Kansas Women’s Golf Embarks on Spring Break Trip
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas women’s golf team’s first stop on its two-tournament spring break trip will be at the Wildcat Invitational, March 14-15, in Tucson, Arizona. Kansas will be one of 15 teams vying for the title on the 6,492-yard, par-72 Sewailo Golf Club. From there KU will head to San Diego for the SDSU Farms Invitational, March 21-23.
Six Jayhawks will make the trip, with KU head coach Erin O’Neil being afforded the flexibility to change the five-player team lineup after the Wildcat Invitational. Senior Yupaporn Kawinpakorn, fresh off her fourth-straight top-five finish, will lead the Jayhawks in Tucson. Junior Pornvipa Sakdee will look to get in the groove in her second tournament of the 2015-16 season while carrying the Folds of Honor golf bag. Freshman Ariadna Fonseca Diaz is second on the team with a 75.06 stroke average, while sophomore Pitsinee “Lizzie” Winyarat has had 14 of her 17 rounds count in 2015-16. Freshman Victoria “Vick” Chandra is making her spring season debut in Arizona and her fourth tourney this season. As a team, KU looks to improve from an 11th-place finish at the Gator Women’s Invitational March 5-6 in Gainesville, Florida.
“We wanted to give Vick a chance. She came out in the spring and saw a lot of improvement in her. Struggled a little bit for a round or two of qualifying before Florida,” O’Neil said. “We had them play while we were gone and she posted some decent numbers, so we wanted to give her that chance because Lizzie and Laine didn’t play up to their abilities at Florida.”
Freshman Laine Evans will compete as an individual in Arizona. Kansas will be competing against host Arizona, Arizona State, Baylor, Colorado, Miami, Michigan, Northern Arizona, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Purdue, South Carolina, UNLV, Vanderbilt and Washington State.
“The grass is different, it’s Bermuda Grass, and there’s also sand underneath so when you mishit the ball, it accentuates it. It will be similar, it probably won’t be as sandy in Arizona or San Diego,” O’Neil said in comparing conditions from its first spring event in Gainesville, Florida to what she expects in Tucson. “It will be similar grass around the green, so we’ll have to make similar types of shots. Playing in Gainesville and experiencing some of that will help us adapt and learn to hit different shots.”
This will be second straight-year Kansas will be traveling to Tucson and San Diego on the same trip. Kansas finished 13th out of 15 and 11th out of 16 in the respective tournaments in 2015. Kawinpakorn shot a 227 (+11) at the Wildcat Invitational to finish T49th and recorded a 3-1 match record at the SDSU Farms Invitational. Sakdee finished T53rd with a 228 (+12) in Arizona went 1-3 in San Diego. Winyarat did not play in San Diego, but carded 248 (+22) to place T75th in Tucson.
The first two rounds of the Arizona Wildcat Invitational will have a shotgun start on Monday, March 14 at 8 a.m. (Mountain time).The third and final round will begin with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. (Mountain time) on Tuesday, March 15. Live scoring can be followed on Birdiefire.com.
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