Women’s golf to begin spring season in Arizona

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Following a 111-day offseason, Ariadna Fonseca Diaz and the Kansas women’s golf team will travel to Peoria, Arizona this weekend to begin the spring season. The Jayhawks will be playing in the Westbrook Spring Invitational, playing on the Vistas Course of the Westbrook Village Golf Club, taking place February 26-27.

“We are excited. We have some butterflies, which is good,” head coach Erin O’Neil said. “The weather (in Lawrence) has been phenomenal, so we have been able to get out and practice. I am hoping that gives us some confidence going into this first tournament. I think everyone is ready to go and get started.”

Diaz, who had a busy offseason playing in three tournaments, with a top-five finish at the Harder Hall Women’s Invitational, will be playing in the first position.

“I think (her offseason) has given her a lot of confidence,” O’Neil said. “We have seen a difference in practice. She has confidence and belief in herself that she has what it takes to be successful.”

Following Diaz in the lineup and making her Jayhawk debut is Chomchana “Cake” Phuchanbanchob, a sophomore transfer from California State-Northridge who arrived in Lawrence as the spring semester began.

“It is hard to come in in the middle of the year, and I think Cake has done a great job adjusting to a new campus, new athletic department and new team,” O’Neil said. “She fits in well with everyone. She is very coachable, she wants to be the best and wants to win, which are all great attributes to have. I expect her to compete well for us this spring.”

Junior Pitsinee Winyarat, freshman Yi-Tsen Chou and sophomore Victoria Chandra round out the Jayhawk competitors in Arizona this weekend.

Winyarat, who led the Jayhawks during the fall with a team-low 76.30 scoring average, will look for continued success at the three-round, two-day tournament.

True freshman Chou plans to pick up where she left off after she finished the last tournament of the fall season, the Trinity Forest Invitational, tied for sixth.

Chandra will look to get back to her fall-season form when she carded a career-low 70 on September 24 at the Schooner Classic in Norman, Oklahoma.

Xinyun Yu, a redshirt freshman from Shanghai, China, will be competing in her second career event as an individual competitor
The University of Wisconsin is the hosting school, and the rest of the tournament field includes Big 12 opponent Kansas State; Ohio State, which Golfweek.com ranks as the No. 25 women’s golf team in the country; as well as UC Davis, New Mexico State, Oregon State, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Notre Dame and Washington State.

The Vistas Course at Westbrook Village Golf Club is a par-72, 6269-yard course. The tournament begins with two rounds on Sunday, February 26, and concludes with the final round on Monday, February 27. Shotgun starts will begin each day at 8:30 a.m. (MST).

Live stats for the tournament can be found at BirdieFire.com.

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