After dominating its competition throughout the regular season, the No. 3 Razorback women’s golf team is preparing for the Southeastern Conference Championship.
For the Hogs, the golf season closed out with a tie for runner-up in the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic from April 13-15.
The Hogs came in second behind No. 2 Alabama, according to GolfStat. The Razorbacks were 16 strokes behind the Crimson Tide. Junior Dylan Kim led the way, as she paced the team with a tie for ninth place, shooting only one over (73–74–68—215). Her last round of 68 was the lowest score of the team.
Not far behind was senior Alana Uriell and junior Maria Fassi, who tied for 12th, shooting 1-over par. Teammate Kaylee Benton tied for 17th (71–71–77—219) and finished 3-over par.
To gain more competition experience, junior Cara Gorlei played as an individual and placed 37th (74–78–75—227). Right behind her was freshman Maria Hoyos, who shot 12-over par (77–71–80—228).
The team collectively scored a 865 (290-284-291), tying Duke University, while the Crimson Tide shot 15-under par with an 849.
Razorback women’s golf coach Shauna Taylor was happy with how the team competed, not only over the weekend, but throughout the overall season.
“Our team did a fantastic job,” Taylor said. “We played some great golf, both in the fall and in the spring...as a coach, it takes a group effort, it takes a village to do great things, and I think they did a fantastic job of winning.”
The team has won five out of eight tournaments. In the fall, the team won the Mason Rudolph Championship on Sept. 15-17, the ANNIKA Intercollegiate on Oct. 1-3 and the Maryb S. Kauth Alamo Invitational on Oct. 22-24.
In the spring, the team won titles at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic on Feb. 11-13 and the Evans-Derby Experience on March 18-20.
This continued success could help momentum going into conference play.
Leading the way will be Fassi, who has won five out of eight tournaments this season.
Fassi thinks her mentality to focus on the task ahead aided her play, she said.
“I was focused on my daily progress and not on the tournaments,” Fassi said. “I think that doing that took a lot of pressure off the tournaments because I was focused on me and not on winning.
Taylor thinks Fassi’s training and experience has led to her success this season, she said.
“It is incredible,” Taylor said. “She is a very seasoned player. She came in as a freshman with a tremendous resume, but she has been able to gain tools and competitive experience that has allowed her to really shine.”
Now, a conference title is on the line and will soon be here to compete for.
Gorlei thinks the teams’ mindset will help in the postseason, she said.
“We need to go into it with a positive mindset and show the other teams we are capable of conquering out goals,” Gorlei said.
Taylor thinks the SEC is the toughest conference for women’s golf, she said.
The SEC has six teams ranked in the Top 25: No. 2 Alabama, No. 3 Arkansas, No. 10 South Carolina, No. 13 Florida, No. 20 Auburn, and No. 24 Vanderbilt, according to Golfstat.
The SEC tournament will take place April 18-22 at the Greystone Golf and Country Club in Birmingham, Alabama.
Taylor’s goal is to equip the team as best as she can, she said.
“Expectation-wise, my goal as a coach is to make sure we are prepared and we have a plan in place to be successful on the golf course,” Taylor said. “I think if everybody goes out and takes care of themselves and executes their plan, we will be in a position to win a championship come Sunday.”