Castle, Frye Pace No. 23 Kentucky on Day Two of Therese Hession Regional Challenge
PALOS VERDES, Calif. – No. 23 Kentucky wrapped up the second of three rounds at the Therese Hession Regional Challenge on Monday afternoon. The Wildcats carded a nine-over par 293 to bring their two-round total to a 17-over par 585. With today’s results, the Wildcats improved their team standing by one spot, sharing a tie for seventh place with No. 6 Texas and No. 15 Arizona. Hosted by Ohio State, the tournament, played at Palos Verdes Golf Club (par 71, 6,017), will conclude with the final 18-hole round on Tuesday.
The 23rd-ranked Wildcats sit in the top half of a stacked 16-team field that features 10 teams ranked in the top 25, including three of the top five. No. 1 Stanford currently leads the field, surging into the lead with the only round of par or better Monday. The Cardinal currently boast a team score of 570 (+2) No. 3 San Jose State sits in second place, sitting just two strokes out of the lead with a two-day total of 572 (+4). No. 9 Southern California rounds out the top three, sitting at 577 (+9).
Kentucky sits seven strokes behind a three-way tie at fourth place and six strokes behind the nearest team ahead of the ‘Cats. The Wildcats, along with Arizona and Texas, hold a two-stroke lead on the next closest team, Illinois.
Kentucky began the day on the back nine, teeing off at hole No. 10 alongside Arizona and Illinois. The Wildcats started off strong, sitting with a team back-nine total of two-under par 142 after the first half of play. Ten of Kentucky’s 13 birdies on the day came on the opening back stretch. The ‘Cats cooled off after the turn, as their team score fell 11 strokes to conclude the round at 293 (+9).
The dynamic duo of senior Jensen Castle and junior Laney Frye continued to lead the way for the Wildcats in round two. Both players, individually ranked, respectively, 38th and 35th by GolfStat, currently sit in the top 20 of the individual leaderboard. Frye currently sits at T10, while Castle sits at T15. With her performance Monday, Castle was able to improve her individual standing by 12 spots.
Castle was one of three Wildcats, along with Frye and Ivy Shepherd, who recorded three-birdies on the day. Castle was able to record 17 holes at par or better, but an unfortunate triple bogey at hole No. 5 neutralized her round and left her with an even round.
Castle, competing in her first tournament of the spring season, recorded the lowest round of the day for the ‘Cats. Castle recorded an even-par 71, two strokes better than her first-round performance. With the result Monday, the senior from West Colombia, S.C. recorded a round of par or better for the ninth time this season and for the 37th time in her Kentucky career. Monday’s round brings her two-day total to a two-over par 144.
Frye continued to lead the ‘Cats with her overall score, leading Kentucky with a one-under par two-round total of 141. In the second round, the junior from Lexington, Ky. carded a one-over par 72 to close out the round as the ‘Cats second highest finisher. Despite scoring over par for the first time in the spring season, Frye continued to be the highest Wildcat on the overall individual leaderboard, a feat she has boasted in every round this season. She currently holds a 70.2 18-hole stroke average on the season, the lowest on the team.
Shepherd, a graduate student from Peachtree City, Ga., continued to shine for the Wildcats, as she lowered her total from yesterday with a performance of two-over par 73. Monday’s results brought Shepherd’s two-day total to a five-over par 147, slotting her at T28 and increasing her individual standing by ten places. Shepherd was one-under par at the turn but suffered three bogeys on the front nine.
Marissa Wenzler, a senior from Dayton, Ohio, bounced back from a tough first round to improve her final round score by four strokes. Wenzler recorded a six-over par 77, bringing her overall total to 158 (+16). She was able to record two birdies on the day. Maria Villanueva Aperribay, a senior from San Sebastien, Spain, rounded out the lineup for the ‘Cats with a twelve-over par 83, leaving her at 159 (+17) heading into the final day of play.
Play from Palos Verdes will conclude Tuesday, on Valentine’s Day, with one final round of 18 holes. The third and final round will feature a shotgun start, with all players across the sixteen teams teeing off at 11:15 ET. Frye will begin the day at hole No.9, with Castle commencing at No. 10, Shepherd at No. 11, Wenzler at No. 12, and Villanueva Aperribay at No. 13. Each Wildcat will play their round in a group featuring one athlete from Kentucky, Illinois, UCLA, and Pepperdine. The ‘Cats can expect a high of 58 degrees with a mixture of sun and clouds.
T10 Laney Frye 69, 72 (-1)
T15 Jensen Castle 73, 71 (+2)
T28 Ivy Shepherd 74, 73 (+5)
75 Marissa Wenzler 81, 77 (+16)
T76 María Villanueva Aperribay 76, 83 (+17)
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.