Women's Golf


  • class Freshman
  • Hometown Louisville, Ky.
  • Major Marketing and Management
  • High school Sacred Heart Academy

Chip Shots

Favorite course: Calusa Pines Golf Club (Naples, Fla.)
Dream foursome (including herself): Arnold Palmer, Annika Sörenstam, Rory McIlroy
First time she broke par: Freshman year of high school
Favorite club: Putter (most days)
Favorite golf movie: Caddyshack
Favorite golfer: McIlroy
Favorite food: Anything from Chick-fil-A
Favorite TV show: The Office
Favorite book: The Book Thief
Favorite class: Human Resource Management
Nickname(s): RyRy, Ry
Superstition(s): The number on my ball can’t match the day of the tournament (i.e. can’t use a Titleist 1 on the first day)

Career Stats Breakdown

2021-22 (Redshirt Junior): Played as an individual at the UCF Challenge in Orlando, tying for 82nd with a score of 223 (+7), her lowest 54-hole total as a Wildcat … Had a score of 1-under-par 71 in the first round in Orlando, her second-lowest ever … Tied for seventh at the Lady Bulldog Individual Championship in Athens, Georgia, for her best-ever finish as a Wildcat … Recorded a score of 5-over par in Athens while posting a score of even par at 72 in the first round for the second time in her career … Narrowly lost to Louisville’s Carly Haines in 20 holes in match play in the Battle of the Bluegrass at Club Pelican Bay in Naples, Florida … Played in her first collegiate tournament since the fall of 2019 at the Wolverine Invitational at the University of Michigan Golf Course in Ann Arbor, Michigan … Tied for 83rd with a score of 28-over par playing as an individual only … Dean’s List in fall 2021.

2021 Summer: Tied for third place with a two-round score of even par at the Kentucky Women’s Amateur Stroke Play Championship at Boone’s Trace National Golf Club in Richmond, Kentucky … Made it to the semifinals of the Kentucky Women’s State Amateur at the University of Louisville Golf Club in Simpsonville, Kentucky … With a two-round score of 5-over par, tied for sixth place at the Marion Miley at Lexington Country Club in Lexington, Kentucky … Tied for 24th at the Kentucky Women’s Open at 12-over par at Danville Country Club in Danville, Kentucky.

2020-21 (Junior): Did not appear in an event in 2020-21 …  UK’s representative on the Southeastern Conference Community Service Team for her leadership and dedication to helping others … SEC Spring Academic Honor Roll member … Dean’s List in fall 2020, spring 2021 … Member of UK’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

2020 Summer: Fifth-place finish at the Kentucky Women’s Individual Stroke Play Championship at Griffin Gate Golf Resort in Lexington … Placed 13th at the 75th Marion Miley at the Lexington Country Club in Lexington.

2019-20 (Sophomore): Averaged 77.8 strokes per round in two events in the shortened season … Playing as an individual, tied for 37th with a score of 10-over par at the Bettie Lou Evans Invitational at the University Club of Kentucky in Lexington … Her 227 at the Bettie Lou was one off her career best … Finished in a career-best tie for 25th with a score of 25-over par at the MSU Greenbrier Invitational at Greenbrier Golf & Country Club in Lexington … SEC Spring Academic Honor Roll member … Dean’s List in fall 2019, spring 2020 … Member of UK’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

Summer 2019: Tied for third at the Marion Miley Invitational at the Lexington Country Club in Lexington … Tied for 12th at the Kentucky Women’s Open with a score of 8-over par at Frankfort Country Club in Frankfort, Kentucky.

