Women's Golf Ready to Tee Off for Spring Season
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Coming off a fall season that included a top-five finish and two additional top-10 finishes, the Kentucky women’s golf team is preparing for its 2015 spring slate, which includes a number of elite tournaments and tests that head coach Golda Johansson Borst hopes will prepare her team for its fifth straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
“As in years past, we have a really solid spring schedule lined up,” Borst said. “We are always trying to schedule tournaments that will have tough fields so that we can start to prepare for postseason play. The spring season is long and we will have a couple of weeks in between some of the early events to work on our games, which will help as we get deeper into the season. Our fall really flew by and I am excited about getting on the road and competing again soon.”
The Wildcats open their spring season Feb. 8-10 with their fourth appearance at the UCF Challenge in Orlando, Fla. The team posted its third-highest finish last year at the event. The Cats fired an 866 (+2), a program best under Borst, and a 286 as a team on the final day of competition, good enough to push them two spots up the leaderboard to a fourth-place finish.
Following the UCF Challenge, Kentucky will compete in the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate on March 6-8 at the Long Cove Club in Hilton Head, S.C. This year’s field features the previous three national champions, which includes Duke (2014 NCAA champion), South California (2013) and Alabama (2012).
The LSU Tiger Golf Classic will be held in Baton Rouge, La. on March 27-29 and the Cats will be participating in the tournament for the fifth consecutive year. Kentucky had three players finish in the top 20 on the individual leaderboard last season, which guided the team to a third-place finish.
The Wildcats will compete in the Bryan Park Intercollegiate in Greensboro, N.C., on April 3-5 before the league tournament.
Greystone Golf & Country Club will host the SEC Championship for the third consecutive year in Birmingham, Ala. on April 17-19. With an eighth-place finish as a team in last year’s tournament, Cylia Damerau and Liz Breed finished in the top 25 in individual play.
NCAA regionals will be held May 7-9. Should UK qualify, the Wildcats would head to either North Carolina State, Notre Dame, BYU or Texas-San Antonio. The NCAA Championships will take place in Bradenton Fla., at the Concession Golf Club, May 22-27.
Two freshmen will join the team in the spring in Isabelle Johansson and Anna Hack. Johansson, a native of Sala, Sweden, won the 2014 Junior Masters Invitational, the 2014 Swedish Junior Championship and the 2014 Golf Upsala Open. Hack, a Paducah, Ky., native, captured the Kentucky High School Athletic Association individual state championship in 2012 and was the 2013-14 Kentucky Region 1 Player of the Year.
“We are very excited to have added Isabelle and Anna for this spring season,” Borst said. “They have both worked hard to get to UK and it’s great to finally have them be a part of our KWG family. They are both very hard-working individuals and they have such a great attitude both on and off the golf course. I know they will have a strong impact and be valuable pieces in helping KGW reach our goals.”
UK is coming off a fall season that included a top-five finish at the “MO”Morial Invitational. Sophomore Haley Mills led the Cats in individual play during the fall season. Her best finish of the fall came at the “MO”Morial Invitational, where she placed fourth. It was her third career top-10 finish.
Kentucky competed in the Mason Rudolph Championship for the third straight season and finished in the top 10 as a team for the second consecutive year, with Haley Mills and Cylia Damerau placing in the top 30 individuals. Junior Sarah Harris also fired her career low, 69 (-3), on the second day of competition.
The Wildcats participated in the Windy City Classic on Oct. 6-7 and came out with a 14th- place finish, but they bounced back during the next event, at the Stanford Invitational, with another top-10 finish.
For the latest on the Kentucky women’s golf team, follow @UKWomensGolf on Twitter and on the web at UKathletics.com.