Arkansas’ women and men’s golf teams competed in their respective Southeastern Conference Championships over the weekend for their first postseason stops before the NCAA Regionals begin in May.
The men’s team tied for third place in the SEC Championships, which took place in Sea Island, Georgia, over the weekend.
“I’m extremely proud of our team,” head coach Brad McMakin said in a press release. “We played great all three days in some very tough conditions. We did a lot of good things this week and have nothing but positives to take away. It was great to have a chance to win, but I am very pleased with a third place finish.”
The Hogs were led by Taylor Moore and Charles Kim, who were the first pair from the program to earn top-ten finishes since 2008.
Moore tied for fifth place overall with a total score of 212 that included a 68 stroke round on Saturday. It was his second straight year to finish in the top ten at the SEC Championships. He led all individuals in pars with 40.
Kim, a freshman, finished alone in ninth place with a total score of 214. Kim led the team in scoring on the first and last days of the championship with a 71 and 70 on Friday and Sunday, respectively. Kim’s first conference championship ended with him posting his first top-ten finish as a Hog.
Nicolas Echavarria finished tied for 25th place after scoring a 73 on Sunday to bring his total to 219. Alvaro Ortiz and Kolton Crawford finished in 32nd and 38th place, respectively.
The Razorbacks finish the season ranked nationally at No. 23. They also must wait until Monday to find out where they are headed for the NCAA Regionals.
No. 8-ranked Arkansas traveled to Birmingham, Alabama, for the SEC Championships over the weekend. The team finished with an overall score of 882, good enough for third place behind No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Florida who finished first and second respectively.
The Hogs struggled on the first day of the SEC Championships with a combined score of 300 by the end of the round. Regina Plasencia led the Razorbacks on Friday with an even par 72.
“We just didn’t do a lot of the little things right and when you are playing a strong field it is tough to catch up,” head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor said in a press release. “We made some simple mistakes.”
The Hogs tidied up during the second round and charged up five spots on the leaderboard to third by Saturday’s end. Arkansas was led by Maria Fassi and Alana Uriell who both finished with a stroke count of 71.
“Alana got out of the gates well for us to shoot one-under,” Estes-Taylor said. “She is a tremendous ball striker and she gets a lot of confidence from that and she saw a lot of good things out of her irons today. Maria finished strong and birdied three of her last four.”
The Hogs saved their best team and individual performances for Sunday. Arkansas shot six strokes better on Sunday than the previous round, scoring a 288.
Uriell shot a 79 on Friday. She was the furthest Hog down the leaderboard until her performance on Saturday shot her from 52nd to 24th place. She finished the weekend at 13th place with a score of 71 on Sunday for an overall score of 220.
Fassi posted a 75 in the first round, which was her first postseason round of her collegiate career. The freshman’s performance in the final round of the weekend was even better as she led the Hogs with a 69 for an overall score of 215, placing her in a tie for fifth place overall.
It was only the second-best finish by a freshman in program history, according to Razorback Athletics. She finished the weekend with 15 birdies, tying with Florida’s Maria Torres for first place in that category.
Regina Plasencia followed up her par performance in the first round with two tougher performances of 78 and 76 on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. She finished tied in 31st place with fellow Hog Cara Gorlei, who shot a 76, 74 and a 76 over the three days of competition.
What is up next for the Hogs is yet to be determined. The NCAA Regional Selection show on Monday, broadcast on Golf Channel, will tell Arkansas where and who their next competition is.
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