Kentucky Tees Off Spring Season at Hurricane Invitational

Feb. 13, 2010

MIAMI LAKES, Fla. - The University of Kentucky women's golf team travels to Miami Springs, Fla., to open spring play Sunday in the Hurricane Invitational hosted by the University of Miami at Don Shula's Golf Resort (6,210 yards, par 72).

With a 12:30 p.m. EST shotgun start Sunday, the Wildcats are set to compete in the Hurricane Invitational for the first time.

"I am very excited to kick off the spring season on the heels of our record-setting performance at the Challenge at Onion Creek in November," head coach Myra Blackwelder said. "The girls have been working extremely hard on their individual game-improvement plans, and we are very anxious to implement them outdoors in a tournament situation. We had several excellent practice sessions over last week and the squad is anxious to play golf."

Leading Kentucky at the event are seniors Kristin Vincent and Sara Hurwitch. As the Wildcats set a school low-round record of 284 at the Challenge at Onion Creek, the final event of fall play, Vincent also set a record of her own. The Burlington, N.C., native recorded a 5-under-par 65 to set the school individual low-round record. Vincent led UK during the fall with a 74.82 scoring average and 11th-place finish at the Napa River Grill Cardinal Cup.

Hurwitch also posted a top-15 finish at the Cardinal Cup as she placed 15th with a 225 (71-77-77). The Sterling, Va., native's 71 marked her best round of the fall.

Rounding out Kentucky's top five are a solid group of underclassmen. Sophomore Ashlee Rose registered top-20 finishes at the Mary Fossum Invitational and Challenge at Onion Creek during fall play. Rose's low round of the season came in the second round of the Challenge at Onion Creek as she posted an even-par 70.

During her collegiate debut, freshman Ashleigh Albrecht made an immediate impact for the team. Albrecht recorded the best finish of any Wildcat as she finished tied for eighth with a 4-over-par 147 (77, 70) at the Bettie Lou Evans Fall Invitational. The Murrieta, Calif., native also claimed the second-lowest scoring average of the fall, averaging a 76.09 in 14 rounds.

The only Kentucky golfer to compete in all five fall events, freshman Betsie Johnson was another impactful starter for the Wildcats. Johnson's best finish of the fall came at the Cardinal Cup, where she finished 18th with a 226 (75-78-73).

Blackwelder and the Wildcats are eager to begin the second half of the 2009-10 schedule. "We have our eye on reaching our full potential and team goal of returning the NCAA post season in May," Blackwelder said.

Joining Kentucky at the Hurricane Invitational are: UCF, Charleston Southern, Coastal Carolina, Eastern Michigan, East Tennessee State, Georgia State, Illinois State, James Madison, Miami, Memphis, Mercer, NC State, Oklahoma City, San Diego State, USF, Southern Miss and Texas State.

Competition is scheduled for Feb. 14-16, with a 12:30 p.m. EST shotgun start Monday and 8 a.m. EST start Tuesday.

Kentucky wrapped up the fall season at the Challenge at Onion Creek in Austin, Texas. Finishing with an 873 (291-296-284), the Wildcats finished in 11th.

After the Hurricane Invitational, the Wildcats travel to Valdosta, Ga., to co-host the Challenge at Kinderlou Forest with Kennesaw State. Held at Kinderlou Forest Golf Course, this year's competition marks the tournament's debut.

Stay tuned to UKathletics.com for complete coverage of the Kentucky women's golf team and Hurricane Invitational.