UK Women’s Golf Bounces Back at LSU Tiger Golf Classic
First-round results | Second-round tee times
BATON ROUGE, La. – Talk about a bounce back.
Two weeks after a 17th-place finish at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate, the Kentucky women’s golf team found a way to regroup and put itself in contention after a windy first round at the LSU Tiger Golf Classic at the University Club in Baton Rouge, La. As a matter of fact, the Wildcats were actually in a tie for first place late in the afternoon Sunday.
By the time the day was over, UK sat in a tie for sixth place with a first-day score of 307. Led by senior Cylia Damerau and freshman Anna Hack, who are in a tie for fifth place and 11th place, respectively, the Wildcats are 14 shots back of first-place Duke but just eight shots removed from the lead.
Kentucky was actually in a tie with Duke at 5-over par through the first 12 holes before the wind really picked up on the final six holes of the day – when a majority of the other teams had already finished their rounds – and moved UK back into the pack.
“Today's round was a true test of mental toughness, and our score is not indicative of how well our team played overall,” head coach Golda Johansson Borst said. “We played very solid on the front, and once we got to the back the wind really started to pick up. Most of the holes were played into the wind at 25-30 miles per hour, and the round ended up taking over six hours. This resulted in some struggles for us and we gave up a few too many shots due to it.
“I'm really proud of Cylia and Anna. They stepped up for us today and played solid all day despite the tough conditions. Knowing that we left a lot of shots out there on the back nine, I know they will be ready to get back on the course in the morning.”
Play resumes Monday at the University Club with the second round at 8:30 a.m. The 54-hole tournament concludes Tuesday.
The Wildcats leaned on their senior leader, Damerau, in bouncing back from the disappointing tournament two weeks ago. Damerau, who looked to be finding her groove in February when she placed a career-high fourth at the UCF Challenge, appears to have regained her swing this week and is right in the thick of things for the individual title.
At 1-over par through the first 18 holes, Damerau is in a tie for fifth place and six shots back of Duke’s Celine Boutier, the only player in the field to shoot under par Sunday.
Damerau showed a steely resolve on Sunday with her performance. Starting on the back nine, the Cham, Switzerland native recorded two birdies on her opening nine holes and was at even par at the turn because of two bogeys. In the face of 25-mile-per-hour gusts, Damerau held it together and recorded eight straight pars before a bogey on the final round of the day.
Damerau’s 73 is her third-best round of the season, behind only a pair of 71s when she finished in fourth at the UFC Challenge.
If Damerau has been the steady senior of late, it’s Hack who has showed signs of the promising future. The first-year Wildcat from Paducah, Ky., continued her rapid improvement with an opening-round 75, which is also the third-best round of her career.
At 3-over par, Hack is in 11th place and within three shots of second. With two birdies and few mistakes on her first 15 holes, Hack was at even or 1-over par for most of the day until a double bogey on her 16th hole of the day.
Freshman Isabelle Johansson, Kentucky’s most consistent performer this season, was right there with Damerau and Hack after the opening nine holes thanks to a pair of birdies, but the wind got the best of the Sala, Sweden native on the back nine and dropped her back to 7-over par and in a tie for a tie for 45th place.
Junior Jordan Chael strung together six straight pars on the front nine but was one of the victims of a windy back nine. She’s in a tie for 56th at 8-over par.
Sophomore Grace Rose finished Sunday in a tie for 90th at 14-over par with just her third round in the 80s this season.
This week’s tournament is being held at the University Club in Baton Rouge. Playing as 6,237 yards and par 72, the course was recently redesigned and renovated under the guidance of PGA Tour pro David Tom and renowned golf course architect Jim Lipe. The challenging layout features wide fairways bordered by pine hammocks and native grasses, in addition to 2,000 feet of beautiful bulkhead.
In addition to four top-25 team and nine top-50 teams, this week’s field also features seven Southeastern Conference teams.
Fans can continue to follow along with the tournament at golfstat.com.
As always, fans can follow the team on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, as well as on the web at UKathletics.com, for the latest Kentucky women’s golf information.
LSU Tiger Golf Classic
Baton Rouge, La.