Kansas Women's Golf to Host Marilynn Smith Sunflower Invitational Monday

Sept. 21, 2012

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas women’s golf looks to build off its 11th place finish at the Dale McNamara Invitational as the Jayhawks, led by juniors Thanuttra Boonraksasat and Meghan Potee, host the 2012 Marilynn Smith Sunflower Invitational at Alvamar Country Club in Lawrence, Kan., Sept. 24-25.

Boonraksasat and Potee are both coming off the season opener at Broken Arrow finishing for 24thplace and tying for 30th out of 75 individual players.

“I feel like Meghan is very close to breaking through, she’s hitting the ball awesome and putting well, too,” said head coach Erin O’Neil. “I feel like it’s only a matter of time before she really takes it low. The same goes for Boonraksasat, hopefully her putting will start to kick in because she’s a great ball striker and I think it will be a big advantage this week playing at home.”

Boonraksasat tied for fourth place at last year’s Marilynn Smith Sunflower Invitational and Potee tied for 24th place alongside sophomore Gabby DiMarco.

“We got off to a good start to the season and played well the first two days,” said O’Neil. “We saw a big improvement with our short games and the greens we hit and our overall mental toughness. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to finish as strong, but we will definitely learn from that and make us better for the Marilynn Smith.”

The 12-team field will include Arkansas-Little Rock, Arkansas State, Florida Gulf Coast, Illinois State, Kansas, Kansas State, Middle Tennessee State, New Mexico State, North Dakota State, Oral Roberts, UMKC, UNI and Wichita State.

“We have teams coming from Florida, New Mexico State, Illinois State–kind of from all over the country,” said O’Neil. “We’re excited to show them what a great place Lawrence is.”

The Marilynn Smith Sunflower Invitational will be played on the public Championship Course. Layout for the Championship Course is a 6,636-yards, par-72 configuration and the greens feature bent grass. The tournament consists of 36 holes of continuous play on Monday with a shotgun start at 8:15 a.m. and 18 holes on Tuesday in a staggered shotgun format beginning at 8 a.m.

“I think the biggest advantage we will have with this tournament is with the greens because they’re a little deceiving so I think it’ll help to know the ins and outs of the greens and just being comfortable with the course,” said O’Neil. “Sleeping in our own beds and not having to worry about traveling is also an advantage.”

Joining Boonraksasat and Potee in the Kansas lineup are Audrey Yowell, Gabby DiMarco and Kawinpakorn Yupaporn. Also, competing individually in their collegiate debuts are Carly Humes, Mackenzie Thayer, Michelle Woods and Ann-Kathrin Wuensch.

“For most of the individual players it will be their first college event so I’m sure they’re excited and nervous; it’ll be a good chance for them to get their feet wet,” said O’Neil.

Tournament results will be available on www.kuathletics.com linked at the Marilynn Smith Sunflower Invitational central page and the women’s golf page.

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