Kansas’ busy spring season continues south of the border

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas women’s golf team will make its first trip abroad this season when the team travels to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to compete in the Hawkeye-El Tigre Invitational April 2-4, hosted by Iowa at the El Tigre Golf Club.

Following a performance in the LSU Tiger Golf Classic where the Jayhawks finished in 11th place, with two top-25 finishers, Yi-Tsen Chou, who finished tied for 8th, and Ariadna Fonseca Diaz, who tied for 22nd, the Jayhawks will look to regain the momentum the team had in February.

“I think we just need to keep focusing on what we have been doing,” head coach Erin O’Neil said. “We have seen some progress with our swings that we have been working on and some course management things that we have been doing. We just need to keep working on them and keep trusting them and I think it will pay off.”

Chou’s consistency this spring has awarded her a spot to play in the first position this weekend.

“Yi-Tsen loves to compete,” O’Neil said. “It does not matter if she is in the one spot or the five spot. As long as she is teeing it up, she is ready to go and wants to do the best she can.”

Fonseca Diaz, Kansas’ top golfer will follow Chou in the lineup, hoping to duplicate success she had in the first round of the LSU Tiger Golf Classic, where she aced the 13th hole and ended the round tied for fifth with Chou.

Victoria Chandra, who fired her first eagle in the final round of last weekend’s tournament, helping her gain ground on the leaderboard, finishing tied for 47th, will be in the third position.

The most seasoned golfer for the Jayhawks, junior Pitsinee Winyarat will follow Chandra in the lineup and she leads the squad in percentage of rounds counted this season (19-of-22).

Sophomore transfer Chomchana Phuchanbanchob will be in the fifth position following a 76th place finish at the LSU Tiger Golf Classic.

Competing in her fourth event (third as an individual competitor) is Xinyun Yu, a redshirt freshman from Shanghai, China, who goes by Melody. Yu last played for the Jayhawks at the Suntrust Gator Women’s Invitational on March 11-12, where she finished tied for 73rd after shooting a 30-over 240.

The Hawkeye-El Tigre Invitational is the third tournament in 13 days for the Jayhawks, but O’Neil sees improvements in the team’s game.

“I think they are a little tired, we gave them an extra day off this week to let them get things in order and get some rest,” O’Neil said. “We saw some improvements at LSU. I think we are moving in the right direction, we just have to keep grinding, keep working and keep our heads up.”

The teams that will be playing against the Jayhawks under the Mexican sun will be host Iowa, Wisconsin, New Mexico State, Indiana, Ole Miss, Cal State Fullerton, Washington, Idaho, Nebraska, Rutgers, UTSA, Coastal Carolina and Kennesaw State.

The El-Tigre Golf Club is a par-72 course located adjacent to the picturesque Paradise Village Beach Resort. In 2008, Golf Guide Magazine and Golf in Mexico Magazine named the El-Tigre Golf Club as one of the top-10 best golf courses in all of Mexico.

The Hawkeye-El Tigre Invitational will begin with 2 p.m. shotgun starts to begin rounds one and two on April 2 and 3, and an 8:15 a.m. shotgun start to begin the final round on April 4.

KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.