No. 22 Kentucky Women’s Golf Heads South, Competes at the Unique Florida State Match Up
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 22 University of Kentucky women’s golf team will begin its final stretch of the regular season, with back-to-back tournaments over the next two weekends. The Wildcats will begin their run at the Florida State Match Up at Seminole Legacy (par 72, 6,225) in Tallahassee, Florida, on March 17-19.
The field features 12 teams, including one other team ranked in the latest Women’s Golf Coaches Association Top 25. The field is comprised of Augusta, Coastal Carolina, Daytona State, East Tennessee State, No. 12 Florida State, No. 22 Kentucky, RV Kent State, Mercer, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Purdue and Tulane.
The Wildcats have a 4-1 record against the field this season, having met just five of the 11 foes competing. The Cats will square off against Augusta, Coastal Carolina, Dayton State, Mercer, Notre Dame and Tulane for the first time in 2022-23.
The Florida State Match Up is a unique event and the first of its kind in NCAA Women’s Golf. The tournament will crown “match up” champions, a team champion and an individual champion.
For the match up portion of the tournament, Kentucky will be paired with Notre Dame. The match up team total will be determined by taking the best four scores from the partners and the worst score. The teams with the lowest score at the end of the tournament will be named the match up champions.
The 12 teams will tee off in a stroke-play format from 8:45-10:35 a.m. ET for the first two rounds, and then in a shotgun format at 8:30 a.m. ET for the final round.
Kentucky will sport a new lineup at the Florida State Match Up, with Jensen Castle, Marissa Wenzler, Ivy Shepherd, María Villanueva Aperribay and Marta López Echevarría.
Castle, a senior from West Columbia, South Carolina, is currently ranked 14th in the nation with a 71.1 adjusted scoring average, according to Golfstat.com. She has a 70.6 actual scoring average, with 1,271 strokes over 18 rounds. In her last four events this season, she has finished inside the top 10, a career-best streak for the senior. She has recorded 11 rounds of par-or-better in 2022-23, a number that is just one round less than her career-best 12 from last season and just three rounds less than teammate Laney Frye’s school-record 14.
The Wildcat is preparing to compete at the 2023 Augusta National Women’s Amateur in Augusta, Georgia, in just two weeks. Both Castle and Frye received invitations to compete at the esteemed event two months ago.
Shepherd (73.9), Wenzler (74.0) and Villanueva Aperribay (74.7) have competed in all 21 rounds this season, while they are all averaging rounds under 75. A testament to Kentucky’s depth, each of those Cats have finished inside the top 16 at least once this season.
López Echevarría (75.1) will make just the third appearance in the lineup of her collegiate career. The sophomore represented the Blue and White once already this season, stringing together rounds of 75, 74 and 74 to produce a career-best, 7-over-par 223. Her scorecard helped the team record the third-best tournament total in program history (-20).
Frye, a regular in the lineup, will return to competition next weekend at the Clemson Invitational at Lake Keowee.
The Wildcats, who have played in this event just once before, finishing in eighth place in 2018, can expect mostly sunny skies with temperatures in the 60s and 70s throughout the weekend. There is a 50 percent chance of showers for the second round on Saturday.