Laney Frye Breaks Her Own School Record for Most Par-or-Better Rounds, Jumps to a Tie for Third Place
SUNSET, S.C. – Laney Frye rattled the individual leaderboard at the Clemson Invitational, starting the round tied for 30th place and ending the round tied for third place. Meanwhile, the University of Kentucky women’s golf team has three players in the top 20, in a field of 84, after recording a 3-under-par 285 in the second round.
The Wildcats, who didn’t tee off until noon ET in a shotgun format because of severe weather in the area, have an even-par 576 tournament total and improved to fourth place ahead of the final round.
Frye paced the lineup Saturday, stunning the field with a 5-under-par 67. It marked her first sub-par round since Feb. 12, en route to breaking her own school record for most par-or-better rounds in a season with 15.
Prior to the second round, three players were tied for the school record, including Leonie Bettel (14 in 2018-19), Laney Frye (14 in 2021-22 and 14 in 2022-23) and Jensen Castle (14 in 2022-23). Now, Fyre is the lone record holder.
Frye accomplished that feat with her performance in the second round of the Clemson Invitational, which included an impressive six birdies and an eagle. The junior started on hole No. 7 in 30th place Saturday, then right off the bat suffered a bogey on the par-4 No. 8. She recovered with a birdie on her very next hole, then went par-eagle to begin the back nine. The Wildcat marked a second bogey on the par-3 No. 12, but finished the back nine with a trio of birdies and a trio of pars. Frye found her third bogey on the par-4 No. 1, before finishing up the second round with two more birdies and three more pars.
The Lexington, Kentucky, native, climbed up 27 spots on the individual leaderboard for a share of third place on a 3-under-par 141 tournament total. She is tied with two others for third place, while the threesome is just two shots behind second place (Morgan Ketchum, Virginia Tech) and six shots behind first place (Annabelle Pancake, Clemson).
Teammates Ivy Shepherd and Marissa Wenzler both remained even par for the tournament, matching their first-round 72s with second-round 72s.
For Shepherd, it marked her eighth round of par-or-better this season. The graduate transfer started on hole No. 4 Saturday, once again recording a rather calm round. She had a birdie-par-bogey stretch at the end of the front nine on hole Nos. 7-9, then a bogey-par-birdie stretch at the end of the back nine on hole Nos. 16-18.
For Wenzler, it marked her 10th round of par-or-better in 2022-23. Similar to Shepherd, she found her way to even par with just two bogeys on the front nine and two birdies on the back nine, filling in the rest of her scorecard with pars.
Shepherd’s and Wenzler’s steady hands helped them to an even-par 144 tournament total, respectively, for a share of 17th place.
María Villanueva Aperribay got to the hole in three shots on the par-4 No. 6 to begin the second round at the Clemson Invitational. She had four birdies overall on the round, to help clean up six bogeys on the course, as the senior rallied a 2-over-par 74 Saturday. She is 3-over-par 147 for the tournament, sitting in a tie for 31st place.
Marta López Echevarría flew into Sunset to support the lineup after Jensen Castle had to retire before teeing off in the tournament (rib). On her birthday, the sophomore recorded an 8-over-par 80.
The Wildcats will tee off in the final round in a shotgun format Sunday at 9:30 a.m. ET, paired with leader and host Clemson (-7), second-place LSU (-4) and third-place Ole Miss (-3).