Jayhawks ready for Big 12 Championship

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas women’s golf team turns its focus to the Big 12 Women’s Golf Championship as the Jayhawks head to Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. The event is held April 14-16 at the par-72, 6,246 yard Golf Club of Oklahoma.

The Jayhawks are facing off against some impressive competition in GolfWeek’s national rankings including No. 6 Texas, No. 21 Oklahoma, No. 23 TCU, No. 31 Baylor, No. 34 Texas Tech and No. 38 Iowa State. Kansas previously faced off against Kansas State and Oklahoma twice this season.

Texas is the two-time defending conference champion, defeating Kansas last year at the Dallas Athletic Club. The top returning finisher is Texas’ Emilee Hoffman, who was the runner-up at the last two Big 12 Championships.

Kansas will go into the Big 12 Championship as the No. 8 seed and will tee off at 10 a.m. C.T., on Sunday. The Jayhawks are paired with No. 7 Oklahoma State and No. 9 Kansas State.

Seniors Ariadna Fonseca Diaz and Chomchana “Cake” Phuchanbanchob will compete in their final Big 12 Championship next week. A Caracas, Venezuela native, Fonseca Diaz has had quite the career as a Jayhawk with 17 career under-par rounds and five top-10 finishes. Her work in the classroom is equally as impressive, making academic all-Big 12 teams for three-consecutive years including back-to-back years with a 4.0 GPA. She is currently second on the team in scoring average with a 74.47.

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Phuchanbanchob played her first two seasons at Cal State-Northridge before transferring to Kansas in the spring of 2017. Hailing from Chiang Rai, Thailand, Phuchanbanchob has recorded seven under-par rounds and seven even-par rounds on the season, including one top-five finish.

The Jayhawks found success during the fall with three-straight top-five finishes and also placing in the top-10 in all five fall events. Head coach Erin O’Neil is utilizing a similar five that she has used most of the season: Sera Tadokoro, Pear Pooratanaopa, Phuchanbanchob, Fonseca Diaz and Yi-Tsen Chou.

“This tournament is no different than any of others we have played in this season,” head coach Erin O’Neil said. “We still have to focus on the things that are in our control – our decisions, our attitudes and energy. We need to be 100% committed to every shot.”

Chou has carded nine under-par rounds on the year and carded a career-low 68 in the first tournament of the season. Her three top-10 finishes and 69 birdies lead the team. Sophomore Sera Tadokoro has been steady all season and leads the team in scoring average with a 74.26. Tadokoro has registered two eagles and racked up 54 birdies on the season. The Jayhawks’ top-five has a combined scoring average of 74.72.

Live scoring for the tournament can be found here. More information on the Golf Club of Oklahoma can be found here.

CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY
O’Neil has been at the helm of some impressive performances at the Big 12 Championship including guiding Amanda Costner to an individual Big 12 Championship (71-73-77-221) title in the 2006-07 season. The Jayhawks also tied for fourth place with Iowa State in the 2013-14 season, led by Yupaporn Kawinpakorn, who led the way with a second place finish. In the 2014-15 season, Pornvipa Sakdee carded the tournament’s lowest first-round score with a 68. Last season, the Jayhawks finished ninth (322-313-311-946) at the league tournament.