Women's Golf
Kentucky Women’s Golf Unveils Updated Spring Schedule

Kentucky Women’s Golf Unveils Updated Spring Schedule

by Eric Lindsey

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Following COVID-19 safety guidance from university health officials and the Southeastern Conference, the Kentucky women’s golf team has altered and revealed its schedule for the spring portion of the 2020-21 competition year.
Similar to the fall slate, the Wildcats will play in SEC-hosted events only. Kentucky, which competed in three SEC- and regional-based events in the fall, will resume play in mid-February and compete in four tournaments in less than seven weeks prior to the SEC Championship.
The SEC approved league membership to play in tournaments within the league footprint in the spring. To keep COVID-19 testing protocols consistent, UK will only play in tournaments hosted by other league schools. The tournaments will feature nonconference competition, but all competitors will be tested under SEC protocol.
“It’s been an eventful last couple of weeks as our league has discussed how to manage the spring season,” UK head coach Golda Borst said. “I believe that we have landed in a great spot that will keep our team as safe as possible while also giving our student-athletes the best opportunity to compete against some of the best teams and players in the country. We are beyond thankful for Mitch Barnhart and Greg Sankey for their continued support of all of our teams and for giving us the opportunity to play under these challenging times. 
“We are excited about the schedule and our team is working really hard during this winter break to get ready for the first tournament of the spring in Gainesville. This is a motivated group and I know they will be prepared to compete in February.”
First up will be the Florida Gators Invitational presented by Vystar, Feb. 21-23. The tournament, hosted by Florida at Mark Bostick Golf Course in Gainesville, Florida, is nearly 50 years old, but this will mark Kentucky’s first appearance in the event since 2012. It will be UK’s first tournament in nearly three and a half months since the fall.
South Carolina will host a tournament as previously planned on March 1-3, but the location and tournament name have changed. Previously, the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate was scheduled to be played at Long Cove Club in Hilton Head, South Carolina. The tournament has been moved to Columbia Country Club in Columbia, South Carolina, and will be called the Gamecock Intercollegiate.
The Wildcats will compete in the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic on March 19-21 in Athens, Georgia. Georgia hosted a fall edition of the tournament in November to make up for the previously canceled 2020 spring edition. UK competed in the fall tournament and finished in a tie for eighth place. The Wildcats found some success at the UGA Golf Course with a 21-over-par 885, Kentucky’s best 54-hole total of the fall. The Wildcats were scheduled to appear in the 2020 spring tournament before the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the rest of the season.
The regular season will end April 6-7 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with the LSU Tiger Golf Classic. It will be a familiar stop for both Kentucky and Borst. The LSU Tiger Golf Classic was an annual spring stop for UK for more than a decade until the Wildcats’ last appearance in 2017, and Borst served as an assistant at LSU for three seasons prior to taking the head-coaching reins at Kentucky. LSU’s home tournament will be the only 36-18 two-day format of the spring. The University Club is also one of four NCAA regional sites this season.
The postseason schedule remains unchanged. The Greystone Golf & Country Club’s Legacy Course in Hoover, Alabama, will continue to host the SEC Championship, which is still slated for April 14-18. As always, the SEC Championship is expected to be one of the top conference tournaments of the season, as 12 of the league’s teams made the 2018 NCAA Regionals with six moving on to the NCAA Championships. In the final fall Golfstat rankings, 12 of the top 25 teams hailed from the SEC.
For the third straight season, the SEC Championship will mirror NCAA Championships format with three rounds of stroke play followed by two days of match play. The top eight teams will advance to match play.
NCAA Regionals will remain May 10-12 at one of the four following sites: Simpsonville, Kentucky (Louisville); Columbus, Ohio (Ohio State); Baton Rouge, Louisiana (LSU); or Palo Alto, California (Stanford). UK will try to return to NCAA Regionals seventh time in 11 seasons under Borst.
Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale will get another chance to host the NCAA Championships, May 21-26. The course was slated to host the national finals in three straight seasons from 2020 to 2022.
Kentucky still has high expectations with a talented and deep roster. The Wildcats battled inconsistencies and a difficult SEC-based schedule in the fall, but UK returned the bulk of the 2019-20 team that won two championships, placed second in another, set team and individual scoring records, and posted 10 top-10 and 20 top-20 individual showings.
In addition to sophomores Jensen Castle and Marissa Wenzler, who posted the best and third-best single-season stroke averages in school history as freshmen in 2019-20, UK added freshman Laney Frye and sophomore transfer María Villanueva Aperribay from Augusta. Frye led Kentucky with a 73.9 stroke average and a top-10 finish.
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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