Women's Golf Signs Three for the 2009-10 Season

Jan. 15, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky women's golf team recently inked three student-athletes from across the country for the 2009-10 season, head coach Myra Blackwelder announced. Betsie Johnson (Nicholasville, Ky.), Ashleigh Albrecht (Murrieta, Calif.) and Heather Lott (Baton Rouge, La.) have each signed a national letters of intent with the Wildcats.

"I am very proud of our signing class for 2009-10," Blackwelder said. "My philosophy for coaching from day one has been to recruit the top Kentucky player, as well as the best possible players outside the state that can contribute to our New Tradition of Excellence. These three players have all of the characteristics we look for in the recruiting process.

"Obviously, the first of these is the ability to compete athletically in the most challenging conference in all of college athletics, the Southeastern Conference. To accomplish this, players must not only have outstanding golf resumes on a regional and national stage, but also an outstanding work ethic, as well as the willingness to learn. Also, each of these student-athletes posses three other attributes: strong academics, good citizenship and a personality that contributes to strong team chemistry. Together, as a coaching staff, we feel that these are the qualities that will help us ascend the rankings and regain a spot in the top-25 in the nation.

"All three young ladies have had a successful summer competing in national golf tournaments and are committed to working hard to improve their games. I expect all three girls to not only provide an immediate, positive impact to our team depth and scoring ability, but also to fit in very well with current team chemistry."

Johnson, a senior at West Jessamine High School, is a premier junior golfer from the Bluegrass. She qualified for two consecutive United States Golf Association Girl's Championship appearances after tying for fourth in the 2007 Qualifier and winning the 2008 Qualifier at the University Club of Kentucky, home of the Wildcats. The Nicholasville, Ky., native also made back-to-back appearances at the Gene Hilen Invitational where she claimed a three-under-par victory in 2007 and placed second the following year.

Among her other top accomplishments, Johnson claimed the title of Kentucky Junior Amateur Champion in (2007) and won the Panda Invitational in (2008).

"I am very pleased to announce that Betsie Johnson has chosen to stay in state and play for UK to continue the tradition set forth by Ashlee Rose and Mallory Blackwelder," Blackwelder said. "I have been Betsie's golf instructor since she was in elementary school. We have a long, successful relationship working together as player and coach which should make her transition to the college level a seamless one. Betsie is a very hard worker and a student of the game. She won the USGA Girls Junior Qualifier at the University Club of Kentucky in July, 2008 and came out on top of a very strong field which included both national and international competition."

Albrecht, a senior from Murrieta Valley High School, brings the vast experience of a multiple-sport athlete with a successful junior golfing career to the 2009-10 Wildcat season. With an extensive golf résumé, the Murrieta, Calif., native has claimed 11 first place finishes in her short four year junior career. Albrecht claimed three consecutive Bear Creek Golf Club Junior Club Championship titles (2005, 2006, 2007) as well as notching five first-place victories on the California Junior Tour.

The west-coaster has made appearances on the Southern California Juniors Section of the PGA and International Junior Golf Tour in addition to qualifying as a Low Medalist in American Junior Golf Association and United States Golf Association events, shooting a 71 and 72 respectively. Over the weekend, Albrecht won the PGA West Mid-Season Championship at Laquinta, Calif., and as a result has been invited to represent Team USA in the Euro Cup Team Matches in Scotland and the Mizuno Cup in Canada.

With a scoring average of 74.75, Albrecht received the honors of MVP and All Valley Team Member on her golf team freshman, sophomore and junior year.

"I am pleased to welcome Ashleigh Albrecht to our squad for the fall of 2009," Blackwelder said. "Ashleigh's résumé includes numerous tournament wins at the junior level. She is a very athletic player that has plenty of length off the tee that will benefit her at the college level. Ashleigh had a very good summer that was highlighted by her win of the US Amateur Qualifier in San Antonio, Texas."

Lott, a senior from St. Joseph's Academy, also brings a wealth of top-place finishes to the Wildcats next season. The Baton Rouge, La., native claimed seven titles within the past two years including the Louisiana High School State Championship (2007) and the PGA junior Series title at Kearney Hill Links (2008). In 2008, the seasoned golfer qualified for the Trusted Choice Big I for the fourth time and the Junior PGA Championship for the second time.

In the summer of 2007, Lott won the Texas Shoot Out in Mount Belveiu, Texas, carding a 67 in the second round. During that time, she also placed 4th at AJGA in Pensacola with a 73-77-73. In 2008, Lott claimed two Arrowhead Junior Golf Tour titles, the Kelly Love Showcase and the Tournament of Champions in Gulf Shores, Ala. Lott also won the TJGT Red River Challenge Invitational, carding 70-72, and La State Jr. Tournament, shooting a 71.

"I am delighted to announce that Heather Lott will be joining the Big Blue Nation in the fall of 2009," Blackwelder said. "Heather brings a solid junior career and a wealth of competitive experience to our squad. She is loaded with talent, and I look forward to working with her on a daily basis. In the recruiting process, I was impressed by her ability to manage her way around the golf course and her winning attitude."

The Wildcats make their spring debut at the Cuthbert Cup in Kiawah Island, S.C., on Feb. 22-24.