2018-19 (Freshman): Played in six events in her first season at UK with a 78.0 stroke average … Notched the then-best finish of her career by tying for 38th place with a score of 234 (18-over par) at the Colonel Classic at the University Club at Arlington in Richmond, Kentucky … Competing as an individual, tied for 51st at the Reynolds Lake Oconee Collegiate Championship in Greensboro, Georgia, with a score of 18-over par … Won her individual match vs. Louisville’s Meghan Nay 1 up on the 19th hole in the match-play Battle of the Bluegrass at Hoover Country Club in Birmingham, Alabama … Averaged a 78.0 stroke average in the fall … Tied for 67th at the Bettie Lou Evans Invitational at UK’s University Club of Kentucky in Lexington with a score of 20-over par … Placed 89th with a 241 (28-over par) at the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship at Cherokee Country Club in Knoxville, Tennessee … Finished in a tie for 42nd in her first career college tournament with a 9-over-par 225 at the Minnesota Invitational at Prestwick Golf Club in Woobury, Minnesota … Got off to a tremendous start on the first day of action in a 36-hole season-opening marathon with a 2-under-par 70 in the second round … The 70 was the best score by a freshman since Isabelle Johansson fired a 70 in the first round of the 2015 NCAA South Bend Regionals …. Women’s Golf Coaches Association All-American Scholar Team member … SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll member … Dean’s List in fall 2018, spring 2019.

Summer 2018: Tied for sixth with a score of 10-over par at the Marion Miley Invitational at the Lexington Country Club in Lexington … Tied for 15th and 10th among all amateurs at 7-over par at the Kentucky Women’s Open at the U of L Golf Club in Simpsonville, Kentucky.

Before UK: One of the most prolific Kentucky girls junior players in recent memory … Won the Kentucky High School Athletic Association 2017 individual state championship … Led Sacred Heart Academy to the 2014, 2016 and 2017 KHSAA team state titles … Tabbed Kentucky All-State First Team in 2017 … Crowned Region 5 individual champion in 2015 and 2016 … Four-time All-Region 2 First Team selection … Led Sacred Heart to the Region 5 championship four consecutive years (2014-17) … Guided Sacred Heart to back-to-back undefeated seasons in 2016 and 2017 (34 consecutive team wins) … First girl in Sacred Heart history to win both the team and individual state titles … Three-time Courier Journal Girls Golfer of the Year (2016-18) … Finished fifth at the Kentucky Junior Amateur, seventh at the Justin Thomas Junior Championship (an American Junior Golf Association event) and 12th at the AJGA City of London Championship.

Personal: Born July 21 … Daughter of Bob and Leslie Bender … Has two younger brothers, Robbie and Riley, and a younger sister, Reagan … From Louisville, Kentucky … Comes from a family of athletes with seven family members having played Division I sports, including six in golf … Her mother, Leslie Bender, played golf at Vanderbilt … Her mother also coached her at Sacred Heart Academy … Her cousin Megan Moir played golf at Kentucky from 2009 to 2013 and her aunt Donna Moir (Bender) played at UK during the 1983 season … Her grandfather Moe Demling won the Kentucky Open in 1971 … Made the honor roll in every semester at Sacred Heart … In high school, member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, 5 for the Field, Nutrition Club and Fight for Confidence Club … Was a frequent volunteer at the Berrytown YMCA Kid’s Café … Helped with the First Tee of Louisville and put on numerous golf camps for kids in Louisville … Majoring in marketing and management … Picked UK over Western Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky, Xavier and IUPUI. Her most memorable moment of her golf career was winning the individual and team state titles her senior year.

Why she chose UK: “The moment I visited Kentucky I felt at home. I fell in love with the school, the coaches and the team dynamics. I couldn’t ask for a more supportive school and program that will help develop me as a student-athlete.”

Bender’s Scorecard

Year Events Rounds Strokes Stroke Avg. Low 18 Low 54 Top 10* Top 20* Match Play Best Finish
2018-19 6 15 1,170 78.0 70 225 0 0 1-0 T38 (Colonel Classic)
2019-20 2 6 467 77.8 74 226 0 0 T25 (MSU Greenbrier Invitational)
2021-22 4 8 613 76.6 71 223 1 1 0-1 T7 (Lady Bulldog Ind. Championship)
Career 12 29 2,250 77.5 70 223 1 1 1-1 T7 (Lady Bulldog Ind. Championship)

*Does not include dual matches

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