Fonseca Diaz leads Jayhawks to top-five finish
Westbrook Spring Invitational
PEORIA, Ariz. – Sophomore Ariadna Fonseca Diaz fired a second-consecutive sub-70 round as she shot a 68 to follow her second round 69 to finish fifth and to lead the Kansas women’s golf team to a tie for second with Ohio State in the Westbrook Spring Invitational on Monday.
This was Diaz’s second career top-five finish and first of the 2016-17 season. Diaz birdied five times and did not record a bogey in the third round. It was Diaz’s second consecutive round where she did not bogey a single hole. She was four-under par after three rounds.
“(Ari’s) game is in a great place right now mentally and physically,” head coach Erin O’Neil said. “She is hitting the ball well and she has been working hard on her course management, which is why I think we are seeing her scores improve. We are very proud of her and excited to see her diligence pay off.”
This result is the team’s best finish since they placed third at the Texas Tech Invitational in the spring of 2016. The Jayhawks shot a collective 289, one-over par to close out the event.
The Westbrook Village Golf Club proved favorable to the Jayhawks, as they finished the weekend shooting an 865, one-over par. The 865 score is the lowest three-round score of the 2016-17 season.
Chomchana “Cake” Phuchanbanchob, a sophomore transfer from California State-Northridge finished her first career tournament as a Jayhawk in a tie for 10th place, her fifth career top-10 finish. She ended her day shooting a two-over 74, finishing the tournament one-under par.
Coach O’Neil is excited to see what Phuchanbanchob has in store for the future.
“To have a top-10 finish right out of the gate should give (Cake) the confidence that she is working on the right things in her game,” O’Neil said. “We are very pleased with what we have seen from her on and off the course.”
Sophomore Victoria Chandra improved three strokes from her second round 79 to third round 76, to finish six-over for the weekend, and in a tie for 37th.
With two holes to go, and down one stroke, freshman Yi-Tsen Chou fired a birdie and a par to secure the Jayhawks a tie for second place with Ohio State. Chou finished the day one-over par, and her eight-over overall score landed her in a tie for 44th.
Junior Pitsinee Winyarat continued to improve after her first round 80, and improved another stroke from the second to third round, following her second round 75 with a third round 74, to finish tied in 56th place. Winyarat shot a collective 13-over par.
Xinyun Yu, who was competing as an individual was six-over par on Monday and finished a stroke behind Winyarat, shooting 14-over par on the weekend, finishing tied for 59th.
Big 12 and in-state rival Kansas State won the tournament after shooting a five-under 283 as a team to finish three-under.
Nebraska golfer Audrey Judd won the Westbrook Invitational, finishing seven-under, one stroke in front of Kansas State golfer Connie Jaffrey.
O’Neil will look for the Jayhawks to have similar successes the rest of the season.
“This tournament was eye-opening for the team,” O’Neil said. “They saw that there is not a big difference in where we are and where we want to be and it has really motivated them to work even harder. They are beginning to really understand how consistently taking care of the little details that will add up to success.”
The Jayhawks will look to keep their momentum going when they travel to Gator country March 11-12 to compete in the Gator Invitational, hosted by Florida in Gainesville, Florida at the Mark Bostick Golf Course.