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Arkansas Golf Teams Start Season off Hot

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Senior Alana Uriell moved up the leaderboard and ensured the No. 15 Razorbacks high ranking in round two of the Mason Rudolph Championship in Franklin, Tennessee, on Sept. 16.


The No. 33 men’s and No. 15 women’s golf teams off to a hot start as both teams won their most recent tournaments.

The women’s team won the Mason Rudolph Women’s Championship Sept. 15-17 in Franklin, Tenn. The men’s team took first in the Gopher Invitational on Sept. 10-11 in Independence, Minn.

Women’s Team

The women’s team tied the tournament record after shooting 41-under par in a three-day span.

Coach Shauna Taylor said she was excited with the early season success.

“It was stellar golf by everyone,” Taylor said on the Arkansas Razorbacks website. “It took a total team effort. We talk about teamwork a lot – you can’t win with just one person. We had three players in the top four, and it was tremendous for Maria to tie for the win. It was an extremely strong finish.”

Maria Fassi, a junior from Pachuca, Mexico, tied for first in the tournament with a three-round score of 65-71-64 — 200 . Fassi’s 16-under par was the lowest round in program history. Although Fassi earned first place, she was playing through hardship.

Her grandfather died on the first day of the tournament.

“It was really hard for me because he was a really special person in my life,” Fassi said. “My dad was going through a really tough time, and it broke my heart to know that I couldn’t be there for him, physically. The one thing that helped me a lot was to play for him and for my dad. I was extremely motivated, and my only goal was to put up a great show for my grandpa to watch.”

Other members of the women’s team had success in the tournament. Senior Alana Uriell placed third, with a score of 67–69–68 — 204, and Baylor transfer Dylan Kim tied for fourth, with 70-67-69 — 206.

“Our coach was proud of how we performed out there and how we have grown a lot in our golf game,” Uriell said. “She was proud of how we managed difficult situations and capitalized on our opportunities while out there. Overall we had great energy.”

Men’s Team

The men’s golf team also dominated the field at the Gopher Invitational, beating five top-20 teams to win the Gopher Invitational.

Coach Brad McMakin said he is happy with the start of the 2017 season and was excited about the improvement from the their first tournament, the Carmel Cup, to the Gopher Invitational.

“We got off to a good start for the first couple of tournaments,” McMakin said. “We didn’t have a great finish at Pebble Beach. I felt like we played really well but didn’t do the small things very well. We made 76 birdies in three days, so we had to clean up some mistakes, which we did in Minnesota. We lead the field again in birdies. We are doing a lot of really good things and will work on cleaning up a few small mistakes.”

Behind sophomore Mason Overstreet, the Razorbacks lead the field with a total of 51 birdies, eight more than No. 8 Baylor, Minnesota and Charlotte. The Razorbacks also tied the tournament record with a 4-under 848, as a team.

Alvaro Ortiz, a senior from Zapopan, Mexico, has had individual success this season. He has had back-to-back top 10 finishes. Ortiz also led the tournament with 13 birdies, six during the last day of play.

“It’s always nice to finish inside the top 5 and help the team,” Ortiz said. “I think my game was good overall, but my short game was what made the difference. For the next couple tournaments, if I could improve my game from the tee, that would really help me.”

Other members of the men’s team placed in the top 10. Sophomore Dylan Naidoo and freshman Kyle Robinson tied for eighth while freshman Landon Ernst tied for 10th.

“Placing eighth at my first collegiate tournament was very encouraging,” Robinson said. “It was a great experience, and I can't wait to go play another tournament wearing the Arkansas Razorback logo.”

Both teams are currently ranked in the top 35 in the nation and are looking to continue their success. The women’s team will compete in the ANNIKA Intercollegiate tournament Oct. 1 in Eden Prairie, Minn. The men’s team will compete in the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate tournament Oct. 9-10 in Vestavia Hills, Ala.

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