang will compete as an individual only.
The lineup is a different look from the opening three tournaments of the season as Carlin and Rose will make their 2016-17 debuts.
“Our lineup looks a little bit different due to the competitive nature of our team right now,” Borst said. “Claire Carlin and Grace Rose have worked tremendously hard and have been waiting for an opportunity to earn themselves a spot in the lineup. This week they did just that, and I'm proud of their patience and positive attitude that they have kept throughout this semester.”
Kentucky has finished in the top six of all three of its tournaments this season, including two individual titles from Johansson (Minnesota Invitational) and Shipley (East & West Match Play Challenge individual bracket), and a third-place finish at the team’s last tournament, the Ron Moore Women’s Intercollegiate.
En route to that third-place finish, UK shot a school-record 277 (11-under par) in the final round in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Three Wildcats recorded under-par rounds with two of them – Chael and Johansson – carding career lows.
Chael, who leads the Wildcat lineup this week, fired a 7-under 65 in the final round of the Ron Moore, tying the second-best round in school history (with records dating back to 1987), behind only Liz Breed’s 64 at the Schooner Fall Classic in October 2013.
Combined with her back-to-back 75s to open the Ron Moore, Chael finished at 1-under par and in a tie for seventh place. It was her best finish in her two seasons at Kentucky. The 215 was a career 54-hole low and tied for the lowest tournament score of the season by any Wildcat. Her 65 was easily the best round of the weekend in the 102-player field.
Johansson’s success last tournament was nothing new. UK’s stroke leader in 2015-16 recorded a career-low 67 in the final round of the Ron Moore, good enough for the sixth-best score in program history.
The Sala, Sweden, native finished at 1-over par and in a tie for 12th. She’s finished in the top 20 of all three tournaments this fall.
Shipley, a freshman, owns one of UK’s two individual titles this season. After finishing in seventh place in the stroke-play portion of the East & West Match Play Challenge and earning the No. 1 seed for match play (team participants did not factor into the individual bracket), Shipley won both of her matches to win the individual bracket championship.
Carlin will make her 2016-17 debut and will play in her third tournament as a Wildcat. She joined the team in January for the spring semester and competed in the team's first two events of the spring.
Rose, also making her first appearance this season, was one of Kentucky’s top performers a year ago. She owned a team-high two top-20 finishes last year, including a team-low 67.
Kentucky’s strong play this season is evident across the board. UK has recorded six sub-300 scores in eight rounds this fall after just six total for the entire 2015-16 season. Individually, the Wildcats have fired 14 even- or under-par rounds after seven all of last season.
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