Jensen Castle Capitalizes on Back Nine, Tied for the Lead at Florida State Match Up
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Jensen Castle had a stunning second round at the Florida State Match Up on Saturday, producing a 5-under-par 67 to earn a share of the lead ahead of the final round. The Wildcat went -5 on the back nine alone, turning in the best 18-hole round of the tournament thus far.
Meanwhile, the University of Kentucky women’s golf team battled through unideal elements during the second round at Seminole Legacy. The Wildcats began the morning with a 90-minute weather delay, before assembling a 9-over-par 297 in the second round for a 13-over-par 589 tournament total to remain in third place ahead of the final round.
Kentucky is just two shots behind second place, which is occupied by Augusta. The Jaguars improved three spots on the team leaderboard thanks to a 3-over-par 291 Saturday. UK is 17 shots behind the leader and host No. 12 Florida State, as the Seminoles carded a second-round, 3-under-par 285.
Castle, a senior from West Columbia, South Carolina, is pacing the Cats in pursuit of their third finish inside the top three in 2022-23.
The All-SEC golfer registered her seventh round in the 60s this season with her 67 Saturday, helping her produce a 7-under-par 137 tournament total and force a share of the lead.
She was in second place going into the second round, and then suffered a bogey on her first hole. She never waivered though, making 12 pars, four birdies and an eagle from there on out. Her scorecard included a birdie-par-birdie-eagle-birdie stretch on hole Nos. 11-15, briefly becoming the lone leader.
She is tied with Florida State’s Lottie Woad, the ninth-ranked player in the nation according to Golfstat, while the pair are seven shots ahead of second place. Castle is in pursuit of her second medalist honor this season, just five months after turning in a 7-under-par 209 for the tournament title at the Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invitational last October.
There is still one other Cat in the hunt for a finish inside the top 10, and that is María Villanueva Aperribay.
The senior’s resiliency was on full display in the second round, after bouncing back from a +6 on the front nine to go -3 on the back nine to record a 3-over-par 75 Saturday. Villanueva Aperribay had four straight pars to begin the second round, before she was plagued with a triple-double-par-bogey stretch over the next four holes. She made the turn like nothing ever happened, going -3 on six pars and three birdies, including the par-4 No. 18.
Villanueva Aperribay has a 4-over-par 148 tournament total and is tied for 13th place, just one stroke behind the top 10. The San Sebastián, Spain, native hasn’t finished in the top 10 of a tournament since sharing fifth place at the 2021 NCAA Columbus Regional.
Ivy Shepherd matched her first-round 76 with a second-round 76 Saturday, assembling an 8-over-par 152 for a share of 26th place. The graduate transfer from Peachtree City, Georgia, is in contention for her second finish inside the top 30 this season. Meanwhile, Marissa Wenzler is just one stoke off the top 30, after recording a 9-over-par 81 in the second round for a 10-over-par 154 tournament total.
Marta López Echevarría, a sophomore from Roquetas de Mar, Spain, improved her score three strokes from the first round to the second round. Under harsh conditions, she rallied a 7-over-par 79 Saturday. The Wildcat’s scorecard included a pair of birdies, her first of the event, capitalizing on the par-5s on Nos. 6 and 11. She is sitting at 17-over-par 161 for 54th place ahead of the final round.
Kentucky will tee off in the final round Sunday beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET on the first tee, paired with Augusta and Florida State.
T1 Jensen Castle 70, 67 … 137 (-7)
T13 María Villanueva Aperribay 73, 75 … 148 (+4)
T26 Ivy Shepherd 76, 76 … 152 (+8)
T34 Marissa Wenzler 73, 81 … 154 (+10)
54 Marta López Echevarría 81, 72 … 161 (+17)