Kentucky records its season-best finish at UCF Challenge

Hunter Shelton

Treacherous weather and tough conditions rocked the UK women’s golf team in final round of the UCF Challenge. 

After shooting a 289 (1-over-par) in round one and recording a 288 (even-par) during round two at the Eagle Creek Golf Club in Orlando, Florida, the Cats couldn’t continue their consistency on day three. They ended the round at 13-over-par, by far their worst showing in the event. 

While their performance isn’t the output with which they wanted to conclude, it didn’t cost them on the leaderboard. Their seventh-place finish is their best of the season, while their 14-over-par total is also a season best. 

María Villanueva Aperribay came into the day with Kentucky’s top score, tied for sixth individually at 2-under-par. Unfortunately for her, the sophomore was unable to keep her momentum going on Tuesday. Two double-bogeys plagued her front nine on the way to a 5-over-par round and 3-over-par tournament score, leaving her tied for nineteenth on the individual scoreboard.  

Right beside Aperribay was fellow sophomore Jensen Castle, who also finished at 3-over-par. The West Columbia, South Carolina native split the difference of her day one (even par) and two (+2) scores with a 1-over-par 73.

Laney Frye tallied a 1-over-par final round as well. Following her even-par performance in round two, the freshman didn’t bogey a hole on the back-nine today.  

Marissa Wenzler came into the day sitting at even-par, but two backbreaking quadruple-bogeys were the story of Tuesday, leading the way to a 13-over-par round. Rikke Svejgård Nielsen couldn’t find her footing on day three either, ending with a 6-over-par round to end the tournament at 10-over-par. 

The Wildcats ultimately lost to challenge champion Virginia by nineteen strokes. The Cavaliers, who defeated second place and fellow ACC member Wake Forest by one stroke, were the only team to shoot under-par in round three. Round two leaders Houston shot a 20-over-par third round, spoiling their title hopes. The Cougars’ Karen Fredgaard won the individual scoring title by going a spectacular 7-under-par.  

The Wildcats second tournament of the spring will also take place in the Sunshine State. The three-round Florida Gators Invitational, taking place at Mark Bostick Golf Course in Gainesville, begins on February 21.