Wildcats, Laney Frye Lead the Field at the NEXUS Collegiate
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Wildcats impressed in the first round of the NEXUS Collegiate on Monday, turning in the only under-par scorecard for a five-shot lead at the Albany Country Club in Nassau, Bahamas. Laney Frye also has a one-shot lead on the individual leaderboard after recording her eighth round in the 60s through 15 rounds this season.
The University of Kentucky women’s golf team shot a 3-under-par 285 in the first 18 holes of the NEXUS Collegiate, five shots ahead of hosts and runner-up Texas Tech (+2) and six shots in front of North Texas (+4).
UK’s 3-under is its fourth-best round through 15 rounds this season.
Meanwhile, three Cats in the lineup are in the top 10 on the individual leaderboard and every Cat playing is sitting in the top half of the field.
Frye, a senior from Nicholasville, Kentucky, paces the team and the 66-person field on a better-than-perfect scorecard in the first round, which featured four birdies and 14 pars. Her 4-under-par 66 marked her 10th par-or-better round this season and her eighth round in the 60s through 15 rounds in 2023-24.
She is one shot ahead of runner-up Lauren Zaretsky of Texas Tech and two shots ahead of a pair of Illinois players, Isabel Sy and Yurang Li, tied for third place.
UK’s other players in top 10 include Marissa Wenzler (T5, -1), Cathryn Brown (T5, -1), who is playing as an individual, and Jensen Castle (T10, E).
Wenzler led the team in birdies Monday, collecting two on the front nine and four on the back nine. The graduate student made a solid comeback in her round after going double-bogey-bogey through her first three holes of the day on Nos. 10-12. However, she went 5-under through her next nine holes to go under-par and stay there for the remainder of the first round.
Castle was 1-under through 12 holes, but she suffered a triple on the par-4 No. 4 to fall to 2-over. The veteran rallied two birdies down the stretch to get back to even par and a share of 10th place ahead of the second round.
Entering the lineup for the first tournament this spring season, María Villanueva Aperribay littered four birdies on the round, including her final hole, the par-5 No. 9, to get to 2-over Monday. The graduate is in a tie for 19th place. Playing in just her third tournament of the season, Marta López Echevarría had a calm, even-par round through her first 12 holes, until a double-bogey-bogey stretch on hole Nos. 4-6 gave her a 4-over in the first round. She is in a share for 31st place.
Brown, who is competing as an individual at the NEXUS Collegiate, concluded the first round with a 1-under-par 71. Her round included not one but two eagles through four holes, including on the par-5 No. 3 and the par-5 No. 6. She also rallied a pair of birdies on the front nine, all of which made up for five bogeys on the round.
The Wildcats has turned in three rounds under-par through four total rounds in her college career thus far. She is currently tied for fifth place at the NEXUS Collegiate, with 36 holes to go.
Kentucky will compete in the second round Tuesday at 7:45 a.m. ET, paired with Texas Tech and North Texas.
1 Laney Frye 68 (-4)
T5 Marissa Wenzler 71 (-1)
T10 Jensen Castle 72 (E)
T19 María Villanueva Aperribay 74 (+2)
T31 Marta López Echevarría 76 (+4)
IND: T5 Cathryn Brown 71 (-1)