Women's Golf
Leonie Bettel on ANNIKA Award Midseason Watch List

Leonie Bettel on ANNIKA Award Midseason Watch List

by Eric Lindsey

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Already off to one of the best seasons in Kentucky women’s golf history, senior Leonie Bettel is right in the middle of the ANNIKA Award race at the conclusion of the fall season. The ANNIKA Award annually honors the player of the year in college women’s golf, as selected by college golfers, coaches and members of the golf media.
Bettel was one of 20 players to appear on the ANNIKA midseason watch list, checking in at No. 19 on the list.
The senior from Austria is off to a historic start. In the fall alone, Bettel has already captured two individual championships, four top-10 finishes and is on pace for the best single-season stroke average in school history.
Bettel won her first college individual championship with a dominating performance at the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship in Knoxville, Tennessee, in September. Bettel rallied from a two-shot deficit on the final day of competition with a tournament-tying record score of 65 in the final round, tying the tournament record she set the season before. Her 65 was one shot off the 18-hole school record.
Bettel ended up with a 5-under-par 208 to win the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship by four strokes.
A few weeks later, at Kentucky’s home tournament, the Bettie Lou Evans Invitational, Bettel was even better. While leading UK to a team championship, the Wildcats’ first in five years, she shot an 11-under-par 205 for a two-shot victory.
In the process, Bettel set a number of marks. She became the first Wildcat to win two tournaments in a season since Lauri Berles in 1995-96, broke the 54-hole school record and set a new 54-hole tournament record.
And even when Bettel hasn’t won, she’s been right in the mix. She tied for sixth place at the season-opening Minnesota Invitational in Woodbury, Minnesota, and tied for sixth at the Trinity Forest Invitational in Dallas to close the fall season.
Nine of her 12 rounds in the fall were par or better, which is already the third most in a single season in school history. With a 70.6 stroke average, she’s well ahead of the school-record pace.
The ANNIKA Award is named for and presented by World Golf Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam, a 72-time winner on the LPGA Tour and 10-time major winner. Past winners include Maria Fassi (Arkansas, 2018), Leona Maguire (Duke, 2017), Bronte Law (UCLA, 2016), Maguire (Duke, 2015) and Alison Lee (UCLA, 2014).
A Kentucky player has never won a national player of the year award in women’s golf.
For the latest on the Kentucky women’s golf team, follow the team on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, as well as on the web at UKathletics.com.

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