⛳ Senior Pear Pooratanaopa in Fifth After Day 1 in Arizona

GOLD CANYON, Ariz. – Kansas women’s golf senior Pear Pooratanaopa recorded a 3-under 69 and is tied for fifth after her opening round at the Rapsodo Match in the Desert at Lost Gold Golf Course in Gold Canyon, Arizona, Sunday.

Playing in a loaded field that includes five teams ranked in the top 25 nationally, Kansas shot a 10-over 298. No. 20 Arizona State leads the seven-team field at 10-under shooting at 278. The Sun Devils are three shots ahead of second-ranked Oklahoma State (281) heading into Tuesday’s final round.

“What a learning experience for our team today,” Kansas head coach Lindsay Kuhle said. “We competed with the best in the country and are just three back of Arizona, who is ranked 14th in the nation.”

Pooratanaopa carded two birdies on the front nine and made the turn with a 1-under 35. The Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand, native then posted three more birdies on the back nine to record her second under-par round of the 2021-22 season and sixth of her career. Pooratanaopa is three shots behind tourney leader Alexandra Forsterling of Arizona State in the 42-golfer field.

“I’m really proud of the way Pear competed and her birdies today,” Kuhle said. “She grinded today and played hard for KU.”

KU senior Lauren Heinlein recorded two birdies and shot 2-over 74 and is tied for 24th. Sophomore Hanna Hawks, who is playing as an individual, is two shots behind Heinlein after shooting a 76. Freshman Caroline Wales carded a 77 (+5), followed by super-senior Sera Tadokoro’s 78 (+6).

“We started off great and made a few birdies early,” Kuhle said. “I think if we continue to play with confidence and work on our lag putting and speed for long putts, we are right up with these programs. Tomorrow is another opportunity for us and we’re extremely excited.”

Hosted by Kansas, the Rapsodo Match in the Desert will conclude with the second and final round Tuesday, Jan. 24. Fans can follow live scoring here via golfstat.com.