Jayhawks Finish Second in Marilynn Smith Invitational
MANHATTAN, Kan. – For the second tournament in a row, Pitsinee Winyarat was the top finisher for Kansas. Winyarat had an impressive day for the Jayhawks shooting par for the round and finishing the event in a three-way tie for fifth place. Kansas finished second at the Marilynn Smith Invitational behind fellow Big 12 rival and host, Kansas State.
This was Winyarat’s best tournament finish. Winyarat struggled at the beginning of the round, carding bogies on No. 7, 8, and 9 leaving her 2-over on the front nine. However, quickly bounced back with birdies on No. 13, 15, and 17. Overall shooting 2-under on the last nine holes. Winyarat finished the tournament 5-over.
“Liz had a great final round shooting even par (Tuesday) and leading the way for us,” said head coach Erin O’Neil. “She’s one of the most-coachable players we have ever had and she has matured so much over the last three years. Her ball striking is the best we’ve seen and we’ve seen good improvement in her putting. It’s been great to see her hard work paying off and to see her belief in herself go up as well.”
Sophomore Yi-Tsen Chou started off strong carding a birdie on her first hole No. 4. After finishing just 1-over on the front nine she struggled on the back nine. Chou finished 5-over for the day after shooting back-to-back bogies on No. 17 and 18 and carding a double bogie on No. 1, her 16th hole of the round. Chou finished in a tie for 9th place and shot 7-over for the tournament.
Ariadna Fonseca Diaz shot 3-over on the final round, finishing in 14th place. Followed by Victoria Chandra, playing as an individual, who finished the round 2-over and ended in a tie for 17th. Kansas freshman Sera Tadokoro who also finished 3-over for the final round and ended the event in a tie for 20th.
Kallie Gonzales and Chomchana Phuchanbanchob rounded out the Jayhawks scoring. Gonzales, playing as an individual finished the day 3-over and Phuchanbanchob 5-over. Kansas finished the tournament shooting 898, 11-over par and had its best tournament finish since the Westbrook Spring Invitational in February 2017 where the Jayhawks also shot an 898.
“I saw a lot of good things the last few rounds but there’s plenty of room for improvement. We need to continue focusing on our short game and course management while still maintaining our full swings,” said O’Neil.
Fortunately, the Jayhawks will have a two-week break to work on improving their game before returning to play at the Nebraska Invitational starting October 1.