Castle Remains in Contention for Arnold Palmer Cup Selection
NORMAN, Okla. – Kentucky women’s golfer Jensen Castle remains in contention for the Arnold Palmer Cup at the midseason checkpoint.
Castle, who leads the 21st-ranked Wildcats in top-20 finishes and stroke average, appeared at No. 11 on the February Arnold Palmer Cup rankings.
The Arnold Palmer Cup, which was co-founded by Arnold Palmer and the Golf Coaches Association of America, is a Ryder Cup-style tournament featuring the top men’s and women’s university/college golfers matching the United States against a team of International players.
Castle is in the conversation to appear in the 2020 tournament, which will be held July 3-5 at Lahinch Golf Club in Lahinch, Ireland.
The top six golfers from the final rankings in the spring from both the United States and international men and women – 12 total golfers – will be among the 24 individuals selected to compete in the Arnold Palmer.
Using Golfstat’s NCAA player rankings as a base, the Arnold Palmer Cup Ranking awards bonus points for wins and high finishes and a penalty for poor finishes. The ranking also contains a strength of schedule component.
Six committee selections per side (three men and three women) will be announced March 4 during the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
The next Arnold Palmer Cup Ranking will be announced March 5.
Castle, the highest-rated signee in Kentucky women’s golf history, has led UK to a historic turnaround. Through six team competitions, the Wildcats have already won two team championships, placed second at another tournament and are on a record-pace scoring average.
Ranked No. 21 in the latest Golfstat ratings (UK is No. 27 in Golfweek’s rankings), the Wildcats – still with plenty of work to do in the spring – appear primed for a return to the postseason.
Castle has had a lot to do with that.
The South Carolina native leads all Wildcats with a 71.9 stroke average, which — if the season ended today — would shatter the single-season scoring average (73.16) set by Leonie Bettel during her three-championship run last season.
Castle has finished in the top 20 in all five of her first six college tournaments – including tying for 12th this week with a score of even par at the Moon Golf Invitational – with two top-10 showings. In her first appearance for Kentucky, at the Minnesota Invitational, she clinched the team championship with a series of birdies late in the final round. She tied for third in Woodbury, Minnesota.
Eleven of Castle’s 17 rounds so far have been par or better. Not only are the 11a team high, Castle is just three short of tying Bettel’s single-season record of 14 set last season.
She’s ranked No. 50 in the latest Golfstat individual national rankings.
Castle arrived at UK as one of the most decorated high school golfers in program history. In addition to 2019 Rolex Junior All-America First Team honors by the American Junior Golf Association and numerous top finishes at elite national tournaments, Castle was a two-time individual state champion in high school, winning once at the 3A level and once at 5A. In 2018, she dominated the South Carolina Class 3A state championship with a 137, winning by 10 shots while setting the two-day state tournament record.
She also won the South Carolina 5A state title in 2016 at White Knoll High School, where she led the team to a state runner-up finish. Castle owns the nine- 18- and 36-hole school records at White Knoll, was a five-time All-State selection, a five-time All-Region pick (including one year on the boys’ team) and a three-time member of the Can-Am Junior Team.
Kentucky just played two tournaments in a matter of a week and a half to open the spring season. The Wildcats return to action March 13-15 at the Clover Cup in Mesa, Arizona, the beginning of three tournaments in four weeks.
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.