Women's Golf Notebook: Record-Breaking Season has Wildcats Excited for Future of Program
May 21, 2013
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky women’s golf team wrapped up its third season under head coach Golda Johansson Borst with a 12th-place finish at the 2013 NCAA East Regional in Auburn, Ala. The Wildcats concluded one of their most successful seasons in school history and said farewell to their four seniors: Ashleigh Albrecht, Betsie Johnson, Heather Lott and Megan Moir. The Cats are losing four golfers who have made a tremendous impact on the program, both in the classroom and on the course, but bring back a core group of players along with welcoming a talented freshmen class in 2013-14.
RECORD-BREAKING YEAR A PERFECT SENDOFF FOR SENIOR CLASS
The 2012-13 UK women’s golf team kicked off its year with a tournament victory at the Old Waverly Bulldog Invitational Sept. 10-12 in West Point, Miss. The come-from-behind victory on the final day set the tone for the season as the Wildcats topped several marks in the UK record books.
On the final day of the Alamo Invitational in San Antonio, Texas, the Wildcats posted the lowest round in school history with a 6-under-par 282. The 6-under round was just a table setter as Kentucky shattered the single-season stroke average score with 301.1 per round. The Cats broke the previous mark of 304.73 set last season under Borst.
Albrecht concluded her career as one of the most decorated women’s golfers in the history of the program. Her season stroke average of 75.07 is the lowest all-time at Kentucky, surpassing Mallory Blackwelder’s mark of 75.34 set during the 2007-08 campaign. The Murrieta, Calif., native tallied eight par or better rounds in her senior season, tying her own record which she set in 2010-11. She had 26 par or better rounds in her time at UK, which sits atop the Kentucky record books.
Kentucky was loaded with senior leadership in 2012-13 as Johnson, Lott and Moir joined Albrecht in finishing their college careers.
“Ashleigh has been a tremendous player for UK women’s golf,” Borst said. “She’s always the girl you can count on when you need a good score because she consistently shoots those 72s, 73s or 74s each round. She will be extremely missed along with our other three seniors who helped build a bond with the team and lead us to a great year.”
CORE GROUP OF RETURNERS, TALENTED FRESHMEN CLASS HAS UK EXCITED FOR FUTURE OF PROGRAM
The 12th-place finish at regionals was the best finish under Borst and the Wildcats have improved in each of her three years at the helm. Kentucky finished 20th at the 2011 East Regional and 17th in last season’s Central Regional. The regional finish came two weeks following the Wildcats’ tied for fifth place at the Southeastern Conference Championships, marking the Cats’ best finish at the conference tournament in 20 years.
Another area which is proof of evidence of UK improving under Borst is its national ranking. In 2011, Borst’s first season, Kentucky finished the year ranked 77th in the country according to Golfstat.com. The Cats improved upon its ranking the following year, finishing the 2012 season ranked 57th. This year, UK began the year at No. 43 before wrapping up the season at No. 34 (Golfstat.com) and No. 32 (Golfweek.com).
Next season, Kentucky returns junior Liz Breed, along with freshmen Cylia Damerau and Sarah Harris. UK will also welcome an incoming freshman class that includes Megan Kinney (Frankfort, Ky.), Haley Mills (Tyler, Texas) and Alessandra Walker (Paintsville, Ky.).
Breed was a workhorse for UK in 2012-13, competing in all 10 tournaments and recording two top-10 and three top-20 finishes. Her best finish came at the SEC Championships, where she placed a career-best tied for sixth.
Damerau saw action in nine events on the year, recording her best finish at Old Waverly, where she placed ninth overall. She finished third on the team with a 75.81 stroke average per round.
Harris also competed in nine events during the season and was second on the squad with a 75.70 stroke average. The Hermitage, Tenn., native become the first UK women’s golfer to be named to the SEC All-Freshman Team. Harris tallied two top-20 finishes, including Kentucky’s best individual finish of the year, placing second overall at the SEC Championships.
“We are doing exactly what we need to do to get this program on the national stage and make it to NCAA Nationals,” Borst said. “We have improved each year since I’ve been here and a large part goes to the work ethic of the girls. I’m excited where this program is headed because we have a great core group of girls returning, along with some talented freshmen coming in next season.
WOMEN’S GOLF STARS IN THE CLASSROOM AS WELL AS ON THE COURSE
In the spring semester, UK’s 22-sport athletic program excelled in the classroom, posting a record 3.14 GPA. The women’s golf team held up its end and was a large part of the record-breaking year. UK women’s golf recorded a GPA of 3.53, which ranked fifth among all teams at Kentucky.
With student-athletes who are on the practice course hacking away at golf balls or on the road competing in multiple tournaments throughout the year, the women’s golf team has found a way to balance competition and classwork.
“All the girls are extremely hard workers,” Borst said. “I never have to get on them to get their studies done and when we are on the road they do a great job of taking time out of their days between competition and practice to focus on school.
Senior Megan Moir was named the Brad Davis SEC Female Community Service Leader of the Year. She became the first Wildcat to garner the award since 2006 and was a leader for the women’s golf team throughout her five-year career. Moir served as team captain the last two seasons and was given the honor due to her demeanor on and off the course.
Moir graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. degree in accounting and marketing in May 2012 and received her master’s degree in sports leadership this spring. She has contributed countless hours of community service, including a mission trip to Ethiopia last summer with other UK athletes and members of the athletic department.
Moir was a great role model for the women’s golf program and will be noticeably missed.
“Megan is an unbelievable human being,” Borst said. “I think I’ve learned more from her than what I taught her from the three years I’ve gotten to know her. She is the type of young women that knows exactly what to say and get the team prepared for competition. She spearheaded our team meeting back in January and gave this team a sense of belief.
“She will do wonderful things in her future and will be extremely missed in this program. She does a great job interacting with the coaches and team as well as people in the athletic department and the community. Megan has led this team in every way shape or form possible and it’s pretty impressive to have a team captain that’s not your best player. That doesn’t happen very often.”