Women's Golf
No. 25/21 Kentucky Women’s Golf Begins New Season at Cougar Classic

No. 25/21 Kentucky Women’s Golf Begins New Season at Cougar Classic

Quick Facts

CHARLESTON, S.C. – The University of Kentucky women’s golf team will embark on a new season Monday, competing at the Cougar Classic at Yeamans Hall Club (par 71, 6,269 yards) in Charleston, South Carolina, Sept. 12-13. The Wildcats will begin their 13th season under head coach Golda Borst, when they tee off in the 54-hole, stroke-play tournament.

The Cougar Classic will install a shotgun format, with 36 holes scheduled to be played Monday beginning at 8:30 a.m. ET and the remaining 18 holes scheduled to be played Tuesday beginning at 8:45 a.m. ET. The field features 18 teams, which is highlighted by four ranked teams, including host College of Charleston, UCF, Clemson, East Carolina, No. 6/11 Florida State, Furman, No. 19/17 Georgia, No. 25/21 Kentucky, Illinois, Louisville, Miami, Michigan State, North Carolina, NC State, NR/No. 23 Ole Miss, Penn State, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

“We’re excited to kick off our fall season at the Cougar Classic,” Borst said. “This tournament has great history, and I believe the course will suit our team well. We’ve got a group of veterans with us this week, who have been preparing for the season. Now it’s time to relax and just play golf.”



Kentucky is coming off of its second-best scoring average in program history, turning in a 291.23 in 2021-22. In fact, under Borst, UK has posted all 10 of the top-10, single-season team scoring averages in program history, with her recent teams stacking at the top of the list, including earning the school record scoring average just three seasons ago in 2019-20 (289.53).

The program will look to continue that pace at the season opener this week, which will mark its first appearance at the annual event since 2010-11. The Wildcats began their season at the Cougar Classic in September 2010, finishing in 10th place on a 46-over-par 898.

To tee off the season, Kentucky will boast a veteran lineup, which includes a combination of four returners and one graduate transfer. Senior Marissa Wenzler, senior María Villanueva Aperribay, junior Laney Frye, graduate transfer Ivy Shepherd and senior Jensen Castle will make up UK’s five-count-four grouping at the Cougar Classic.

Former U.S. Women’s Amateur Champion Castle has led the team in stroke average for the past two seasons, turning in a 72.7 scoring average through 29 rounds in 2021-22. In fact, she owns the top two single-season scoring averages in program history (71.8 in 2019-20, 72.7 in 2021-22).

She returns as a senior after recording three top-five finishes just a season ago.

Just fractions behind her, Frye put together a 72.7 scoring average as a sophomore in 2021-22, which checked in as the third-best, single-season scoring average in program history. She led the Wildcats with 14 rounds of par-or-better last season, including seven rounds in the 60s. She improved as the schedule wore on, too, earning three top-15 finishes in the spring season alone.

Frye is arguably playing her best golf and that was evident during the off season, winning the 2022 U.S. Women’s Amateur stroke play on a 10-under-par 136 and advancing to the round of 32 at the famed Chambers Bay. Just two weeks before that, she finished runner-up at the 2022 Sea Island Women’s Amateur on an even-par 210.

Villanueva Aperribay, who transferred to Kentucky after spending her freshman season at Augusta in 2019-20, has been a steady hand in the lineup for the last two seasons. She put together back-to-back stroke averages of 74.3 and 74.2, respectively, during her sophomore and junior seasons, with 84 percent of her rounds counting toward the team total.

Also making her return as a senior, Wenzler is coming off a 75.2 scoring average last season. She had a sensational summer, playing her way into the 2022 Women’s Western Golf Association match-play quarterfinals and finishing tied for second place at the Ladies National Golf Association on a 3-under-par 144.

Making her debut in Blue and White is graduate transfer Shepherd.

The Peachtree City, Georgia, native has spent the last four seasons at Clemson. There, she played in 27 tournaments and garnered 79 rounds, producing a 72.77 stroke average since her freshman season in 2018-19, which ranks second on Clemon’s all-time list. The two-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference performer is responsible for three of the top-nine, single-season stroke averages in Tiger record books, including 72.44 as a sophomore in fourth, 72.95 as a junior in seventh and 73.07 as a freshman in ninth.

The Wildcats can expect a slight chance of thunderstorms Monday and Tuesday, with temperatures reaching mid-to-upper 80s. If the field does not get through at least nine holes of the second round Monday, it will complete the second round Tuesday and forgo the third round.

Live scoring will be available on Golfstat.com.



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.

Rankings – WGCA/Golfweek

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