Kentucky wins Illini Women’s Invitational; earns first tournament win since 2020


Tim Cowie/Tim Cowie Photography

Kentucky womens golfer Laney Frye competes in the third round of the NCAA Championship finals at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. Photo by Tim Cowie, provided by UK Athletics

Ali Cetinok, Assistant Sports Editor

Kentucky womens golf brought home the Illini Women’s Invitational tournament title on Tuesday, earning its first tournament win in two years. 

The Wildcats recorded the three  of its best scores in program history with 275, 277 and 278, as well as a new school record with 34-under-par (830) for the first place finish.

Action began on Monday, Oct. 10, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Illinois, with the first round seeing Kentucky set a school record of 275 in the first round and 277 the second round later in the day. The score of 277 also marked the third-best round in team history.

The Wildcats recorded a score of 10-under-par (278) in the third round, which tied the fourth-best round score in program history.

Kentucky ultimately won the tournament, seeing three Wildcats in the top 15 including Laney Frye, Jensen Castle and Marissa Wentzler, with Castle and Wentzler finishing in the top 10.

Frye also earned her second-straight score within the 60s, going three-under her first nine holes before hitting a speed bump in the form of a bogey on hole 11. Frye went on to record five pars and three birdies to finish the final round with a five-under-par (67), tying her career low.

Castle also finished within the top 10, her best finish this season, going two-under-par through her first 12 holes. She recorded a bogey on hole 13, but recovered with three birdies to finish with a score of 11-under-par (205), an impressive showing for the 2021 U.S. Women’s Amateur Champion.

Marissa Wentzler recorded a one-under par (71) on Tuesday, scoring 68, which was her career best, 69 and 71 in the tournament to produce a score of eight under-par (208), beating her career best by eight strokes and finishing in 11th place.

Maria Villanueva Aperribay earned a one-under par (71) on Tuesday as well, finishing with a score of one-under-par (215) and a share of 35th place.

Ivy Shepherd followed suit, recorded a one-under-par (71) in the final round for an even-par (216) finish and took 40th place. Her first and third-round scores of one-under-par (71) were season bests.

Kentucky returns to action in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, for the Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invitational from Oct. 17-18.