Women's Golf
Three Wildcats are in the Top 30 after SEC Championship First Round

Three Wildcats are in the Top 30 after SEC Championship First Round

BELLEAIR, Fla. – Laney Frye shot up the leaderboard at the Southeastern Conference Women’s Golf Championship on Friday, concluding the first round in a tie for sixth place on a 2-under at the Pelican Golf Club (par 70, 6,287 yards) in Belleair, Florida. The Bluegrass native, who is competing in the final conference championship of her college career, is just two shots off the lead ahead of the second round.

Meanwhile, the University of Kentucky women’s golf team is sitting in the middle of the field after 18 holes, tied for seventh place just 6-over. The Wildcats still have 36 holes to go, but are in position to make the cut, which includes the top eight teams after 54 holes of stroke play. The Cats are looking to make their first cut since the NCAA Championship format was installed six seasons ago.

South Carolina, the second-ranked team in the nation, has a four-shot lead at the conference championship after turning in a 5-under in the first round. Auburn and Texas A&M are tied for second place at 1-under.

Frye, a senior from Nicholasville, Kentucky, did her work early to help put the Cats in contention.

Starting on the back nine, she recorded three birdies in her first five holes to go 3-under. She added a bogey-birdie-bogey stretch on hole Nos. 15-17, then capped the back nine with a par on the par-4 No. 18. Frye made the turn, recording birdies on hole Nos. 2, 5 and 7 and bogeys on hole Nos. 3, 6 and 8 to turn in an even par on the front nine.

She shared the lead or runner-up several times throughout the day, settling into a share of sixth place at 2-under. She is one of just 11 players in the field to have recorded at least a 2-under or better, while she is just two shots off the lone leader Cayetana Fernandez Garcia-Poggio of Texas A&M.

While this is Frye’s last conference championship of her college career, it is Cathryn Brown’s and Marta López Echevarría’s first.

Those Cats are second and third in the lineup, respectively, after 18 holes.

Brown, a freshman from Eddyville, Kentucky, fired off a 1-over to sit in a tie for 23rd place. Competing in just the fifth tournament of her career, she kept a still scorecard in the first round, earning a pair of birdies on the par-4 Nos. 6 and 18 and a trio of bogeys on the par-4 Nos. 2, 16 and 17. Marta López Echevarría, a junior from Roquetas de Mar, Spain, also kept her scorecard clean Friday, carding a birdie on the par-4 No. 11 and three bogeys on the day.

In the first conference championship of their college careers, Brown and López Echevarría are sitting in the top third of the field.

Jensen Castle and Marissa Wenzler, graduate students who are competing in their fifth and final SEC Championship, found a bit of trouble on the golf course. Despite their history at the conference championship, this is their first time playing at the Pelican Golf Club.

Castle, a West Columbia, South Carolina, native, was 7-over through 11 holes, but she finished strong with five pars and a couple of birdies down the stretch. Wenzler, a Dayton, Ohio, native, put together a 6-over in the first round, sinking a couple of birdies on Nos. 5 and 14.

The Wildcats will play in the second round Saturday at 8:50 a.m. ET, paired with LSU and Ole Miss. The field can, once again, expect sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-to-upper 70s.

Big Blue Nation can keep up with the leaderboard on Golfstat.com.

T6 Laney Frye 68 (-2)
T23 Cathryn Brown 71 (+1)
T28 Marta López Echevarría 72 (+2)
T47 Jensen Castle 75 (+5)
T58 Marissa Wenzler 76 (+6)

For the latest on the Kentucky women’s golf team, follow the team on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, as well as on the web at UKathletics.com.

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