⛳ Rothman, Hirst Pace Jayhawks Through 36 Holes at the Molly Invitational

LAWRENCE, Kan. The Kansas Women’s Golf team wrapped up day one at the Molly Invitational at Bayonet Golf Course in Monterey, California on Monday, posting a team score of 576 (E) over 36 holes. The Jayhawks are in sixth place with the final round left to play.

San Jose State leads the 11-team field at -20, followed by tournament co-host California (-19), Oregon (-17), Maryland (-8) and Oregon State (-6) to round out the top five.

Bayonet Golf Course, playing at a Par 72 and 6,147 yards, offers extreme challenges to the 66-player field with its elevation level and fast greens. Kansas kicked off the event with an opening round of 288 (E) and matched the 288 for the second round. KU was paced by the junior duo of Jordan Rothman and Lily Hirst, who both sit under-par for the tournament and inside of the top-20.

“We competed really well today and had many birdie opportunities,” said Kansas head coach Lindsay Kuhle. “We’re really striking the ball well which you need to do out here.”

After an opening round of 71 (-1), Rothman picked up five birdies on her way to a second-round 71 (-1). The junior from Cape Town, South Africa sits tied for 17th at 2-under, capping off an impressive opening day.

Hirst, a junior transfer from Incarnate Word, continues to shine for the Jayhawks, posting rounds of 70 (-2) and 72 (E) to keep Kansas in the hunt. Hirst totaled five birdies and just four bogeys over 36 holes and finds herself tied for 17th with Rothman as the only two Jayhawks currently under-par.

“Jordan and Lily were both two-under through two rounds,” Kuhle said. “They were very consistent off the tee and with their approach shots.”

True freshman Lyla Louderbaugh continues her early success for Kansas, posting rounds of 71 and 74 and tied for 29th in just her second collegiate golf event. Louderbaugh currently sits at 1-over par after posting eight birdies on the day.

Junior Lauren Clark struggled in the first round but bounced back with a 1-under round of 71 to help Kansas stay amidst the leaderboard. Clark’s big second round was jolted by three straight birdies on the back nine, putting her tied for 39th heading into the final round.

“I’m really proud of Lauren’s fight back today after a tough start,” Kuhle said.

Manon Donche-Gay, the Kansas State transfer from Avignon, France, made her Kansas debut on Monday. Donche-Gay posted rounds of 76 and 74 and sits tied for 42nd at 6-over par.

“We’re confident going into tomorrow,” Kuhle said. “We believe that we can produce another low round and make some birdie putts.”

Kansas will tee off at 10:30 a.m. CT for its third and final round of the Molly Invitational in a shotgun start on Tuesday. Live stats can be followed on Golfstat, as well as live updates from the official Kansas Women’s Golf Twitter account.