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Recap: Iconic final round leads women’s golf to a sixth-place finish at ICON Invitational

Recap: Iconic final round leads women’s golf to a sixth-place finish at ICON Invitational

Recap: Iconic final round leads women’s golf to a sixth-place finish at ICON Invitational
February 24
23:17 2021

Day 2

Following rounds of 290 and 295 on Day 1 of the ICON Invitational in Houston, the women’s golf team posted a program-record score of 280 in the final round on Tuesday to take sixth place in the tournament. After finishing Day 1 in tenth out of 13 teams, North Texas’ four-spot rise was the largest placement change for any team.

“We struggled a little bit yesterday in the second round,” Head coach Michael Akers said. “Today, we just played phenomenally. We had a really good day, passed a lot of teams. I’m very, very pleased with the result. You can’t ask for more than breaking the school record.”

With the low final-round score, the Mean Green also broke their 54-hole program record with a three-round total of 865. The team’s previous three-round record was 866 and the one-round record was 281, with both marks set at the Schooner Fall Classic this past September.

The ICON’s 13-team field was comprised of 12 teams ranked in the top 50 nationally by Golfstat, with Southern Methodist University (No. 62) being the only team outside the top 50. North Texas (No. 36) defeated six of those teams, including three ranked above it — the University of Houston (No. 12), Texas Tech University (No. 29) and the University of Texas (No. 33).

The Mean Green’s top two finishers were junior Audrey Tan and senior Lauren Cox. Tan carded a 1-under-71 in the third and final round, finishing the tournament tied for No. 10 individually at 4-under-par. Cox scored her best round of the tournament on Day 2 with a 4-under-68 to end the tourney at 3-under par and tied for No. 12.

Akers said Tan’s performance was made more impressive by her switching to a new golf ball and driver two weeks before the tournament, a decision he said Tan made while being fitted for a new ball.

“During that ball fitting, they [found] that a change in driver could equate to about 20 yards or 30 yards [difference] off the tee,” Akers said. “Her other driver went too high and had too much spin, so it would fall straight down. She really struggled in wind with that driver. It really made a huge difference. [Now], her driver is so much lower and in control, she’s able to handle the wind now.”

Junior Katie Finley also posted her best round on Day 2, carding a 4-under-68 as well to finish the tournament at even-par and tied for No. 19.

“Audrey was so consistent throughout all three rounds,” Akers said. ” Lauren typically does well in the final round. After she struggled a little bit in round two, I knew that she would go low today and she did. Katie was struggling a bit coming out of the winter break and she made the lineup by one shot over Marija, then she just did phenomenal in the tournament. [I am] really, really pleased.”

Those three finishers combined with a 1-over-73 final round from junior Patricia Sinolungan fueled the historic finish for North Texas. While Sinolungan finished the tourney at 8-over par and tied for No. 51, her third round helped fuel the Mean Green’s rise. Akers said the team’s depth was shown in their record-breaking Day 2 performance.

Sophomore Emilie Ricaud rounded out the team competitors for North Texas, finishing at 14-over and tied for No. 65.

Freshman Marija Jucmane also competed as an individual and scored a final-round 78 to finish holding No. 73 at +22 for the tournament.

With three more tourneys coming in March before the Conference-USA tournament, the Mean Green will look to continue their final-round momentum from the ICON.

“I think [the team] should be very confident, realizing too that our reps were extremely limited with the weather,” Akers said. “We hadn’t been outside, until [coming] down to Houston, for at least a week. We had been all indoor and Top Golf. So to get down here, get back on the grass and compete like that is really good. Now we have two weeks to kind of tune things up for the University of Texas-El Paso. Our goal will be to win that event down in San Antonio.”

Up Next: Women’s golf will continue its spring schedule with the Mary S. Kauth Invitational on March 9 and 10 at San Antonio Country Club.

Featured Image: Sophomore Emilie Ricaud drives the ball during a practice on Feb. 1, 2021. Image by Zach Del Bello

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John Fields

John Fields

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