⛳ Jayhawks Head West to the Marilynn Smith Sunflower Invitational, Sept. 20-21

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas women’s golf will play its second tournament of the 2021 fall season at the Marilynn Smith/Sunflower Invitational, Sept. 20-21, at Colbert Hills Golf Course in Manhattan, Kansas.

Colbert Hills measures 6,221 yards with a 72 par and is serving as the host of the Marilynn Smith/Sunflower Invitational for the 11th time. Kansas will be one of nine teams in the field along with Arkansas State, Incarnate Word, host Kansas State, Nebraska, Sam Houston State, Toledo, Tulane and Wichita State. The 54-hole event will play two rounds Monday, Sept. 20, with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start. The final 18 holes will be on Tuesday, Sept. 21, with a shotgun start at 8 a.m.

“We are really looking forward to competing in the Marilynn Smith Sunflower Invitational in our home state,” Kansas first-year head coach Lindsay Kuhle said. “We had a really great last two days of practice and learned a lot from UNM where we feel confident and prepared.”

Kansas will go with the same lineup that competed in its first event at the Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational on the UNM Championship Course, Sept. 13-14, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the Jayhawks finished seventh in a 16-team field. KU will go with super-senior Sera Tadokoro, seniors Lauren Heinlein and Pear Pooratanaopa, sophomore Hanna Hawks and freshman Jordan Rothman. Additionally, senior Abby Glynn and freshman Caroline Wales will compete as individuals at the event.

“All of the players going are striking the ball extremely well and Colbert Hills is a course that rewards that,” Kuhle said. “Our short game and wedges will be key this week. If we can hit them close and make some putts, we will have a great week ahead.”

Tadokoro was KU’s top finisher placing fifth in the 93-golfer field last week at the Dick McGuire Invitational. It was the super-senior’s third top-five finish in her KU career and her highest placing since winning the Louisville Cardinal Cup in Oct. 2019. In her Kansas debut, Rothman finished 16th, while Heinlein tied for 48th and Pooratanaopa tied for 53rd.

The Marilynn Smith Sunflower Invitational is named after KU alum and LPGA co-founder Marilynn Smith. Though women’s golf was not recognized as a varsity sport, Smith’s collegiate career was highlighted by the 1949 National Collegiate Individual title and following that championship she turned pro. Before creating the LPGA tour, Smith won the Kansas Women’s Amateur Championship three times (1946-47-48). Smith won 22 times on the LPGA tour, including the 1963 Titleholders, one of the major women’s events at the time.

Since its inception in 1994, KU has won the Marilynn Smith/Sunflower Invitational seven times including in 2007 and 2013 at Colbert Hills. KU also won in 1997, 2004, 2006, 2010 and 2012. Individually, KU players have won the event five times with the last by Pornvipa Sakdee in 2014 at Alvamar Golf Club in Lawrence.

Live scoring for the Marilynn Smith/Sunflower Invitational can be found here via Golfstat.com.