Kansas women’s golf looks to keep momentum in Gainesville

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Following her fifth-place finish in last week’s Westbrook Spring Invitational in Peoria, Arizona, sophomore Ariadna Fonseca Diaz and the Kansas women’s golf team are back in action March 11-12 at the Suntrust Gator Women’s Golf Invitational in Gainesville, Florida.

The Jayhawks are coming off their best finish of the year, when they finished tied for second with No. 25-ranked Ohio State at the Westbrook Spring Invitational February 26-27.

“We seem to be in a great spot mentally going into this weekend,” head coach Erin O’Neil said. “Our play in Arizona was definitely good for our confidence. It is a new week though, and we need to keep our expectations in check each round to have another solid finish.”

Diaz, the Caracas, Venezuela, native shot the final two rounds in the 60s, accompanied by nine birdies overall to collect her second career top-five finish.

Following Diaz in the lineup is newcomer, fellow sophomore, Chomchana “Cake” Phuchanbanchob, who will be competing in her second event as a Jayhawk. In her first, Phuchanbanchob finished in the top-10 and recorded a career-low 68 in the first round.

The third sophomore Jayhawk who will be competing is Victoria Chandra, who had the best finish of her career, tying for 37th at the Westbrook Spring Invitational. Chandra also recorded the lowest round of all the Jayhawks this year, carding a 67 in the first round.

Freshman Yi-Tsen Chou, who recorded a career-low 70 in the last tournament, will be playing in the fourth position.

Junior Pitsinee Winyarat will look to get back on the right track at the No. 5 spot this weekend, as she struggled at the Westbrook Spring Invitational, shooting a 13-over 229 for the tournament.

Freshman Xinyun Yu, who competed as an individual in the Westbrook Spring Invitational, will be competing as a member of the Jayhawks this weekend, her third career event overall.

The Jayhawks will be facing some stiff competition in the Florida sun in the likes of host Florida (6), Duke (12) and UCF (24). The rest of the field includes Florida schools South Florida and FIU, as well as Wisconsin, Clemson, Maryland, Virginia Tech, Mercer, Campbell and Troy.

The Suntrust Gator Women’s Invitational will be played at the Mark Bostick Golf Course, which is a 6,700-yard, par-70 course, located less than a mile from the Florida campus.

“(Florida’s) course is very different from the course we played in Arizona,” O’Neil said. “You have to play smart. You can get in a lot of trouble if you are too aggressive. The greens are the toughest part and it will be critical for us to put ourselves in the best position to make par each hole. If you miss on the wrong side, it can get away from you quickly.”

The tournament will begin with the first two rounds beginning with an 8:15 a.m. (EST) shotgun start on Saturday, March 11, and conclude with a 9:15 a.m. (EST) shotgun start on Sunday, March 12.

Live scoring updates will be available at Golfstat.com.

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