Kentucky Goes Under Par in NCAA Pullman Regional First Round
PULLMAN, Wash. – The front nine almost got the best of the University of Kentucky women’s golf team this afternoon, until the five-person lineup dropped seven strokes on the last hole thanks to three eagles and one birdie on the par-5 No. 9 at Palouse Ridge Golf Club in Pullman, Washington.
The Wildcats assembled a 1-under-par 287 for ninth place in the first round of the NCAA Pullman Regional on Monday, just four strokes and three teams behind the cutline.
The top five teams after 54 holes of stroke play at the regional will advance to the NCAA Women’s Golf Tournament, which is being held next week in Scottsdale, Arizona. The cutline is currently set at 5-under, while there is still 36 holes left to go.
Graduate transfer and Peachtree City, Georgia, native Ivy Shepherd paced the lineup Monday.
She had a tale of two nines, recording three birdies on the first nine, then logging three bogeys on the second nine. That was, until she made an eagle on her very last hole of the day, the par-5 No. 9.
That eagle broke her even par in the nick of time, producing a 2-under-par 70 for a share of 18th place after the first round at the NCAA Pullman Regional. Meanwhile, her 2-under scorecard marked her 11th round of par-or-better in 2022-23.
Shepherd’s eagle wasn’t the only one, though, as UK collected four eagles in the first round, including a trio of eagles on the par-5 No. 9.
Laney Frye was the last player to claim one of those eagles on the par-5 No. 9. In fact, she went 4-under through her final three holes of the day, firing back-to-back birdies on Nos. 7 and 8, just before her closing eagle.
That stretch helped the All-Southeastern Conference Second Team honoree get under par for the tournament, the first time she had been under par all day, as she sits in a tie for 24th place on a 1-under-par 71.
Jensen Castle was the lone ‘Cat who didn’t record an eagle Monday, but that didn’t affect her one bit, as she collected a team-high seven birdies in the first round.
She was hot out of the gate this morning, going 3-under through her first four holes. She then suffered a bogey-par-triple stretch on hole Nos. 14-16, but immediately recovered with back-to-back birdies before making the turn to the front nine. There, she charted a double on the par-4 No. 2 and a single on the par-4 No. 8, but she used a pair of birdies in her final three holes of the day to get back to even par for the tournament.
The All-SEC Second Team selection is tied for 30th place ahead of the second round.
María Villanueva Aperribay had one of the most impressive starts of anyone on the golf course, collecting two birdies, an eagle and just one bogey to make the turn 3-under and in a share of second place on the individual leaderboard. She ran into some trouble in her second nine though, marking a trio of bogeys and a double on the par-5 No. 7.
Villanueva Aperribay, who was one of two Wildcats to receive their undergraduate degree last weekend, concluded the first round in a tie for 47th place on a 2-over-par 74.
Marissa Wenzler began the first round with a 1-over on her first nine, recording a trio of bogeys and a pair of birdies. She maintained that 1-over through the first five holes on her second nine, until she suffered a bogey on the par-3 No. 6 and a double on the par-4 No. 8. The Wildcat recovered from that double on the very next hole, recording an eagle on the par-5 No. 9.
Wenzler, who just earned a bachelor’s degree in finance last weekend, is in a tie for 47th place with a 2-over-par 74.
Kentucky will play in the second round Tuesday beginning at 11 a.m. ET, paired with Cal Poly and Clemson.
T18 Ivy Shepherd 70 (-2)
T24 Laney Frye 71 (-1)
T30 Jensen Castle 72 (E)
T47 María Villanueva Aperribay 74 (+2)
T47 Marissa Wenzler 74 (+2)