UK Women’s Golf Opens Spring Season with Match vs. Louisville
LEXINGTON, Ky. – After a three-month break in the season, the Kentucky women’s golf team is back in action this Sunday to take on its in-state rival, the Louisville Cardinals.
The second annual Battle of the Bluegrass will be held at Chariot Run Golf Course in Southern Indiana. The match will tee off the all-important spring season that will culminate in April with the Southeastern Conference Championship, and, if all things go according to plan, the team’s sixth straight NCAA regional appearance.
The match was originally scheduled to be played at the Legacy Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla., but unsuitable course conditions due to weather moved the match to Indiana. However, instead of playing 18 holes as originally planned, the two teams will now play 36 holes on Sunday because of the change.
“We are looking forward to our match against Louisville this weekend,” head coach Golda Johansson Borst said. “It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t get down to Florida but we are now able to get more holes in on Sunday, and I think that will make the match even more competitive. The team came back really focused and energized after the break and I am looking forward to them competing. It’s been a few months since we last played in a tournament round so this will be a good indicator of what we need to focus on before our first three-day event at UCF.”
Sunday’s match will mark the second annual Battle of the Bluegrass and the start of the spring season for both teams.
The Wildcats are coming off a 17th-place finish at the Landfall Tradition in late October to end the fall season. Louisville finished in sixth place in its last tournament in October, the Palmetto Intercollegiate.
Sunday’s match will be a change of pace for both teams in that it’s their only non-tournament format of the season. Both teams will square off in a one-day, 36-hole stroke-play format. No other teams will be involved.
Louisville won last year’s inaugural Battle of the Bluegrass.
Located in Laconia, Ind., across the Ohio River from Louisville, Chariot Run Golf Course is one of the region’s top public championship courses.
Champion Run is a spectacular equestrian-themed golf course that plays as long as 7,256 yards from the championship tees. The course features bent grass greens, sparkling lakes, lush fairways and beautiful trees.
In 2015, Golfweek voted it one of the “Best Courses You Can Play.”
Borst will roll out a familiar four to go along with freshman newcomer, Claire Carlin. Sophomore Isabelle Johansson, junior Jordan Chael, senior Cylia Damerau and freshman Anna Hack will join Carlin on Sunday.
Johansson will look to lead the team again after a team-best 75.6 scoring average in the fall. Johansson, similar to Carlin’s current situation, joined the team at this point last year and then went on to qualify for the NCAA Championships as an individual, the first Wildcat to do so since Heather Kraus in 1998.
Chael holds the best fall finish of any Wildcat in 2015-16 after a 10th-place tie at the Minnesota Invitational. Entering her final spring as a Wildcat, Damerau is coming off a season-low 54-hole round of 236 at the Landfall Tradition.
Hack, a Kentucky native, will appear in her fourth tournament/match in her career. She shot a career-low 73 in the final round of the Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invitational in the fall.
Carlin joins the Wildcats after a stellar career at Keller High School in Keller, Texas. She was the first player in Keller High School history to qualify for the Class 5A State Championship and was the first girl in school history to win the Girls 5A Region I Championship.
What’s at Stake
Momentum. The goal for this weekend is to start the spring season on a positive note in hopes to begin the path towards a school-record sixth straight NCAA regional appearance.
Though the fall season didn’t go according to plan because of injuries and inconsistencies, the Wildcats’ goals are still in front of them and achievable with a solid spring season.
The Wildcats have spent the offseason getting healthy, staying strong and building momentum, but the path to a sixth straight NCAA regional appearance begins now. Next week the Wildcats get back into tournament play with the UCF Challenge in Orlando, Fla.
How You Can Follow
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.