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Women’s golf moves forward, finishes sixth at Islander Spring Classic

Women’s golf moves forward, finishes sixth at Islander Spring Classic

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 moves forward, finishes sixth at Islander Spring Classic
February 23
21:13 2016

Austin Jackson | Staff Writer

@a_jack17

North Texas women’s golf took a step in the right direction today, fighting through rain and high winds to finish in sixth at the Islander Spring Classic in Corpus Christi.

Last weekend, the Mean Green struggled on the way to a 12th place finish to begin their season, but the team rebounded after a brief eight day turnaround, improving its finish by six spots.

Junior Eji Kwon set the tone for North Texas with a 3-under 69 in her first round, tying her career best. Kwon played her first 15 holes with scores of par or lower on her scorecard.

“I never played like that in my entire life,” Kwon said. “I was getting up and down from everywhere, hitting greens, finding fairways, making putts. Everything was working.”

But with just three holes to go, she said her excitement got the best of her, causing her to miss a putt similar to the one’s she had jarred with ease all day. While she birdied the next hole, nullifying the mistake, she said she can’t help but think what could have been.

Kwon would go on to follow up her nearly flawless round by battling brutal winds and scattered rain showers.

“I finished better than I expected after posting 76-76 [in the final two rounds],” Kwon said. “It rained really hard, and I forgot my rainsuit. Everything got wet.”

But after the sun came out and Kwon dried off, she realized her scores held up on the leaderboard, finishing fourth for the tournament. It was her fourth career top-10 finish for the Mean Green.

Another standout performance was junior Ali Christian’s 1-over 73 in the second round. Christian finished behind Kwon for the best performance on the team, posting a cumulative 235, tied for 28th place.

Although she struggled in the first and final rounds, she put herself in position for a great cumulative score, but said she could have gone much lower. 

“After my first round, I just tried to recover and make the most of the tournament,” Christian said. “I hit my driver really well, but my putting held me back.”

Freshman Samantha Huang improved in each round, finishing 30th. While freshman Kalli Jennings rebounded from an opening round 84, she posted in the 70s in her final two rounds to finish in 38th. Sophomore Nyca Khaw struggled, playing in the 80s on the way 43rd place.

Interim head coach Barry Niemann said he was pleased with the results the Mean Green posted. Additionally, he said the play of Conference USA foe University of Texas at San Antonio and freshman Julie Houston has given the Mean Green an idea of where they need to be by postseason play.

“They’ve got a target out there, a goal, and we’ve got three tournaments before we really need to start hitting our stride,” Niemann said.

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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