Kentucky Women’s Golf in Second Place at Cardinal Cup


SIMPSONVILLE, Ky. – Even when adversity flares up this season – like Sunday’s windy conditions at the Cardinal Cup – the Kentucky women’s golf continues to find itself right in the thick of things.

Despite some inconsistency in the opening round in Simpsonville, Kentucky, the Wildcats are in second place and just one shot behind first-round leader Florida State thanks to another stellar round from senior Jordan Chael.

Coming off her career-low 65 in the final round of the Ron Moore Women’s Intercollegiate, which was just one stroke shy of the school record, Chael fired a 1-under 71 Sunday and is in a tie for first place through the first 18 holes.

“Today was a tough day condition wise,” assistant coach Brian May said. “The wind picked up and we struggled a bit through the middle part of our round. With that said, the girls really dug deep and fought down the stretch. We kept ourselves in good position going into day two and are looking forward to fighting hard again tomorrow.”

Play will resume Monday morning at the U of L Golf Club in Simpsonville, just a short drive from UK’s campus. The Wildcats will tee off as early as 10:09 a.m. Admission is free and fans are encouraged to attend. Live stats will continue to be available at Golfstat.com

Kentucky carded a 14-over-par 302 on Sunday, tied for the highest round of the season and just the third round in the 300s this fall. That score followed UK’s school-record 277 in the final round of the Ron Moore. 

But, on a day when the U of L Golf Club gave everyone in the field problems, the Wildcats held it together and put themselves in the hunt for the team and individual titles with 36 holes to go. Kentucky trails only No. 7 Florida State and is ahead of four other teams rated higher in Golfstat’s rankings. All told, there are 16 teams in the Cardinal Cup, six of which are ranked in the top 50. 

Chael was the driving force behind Kentucky’s manageable opening round. Even with the windy conditions, Chael never got higher than 1-over par. 

The native of Overland Park, Kansas, recorded three birdies on the day to offset two bogeys, including two on her back nine to tie Bing Singhsumalee of Illinois for the lead. The 71 is tied for her second-best round during her two seasons at UK, behind only her 65 from two weeks ago.

“She has really come into her own to start her senior year,” May said. “She knows what she needs to do to play well and does a good job executing her game plan. I’m really proud of how she handled the tough course conditions. She is really starting to be a leader out there on the course and someone her teammates can count on.”

Making her 2016-17 season debut, junior Grace Rose was pretty solid Sunday, especially given the start she got off to. Rose recorded a double-bogey on her fourth hole of the day and then followed it with a bogey to start at 3-over par through just five holes. She was just 1-over par the rest of the round.

Rose recorded 10 pars in her final 13 holes with a birdie to close out the day. At 4-over par, Rose is in a tie for 13th and just four shots off the lead.

Freshman Sarah Shipley is in a tie for 18th place at 5-over par. She had two birdies on the day, as did junior Isabelle Johansson, who is in a tie for 28th at 6-over par. 

Appearing in her first tournament of the season and just the third of her career, sophomore Claire Carlin recorded an 85.

With a 79 Sunday, freshman Josephine Chang is tied for 39th place. She’s competing this week as an individual only.

Kentucky is seeking its fourth straight top-six finish to close out the fall season. Included in UK’s early season success are 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. 

This week’s appearance marks the first time UK has played in the Cardinal Cup in the Golda Johansson Borst era. Hosted by Louisville, the U of L Golf Club is playing at 6,393 yards with a par of 72.  

For the latest on the Kentucky women’s golf team, follow the team on TwitterFacebookInstagram and Snapchat, as well as on the web at UKathletics.com.