Wildcats Open Fall Play at Mary Fossum Invitational

Sept. 11, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. -

The Kentucky women’s golf team heads to East Lansing, Mich., this weekend to begin the 2009-10 season at the Mary Fossum Invitational, hosted by Michigan State University.

Held at Forest Akers Golf Course (6, 236 yards, par 72), the event begins with two rounds of 18 holes Saturday, and concludes Sunday with one round of 18. Play begins at 8:30 a.m. EDT both days.

Senior Kristin Vincent, the only upperclassman to qualify, will lead Kentucky’s young group of competitors. Ashlee Rose, a sophomore, joins Vincent as the only Wildcats in the competition with collegiate experience. Rounding out Kentucky’s five are freshmen Ashleigh Albrecht, Betsie Johnson and Heather Lott.

“We are looking forward to getting the season started at Michigan State,” head coach Myra Blackwelder said. “This tournament features a young line-up of three talented freshmen, in addition to two team veterans. Each of these young ladies had successful summer seasons and earned a tournament berth through their good play in our qualifier.”

Vincent, who transferred to Kentucky from N.C. State as a sophomore, competed in nine of Kentucky’s 10 events last season. She finished with a 77.92 stroke average. Vincent’s low round of the season came at the opening round of the Ron Moore Invitational, where she shot a 73. This weekend’s tournament marks Vincent’s 17th start for the Cats.

After a breakout freshman season, Rose, a native of Nicholasville, Ky., looks to continue her success at the Mary Fossum Invitational. Rose led last year’s squad in birdies with 50 and finished with a 77.19 stroke average, good for second lowest on the team. Rose competed in all 10 of Kentucky’s 2008-09 events.

Albrecht comes to Kentucky from Murrieta, Calif., after competing in a number of high-profile events. She was a member of Team USA, champions of the 2008 Mazuno Cup, and competed in the 2009 U.S. Women's Open and Amateur over the summer.

Johnson, another Nicholasville, Ky., native brings a wealth of experience to the team. In summer play, Johnson won the 2009 Marion Miley Invitational and advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2009 Women's Western Amateur. She was also the low amateur at the 2009 Tennessee Women's Open.

From Baton Rougue, La., Heather Lott rounds out Kentucky’s talented group of freshmen. Lott was winner of the 2008 and 2009 Louisiana State Junior Championship, and champion of the 2008 PGA Junior Series at Kearney Hills.

Kentucky, competing in the Mary Fossum Invitational for the first time, joins an impressive 17-team field. The competitors include: Eastern Michigan, Ferris State, Grand Valley State, Indiana, Iowa, James Madison, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Oakland, Ohio, Purdue, Toledo and Western Michigan.

Following this weekend’s action, the Wildcats travel to Louisville Sept. 20-22 for the Napa River Grill Cardinal Cup. Kentucky last went to the Cardinal Cup in 2007, taking eighth place with a three-day 928.

Sept. 25-27, the Wildcats host the Bettie Lou Evans Fall Invitational at the University Club in Lexington, Ky. Formerly called the Lady Wildcat Fall Invitational, the event has not been played since 2007. In 2007, UK finished fourth, posting a 910 (301-305-304).

The Wildcats then travel to Knoxville, Tenn., for the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship Oct. 16-18. At last year’s event, Kentucky recorded an 893 (296-301-296) and finished ninth overall.

To finish the fall slate, the Wildcats make their debut at the Challenge at Onion Creek. Hosted by Texas State University, the tournament is set to take place Nov. 2-3 at Onion Creek Country Club in Austin, Texas.

Live stats for the Mary Fossum Invitational are available at golfstat.com.

Stay tuned to UKAthletics.com for complete coverage of the women’s golf team.