Kentucky womens golf records ninth place finish at Therese Hession Regional Challenge


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

Kelsey Carman, Reporter

Kentucky women’s golf finished in a tied ninth place finish at the Therese Hession Regional Challenge.

Out of 16 teams, the No. 23 Wildcats finished with a 12-over-par score of 296 on Tuesday in the final round, producing a 29-over-par score of 881 for the tournament at the Palos Verdes Golf Club.

“Really tough finish today, it was a tough finish to all three of the rounds,” Kentucky head coach Golda Borst said to UK Athletics. “We can take a lot of learning lessons from this and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”

In her first appearance of the spring, senior Jensen Castle paced the lineup to finish first for the fourth-straight tournament for the Wildcats.

“I think Jensen is just a straight competitor,” Borst said to UK Athletics. “Jensen is a breed of her own.”

Castle got off to a solid start, teeing off at hole No. 10 during the shotgun start at the Palos Verdes Golf Club.

Starting on the back of the nine, Castles recorded two birdies, an eagle and six pars to finish four-under-par through four holes to claim a share of fifth place.

The senior then earned a two-under-par score of 69 in the final round, marking her fifth-round scoring in the 60s and 10th round of par or better this season.

She turned in an even-par for the tournament, recording a score of 213, to claim a share of fifth place, marking her third-straight top-five finish for the 2022-23 season.

Laney Frye also put together a score of 69 on Sunday and a 72 on Monday, recording a five-over-par score of 76 in the final round. Frye was consistent in her first 11 holes, earning a bogey on the par-four hole 14 and a birdie on the par-five hole 16.

Unfortunately for Frye, over the last seven holes she recorded five bogeys, finishing in 19th place in the tournament with a four-over-par for a score of 217 total.

The Lexington, Kentucky, native has finished in the top 25 in five of the team’s six tournaments this season.

Ivy Shepard also finished tied for 55th place with a 13-over-par, for a score of 226, at the Regional Challenge. The graduate student finished with an eight-over-par in the final round.

Shepard notched a three-over-par on Sunday and two-over-par on Monday. Struggling on her first hole in the final round, she recorded a 10 on the par-four hole 11, though she bounced back with a birdie on the next hole, the first of her three birdies.

Shepard has proven herself this season, coming off a season-best eight-over-par 208 to tie for 11th at the UCF Challenge earlier this season.

Marissa Wenzler and María Villanueva Aperribay both finished the challenge with scores of

21-over-par, for a total score of 234, for a share of 74th place.

Wenzler had her best round of the event with a five-over-par on Tuesday, despite suffering a triple bogey on a par-four. Prior to the triple she had been two-under-par through her first seven holes of the final round.

Villanueva Aperribay played her best on Sunday, recording a four-over-par in the final round, going two-over on both the back and front nine.

The Wildcats played against tough competition in the tournament, with the field featuring 10 Golfstat top 25 teams, including three top-five teams. No. 1 Oregon came from behind to win the tournament title, posting four-under-par on the final day and a six-over-par for the event.

Highly ranked Stanford finished in second place with an 11-over-par score of 863, while No. 23 USC finished in third place with a 12-over-par score of 864.

Fellow SEC opponent Florida finished in 12th place with a 42-over-par score of 894 for the tournament.

With the tournament wrapped up, the Wildcats will take a break from competing before heading to Hilton Head, South Carolina, to compete in the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate Invitational at Long Cove Golf Club from Feb. 27-March 1.