Women’s Golf Team to Tar Heel Invitational
The Arkansas women’s golf team is competing in its second tournament of the fall season this weekend at the Tar Heel Invitational in Chapel Hill, N.C. Being the fourth time the Razorbacks have participated in this event, head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor has the team geared up to compete for the tournament crown in 2012.
The Razorbacks finished 15th as a team last season at the event, rallying late in the tournament with a last-day total score of 288. The tournament featured some of the top teams in the region including North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and LSU. LSU captured the crown in 2011, shooting an eight under par as a team.
Junior Emily Tubert was the highest Razorback finisher at the Tar Heel Invitational last season, finishing one over for the tournament with a three-day score of 217, good for 15th overall. Tubert shot a two-under 70 the last day of the Invitational, and the team improved by 14 strokes from day two to day three.
That margin of improvement gives Tubert, as well as her teammates, a sense of confidence going into the same event in 2012.
“Any time you can go back to a course you have already seen, it gives you a little bit of an advantage. The more tournament rounds you have at a course the better prepared you are,” Tubert said.
The Razorbacks had five players finish in the top 100 at last year’s event. Emma Lavy, Victoria Vela, Emily Podzielinski and Audrey Monssoh were the rest of the squad’s top finishers, all of whom are on the roster again this year.
Even though experience is beneficial, some of the team’s youngest members may see this weekend as the right time to break out into stardom. Two freshmen from Mexico, Regina Plasencia and Gabriela Lopez, have made some noise on the amateur circuit the past few months and may be ready to make names for themselves as Razorbacks.
Plasencia recently finished 66th overall at the Women’s Amateur Team Championship in Turkey playing for team Mexico and Lopez participated in the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open. Both could see their opportunity arise in North Carolina this weekend.
This year’s field features 18 teams at the Finley Golf Club course, which is known for its false fronts, greenside bunkers and excellent playing conditions.
“The field is actually very strong there this year. It will allow us to see where we stand against some of the best teams in the country,” Tubert said.
The Razorbacks are counting the Tar Heel Invitational as one of the three events the team will compete at in the fall. The team placed third at the Old Waverly Bulldog Invitational that concluded on Sept. 12, with Emma Lavy shooting a team-best two under, good for fifth individually.
“I am really pleased with where our girls’ games are this time of year. We are right where we want to be, and that’s all I can ask for as a coach,” Estes-Taylor said.
Expect another high finish for the Razorbacks against a very strong and even playing field.