Women’s Golf Inks Three to a National Letter of Intent
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Coming off a solid fall that had two runner-up and five top-five finishes, Kansas women’s golf coach Erin O’Neil continued her momentum by signing what she believes could be her best class with Ariadna Fonesca, Victoria Chandra and Laine Evans inking National Letters of Intent to play at KU.
“As a group, they are very talented, love golf and are all-around good people,” said O’Neil, who is in her 11th season at Kansas. “It’s probably the strongest recruiting class we have had from top to bottom.”
Fonesca, from Venezuela, comes to KU via Westwood Golf Academy in Orlando, Florida. She is ranked No. 29 in the class of 2015 by Golfweek, No. 25 by Polo and the No. 1 junior women’s golfer in Venezuela.
Fonesca had a solid 2013-14 season, which she won four events, placed in the top five in 11 total tournaments and carded 16 rounds of par or better. Last May, Fonesca won the 2014 Future Collegians World Tour (FCWT) Championship at PGA Golf Club – The Squire in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, carding a three-round 211 (-5). She also won the FCWT at Stonegate Golf Club in Poinciana, Florida, March 15-16, with a two-round 137 (-7) and the Space Coast Junior Open at Sandpiper Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida, March 1-2, with a two-round 144 (+4).
“Ari is ranked high in her class and Westwood Golf Academy also produced Gary Daoust, who is on our men’s team,” O’Neil said. “We really connected well with her and she is an excellent player. She is solid across the board. She has a fundamentally sound swing and a good short game. She is also a great student. Her experience at Westwood will help her adjust to playing at a high level in college.”
Being from Venezuela, Fonesca is no stranger to international golf. This past summer she represented her home country in the Espirito Santa Trophy in Karuizawa, Japan, with Venezuela advancing to the quarterfinals.
Chandra, from Bali, Indonesia, tied for 22nd at the 2014 Callaway Junior World Golf Championships, July 15-18, at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, California, shooting a 294 (+5), which included a 1-under 71 in her second round. The previous week she tied for 18th at the Future Champions Golf (FCG) International Championship at Willow Glen in San Diego, California, with a three-round 227 (+12). In January 2014, she won the Faldo Series Indonesia Girls U-21 Division at Damai Indah’s BSD Course in Indonesia.
In 2013 she finished eighth at the Thailand Amateur Open carding two rounds under par and was runner-up at the Optimist International Junior Championships at the PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Also in 2013, Chandra competed in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Naypyidaw, Burma, finishing 11th and placed 12th at the True Vision International Junior Golf Championship in Bangkok, Thailand.
“We found Victoria by looking for the top golfers in the world, using the World Amateur Golf Rankings,” O’Neil said. “She played in a tournament in San Diego this summer and we were able to go watch her there. She’s a strong-ball striker and has a tremendous amount of potential. She also has a lot of international experience which will help her be competitive at the collegiate level.”
Evans is from Wichita, Kansas, and has been a state qualifier all four years while at Maize South High School. In 2013, she finished runner-up at the 5A state tournament and won the individual conference and regional titles her junior and senior seasons en route to the state events.
“Laine is very athletic and has a true passion for the game of golf, a passion I have rarely been around,” O’Neil said. “She just loves the game, loves learning and is very motivated to excel at the next level. She has a strong desire to be the best that she can be and maybe even play on the LPGA one day.”
A solid student who is a member of the National Honor Society and twice has received the Academic Letter of Achievement at Maize South, Evans has finished no lower than 10th, including 14 victories and five top-five finishes in her last 20 tournaments. In 2014, Evans was the Kansas Junior Girls State champion and the Kansas Big I Trusted Choice medalist.
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