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UK Women’s Golf in Eighth Heading into Tar Heel Invitational Finale

UK Women’s Golf in Eighth Heading into Tar Heel Invitational Finale

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The Kentucky women’s golf team slid five places Saturday but remains in good position for a top finish after two rounds at the Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invitational.


The Wildcats only took six more strokes than their tournament-opening score, but on moving day at

UNC Finley Golf Course (par 72, 6,393 yards) in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, all seven teams now ahead of UK shot under-par rounds Saturday to move in front of Kentucky.


With 18 holes left to play, the Wildcats are at 2-under par overall and in eighth place after a 2-over-par 290 in the second round.


Score wise, UK held relatively steady despite falling five spots thanks to two more individual under-par rounds. After sophomore Laney Frye’s 4-under-par 68 and junior Marissa Wenzler’s 3-under-par 69 on Friday, juniors Jensen Castle and María Villanueva Aperribay took their turns in red numbers.


Castle climbed the leaderboard and moved all the way up into a tie for 17th place with a 3-under-par 69 on Saturday. Villanueva Aperribay rode a strong back nine to a 1-under-par 71.


“We are close to playing really well and putting a great round together,” UK head coach Golda Borst said. “We are just making some small mistakes that are costing us and this is such a competitive field that it’s hard to make it up. We’ve got some great golf within us and we’ve just got to keep giving ourselves chances. Our putts will fall.”  


Thanks to a tournament-record 63 by Rachel Kuehn, who now leads the individual leaderboard by three shots at 11-under par, No. 11 Wake Forest fired the round of the day with an 11-under-par 277. The Demon Deacons lead Virginia Tech by four shots at 16-under par.


With only one round remaining, first place is likely out of reach for UK with seven teams in front of the Wildcats, but they are in position for another top-five finish as they trail a three-way tie for fifth place by just a stroke.


Frye is also eyeing her second straight top-10 finish. At 3-under par overall, she is tied for 11th heading into the final round.


That finale will begin Sunday at 8: 45 a.m. with a shotgun start. Live scoring will be available at Golfstat.com.


Villanueva Aperribay and Castle used a slew of birdies on alternate nines for the two Kentucky rounds of the day.


Castle, the 2021 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion, opened the day on fire with three straight birdies on holes two through four, and four birdies over her first six holes. She parred the final three holes on the front nine to make the turn with a 32.


Although Castle couldn’t sustain the near-perfect play on the back nine and bogeyed a pair of holes, she got a stroke back with a birdie on No. 17 to finish with a 69. It marked the fourth under-par round in her last five collegiate opportunities.


Villanueva Aperribay took a much different approach than Castle. She was 2-over par on the day at the turn but torched the back nine with five birdies, including four straight on holes 10 through 13.


With a 71 in the second round, Villanueva Aperribay is at 1-over par for the tournament and tied for 33rd. Her under-par performance Saturday is her third in her last four rounds.


After setting a new career best with a 68 in Friday’s opener, Frye came back in the second round with a 73. She penciled in four birdies but was offset by five bogeys.


Junior Marissa Wenzler was held without a birdie Saturday after carding four of them in her 3-under-par first round. After a 77 Saturday, she dropped to a tie for 45th at 2-over par overall.


Freshman Marta López Echevarría made positive gains in her second career round for the Wildcats. After making her college debut Friday with an 82, she shaved off five strokes Saturday for a 77. At 15-over par overall, she is tied for 91st.


The Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invitational is traditionally one of the top stops on the fall collegiate slate, and this year is no different. The field features four teams ranked in the latest Women’s Golf Coaches Association top 15.


The Tar Heel Invitational was a mainstay on the schedule for the Wildcats in the past, with Kentucky having won twice in 1983 and 1989.


The Wildcats are coming off a fourth-place finish at last month’s Mason Rudolph Championship that included the third-best 54-hole total in program history and the best in opposing history.


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.


UK Women’s Golf in Eighth Heading into Tar Heel Invitational Finale – University of Kentucky Athletics – UKAthletics

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