North Texas Daily

Women’s golf left wandering the desert in Utah, finishes in 13th place

Women’s golf left wandering the desert in Utah, finishes in 13th place

North Texas freshman golfer Samatha Huang is ranked seventh among international players and is ranked 66th in the United States. Courtesy | Mean Green Athletics

Women’s golf left wandering the desert in Utah, finishes in 13th place
March 16
10:45 2016

Austin Jackson | Staff Writer


North Texas women’s golf’s strong finish was not enough to recover from a first round flop, finishing 13th amongst the lava rock canyons of Provo Utah at the BYU Entrada Classic.

The Mean Green stumbled out the gates Monday, posting a tournament-high score of 356, good enough for last place. The tight fairways and lava rock terrain of the Snow Canyon course plagued the Mean Green, who couldn’t keep the ball in play, finishing 108 strokes back of host and eventual winner Brigham Young University.

“That first round was like the perfect storm of disaster,” head coach Barry Niemann said. ‘This golf course has four or five holes on the back nine that are just devastatingly hard, and we started our rounds there. You have to hit it straight, and if you hit it crooked you will pay the price.”

The lone bright spot of the first round was sophomore Nyca Khaw’s first round 77. But once she turned in her scorecard, Niemann notified her of a rules violation that occurred on her first hole, resulting in her disqualification.

Khaw played her provisional ball despite her original drive being in play. Khaw recognized the error and gave herself a two-stroke penalty for the hole. However, the official penalty for playing the wrong ball is disqualification.

“It was my fault not knowing the rule,” Khaw said. “All my playing partners agreed with what I did. It’s really disappointing.“

In the second round, the Mean Green recovered, knocking 33 strokes off their first round. Junior Ali Christian personally shaved 17 strokes of her first round tally with a three over 75 in her second round, the team’s best performance for the tournament. She said she played her second round with nothing to lose.

“I was really annoyed after my first round,” Christian said. “I kept thinking, ‘Did I really just post that?’ I don’t know if I’ve ever had 43 putts in one round. It was insane.”

But in Christian’s second round, she putted 27 times, knocking her putts per hole average down to 1.5 from her first round 2.38 and at one point birdied four holes over a six hole stretch. But in her third round, Christian’s putter cooled off, posting a 91 to close out her tournament to finish in 73rd place.

“The course in Utah is a lot different than Texas,” Christian said. “You have to place each shot in the correct place, and if not you’re screwed.”

Junior Eji Kwon led the team, finishing the tournament tied for 42nd place. Kwon improved in each of her rounds, finishing with a five over 77 after opening up play with a 13-over 85. Kwon’s first round was skewed by two holes, where she posted an 11 on a par four and a nine on a par 5. Despite the scores, Kwon still managed to post the best first round for the team.

Freshman Kalli Jennings had the second best tournament for North Texas, finishing tied for 65th place.

Despite the results, the tournament had a silver lining with sophomore Devin Edwards participating in her first tournament of the year. Edwards has been sidelined due to wrist surgery and hasn’t played a tournament since the Conference USA championship last April. While Edwards was disappointed in her 74th place finish, she said she was happy just to be competing again.

“Devin is one of the most competitive individuals we have,” Niemann said. “This was a learning experience for her and the team. We’re still in the learning process, but we’re not throwing in the towel yet. We’re young, and we have a lot of growing to do and a lot of work to do”

North Texas will get its next tournament test April 1-2 at the SMU Invitational in Dallas.

Featured Image: North Texas freshman golfer Samatha Huang is ranked seventh among international players and is ranked 66th in the United States. Courtesy | Mean Green Athletics

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