UK Women’s Golf in Mix for Team, Individual Titles at Cardinal Cup

SIMPSONVILLE, Ky. – Over the course of a 54-hole tournament marathon, all one can ask for on the final day is opportunity. The Kentucky women’s golf team will have just that on Tuesday in the third round of the Cardinal Cup.

On moving day, the Wildcats held steady and have put themselves in position for both the team and individual championships with 18 holes left to play. 

At 14-over par, UK is in third place and 10 shots back of No. 7 Florida State. Three Wildcats are in the top 15 after the first two rounds, led by senior Jordan Chael, who is in third place and just three shots behind Wisconsin’s Brooke Ferrell.

Perhaps the most encouraging sign for Kentucky is the Wildcats feel like they can play even better and make a run at both titles on Tuesday.

“I thought the girls did a great job today for 13-14 holes,” assistant coach Brian May said. “We made some mental errors down the stretch that cost us quite a few shots. If we can eliminate those mistakes tomorrow and play Kentucky Wildcat golf, then we can put ourselves in good position to make a move.”

The final round – and the last round of the fall season for UK – will begin Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. with a shotgun start at the U of L Golf Club in Simpsonville, Kentucky, just a short drive from Kentucky’s campus. Admission is free and fans are encouraged to attend.

Live stats will continue to be available at 

The Wildcats are hoping to cap what’s been a solid fall season. UK has placed sixth or better in all three tournaments so far, including a third-place finish at the Ron Moore Women’s Intercollegiate two weeks ago that included a school-record 18-hole score of 277 in the final round.

Kentucky also has two individual titles to boast this year. Junior Isabelle Johansson won the season-opening Minnesota Invitational and freshman Sarah Shipley captured the individual bracket championship at the East & West Match Play Challenge. 

Heading into the final round, Chael is in the best position to add to UK’s decorated fall season at 2-over par, but she’s got several of her teammates, including Johansson (6-over par) and junior Grace Rose (8-over par) right behind her.

Chael’s game plan through the first two rounds has mirrored much of her Kentucky career: consist. The Overland Park, Kansas, native has a tournament-high 28 pars through 36 holes, including 15 more during her 3-over-par 75 on Monday. 

Chael was unable to record a birdie during the second round, but if she can find the same consistency Tuesday and add a few red numbers, she certainly has the ability to win the individual championship. Just two weeks ago at the Ron Moore Women’s Intercollegiate, she fired a 65 – the second-best round in school history (with records dating back to 1987) – in the final round to vault into a tie for seventh place. 

Johansson is seven shots back of the lead, but her championship at the Minnesota Invitational included a comeback effort as well. She was down four shots heading into the last day in Minneapolis and recorded a 68 to tie for the title. 

The Sala, Sweden, native will likely need something similar Tuesday, but she’s at least put herself in the mix after an even-par 72 Monday. Johansson led the Wildcats with three birdies in the second round for her team-high-tying fourth even- or under-par round of the season.

“Bella bounced back with a better round today,” May said. “She had a better attitude toward her round and that can take you a long way in this game. I look forward to her and the rest of the girls coming out hungry tomorrow and posting and good number.”

Rose, making her 2016-17 debut, is seeking her third career top-20 finish after posting a team-high two a season ago. The junior from Nicholasville, Kentucky, shot a 76 for the second day in a row and is in a tie for 14th place at 8-over par.

Freshman Sarah Shipley started the day on fire with nine straight pars but couldn’t sustain it on the back nine. She’s at 11-over par for the tournament and in a tie for 32nd.

Sophomore Claire Carlin is also making her first appearance of the season and is in 91st place at 24-over par.

Freshman Josephine Chang, playing as an individual only, is tied for 37th at 12-over par.

This week’s appearance marks the first time UK has played in the Cardinal Cup in the Golda Johansson Borst era. Hosted by Louisville, the U of L Golf Club is playing at 6,393 yards with a par of 72.  

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