UK Women’s Golf Heads to Orlando for UCF Challenge
ORLANDO, Fla. – Following a dual match with Louisville last week to kick off the spring season, the Kentucky women’s golf team will return to traditional tournament play this weekend with the UCF Challenge in Orlando, Fla.
The Wildcats will tee it up Sunday through Tuesday at the Eagle Creek Golf Club in Orlando. The tournament is expected to be the start of a solid tournament spring schedule for UK, as eight of the 18 teams in this week’s tournament are ranked in Golfstat’s top 50.
Play begins Sunday at 8:30 a.m. at holes No. 1 and 10. All teams will have a practice round on Saturday starting at 9 a.m.
“We are looking forward to getting back on the road this weekend,” head coach Golda Johansson Borst said. “We have been to the UCF Challenge for several years now and really enjoy this event. It works well into our spring schedule and the field is usually very solid. The golf course is one where the girls can really go low so I'm excited to see them take advantage of the conditions and have some fun.”
This year’s tournament will be 54 holes spread across Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Teams will play 18 holes each day, with the team and individual champions crowned on Tuesday.
Hosted by UCF, the UCF Challenge has attracted some of the top preforming teams in the country over the years. In addition to eight teams in Golfstat’s top-50 rankings, two are ranked in the top 25.
Virginia won last year’s tournament followed by Tulane and UCF. Both Tulane and UCF are back in this year’s field.
Kentucky, which is playing in the UCF Challenge for a third straight season, finished in 11th place in 2015 while posting two sub-300 rounds as a team, including a 284 in the second round, its lowest round of the season.
Eagle Creek Golf Club is a beautiful but yet elite golf course being designed by the Audubon International Silver Signature course. It is the first course in Florida to use technologically advanced Mini-Verde grass.
With 90 white sand bunkers and surrounded by water hazards and greens, the course will play at a par 72, 6,349 yards this week.
Eagle Creek has hosted a number of tournaments since 2005, including a PGA Pro-Pro Series tournament.
Borst will use sophomore Isabelle Johansson, junior Jordan Chael, sophomore Grace Rose, senior Cylia Damerau and freshman Anna Hack in the UCF Challenge. Freshman Claire Carlin will compete as an individual.
Four of the five Wildcats also played in the Battle of the Bluegrass last week.
Johansson led the team with a 75.6 scoring average for the fall and posted three top-50 finishes. She posted a second-place finish against Louisville.
Chael finished the fall season with an average score of 76.7 and recorded a 75 in the second round at the Battle of the Bluegrass.
Rose is making her first appearance of the spring after carrying the team in the final day of the Landfall Tradition with a season low and team low of 67.
Damerau, a senior, fired a first-round 75 in the Battle of the Bluegrass, and Hack, a freshman, carded a 77 in the first round.
Carlin will make her Kentucky tournament debut after seeing her first action as a Wildcat last weekend in the dual tournament vs. Louisville.
What’s at Stake
This is the first big tournament of the spring season so it will be important for the Wildcats to start the season with a strong showing and build some momentum
With more than three months off before the match against Louisville, the Wildcats have had time to revamp some things and come back ready for the all-important spring season. If the Wildcats are going to make a sixth straight NCAA regional appearance, they’ve got to start this weekend by building a postseason résumé.
How You Can Follow
Fans can follow along with live scoring of the UCF Challenge 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.