GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG women’s golf team posted the second-lowest 54-hole score in program history as the Spartans finished in 10th place overall at the highly competitive Jim West Challenge hosted by Texas State Tuesday on the par-71, 6,010-yard Fazio Course at The Club at Carlton Woods.
UNCG finished at 24-over par with a 876 score, second-best all-time in program history and just one stroke behind the program-record of 875 set in 2011 at the Palmetto Intercollegiate. The Spartans opened the tournament by breaking the single-round total program-record with a 287 before following that up with a 298 in round two Monday. UNCG closed out the week with a 291 score in the third and final round, ranking fifth-best in program history. Duke won the event with a 33-under par 819 score (269-273-277) while Oklahoma was second at 11-under par 841 (279-277-285). Leona Maguire of Duke won the individual title with a 13-under par 200 with rounds of 67-63-70.
The field at the Jim West Challenge featured 12 top-100 teams, including seven ranked in the top 50 at the end of last season. Joining the Spartans in the field includes host Texas State, Augusta (42), Duke (10), Kent State (14), Missouri, UNCG, Notre Dame, Oklahoma (25), Southern Miss, Texas A&M (24), TCU (40), UTSA, Texas Tech (35) and Tulsa.
Freshman Tara Bettle (Hohen Neuendorf, Germany) closed out her first collegiate event with a 16th place finish as she posted a 2-under par 211 score. Bettle opened her collegiate career with a 3-under par 68 before posting a 2-over par 73 in round two. She closed out the week with a 1-under par 70 in the third and final round with three birdies, two bogeys and 13 par scores. She finished the 54-hole event second in par-5 scoring overall at 4-under par and was ninth in the field with 11 total birdies.
“I started the day with eight pars and a birdie on the front nine before carding two bogeys and two birdies on the back nine,” Bettle said. “I am so proud of the team’s performance at our first tournament this season. It really showed what a great team we are and what we can accomplish together. I am excited to see what this year has in store for us.”
Junior Natalia Asensio (Madrid, Spain/Cardenal Spinola) moved up to 47th place overall at 10-over par 223. Asensio opened with a 1-over par 72 in round one, a 7-over par 78 in round two before finishing with a 2-over par 73 in round three. She posted 12 par scores and two birdies in her final round.
“I started my round with a couple of bogeys today but I held it together and tried to shoot the lowest number I could from that point,” Asensio said. “I am so proud of how we did as a team on our first tournament and I can’t wait to see how the rest of the season goes for us.”
Sophomore Louisa Tichy (Germering, Germany) placed in a tie for 52nd overall with an 11-over par 224. Tichy’s best round came in round two with a 1-under par 70, while posting scores of 72 in round one and 79 in round three. She finished second on the team with 10 total birdies in 54 holes.
Freshman Keri Kenkel (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) also finished tied for 52nd overall at 11-over par 224. Kenkel opened with a 72 and 77 in the first two rounds Monday before closing it out with a 4-over par 75. She recorded 12 par scores in the final round and notched a birdie on hole No. 14 in her first career collegiate event.
Sophomore Kendall Dobbins (Summerfield, N.C./Northern Guilford) turned in her best round of the week Tuesday with a 2-over par 73 as she carded three birdies and 11 par scores. Dobbins finished tied for 63rd overall with a 19-over par 232 with rounds of 76-83-73. Freshman Sara Rydman (Taby, Sweden) placed 61st overall as an individual with a 17-over par 230 with rounds of 72-79-79.
“Today I was able to out the cruise control on,” Dobbins said. “My drive was really good today and I was able to pick a spot and hit it. Of course, there are always holes I could have improved on, but overall I was able to learn from the first two rounds and have a solid third round. I am super excited to see where we go from here. This was a great start to the season.”
The Spartans return to the course Sept. 17-19 in Fort Collins, Colo., as they travel for the Ptarmigan Ram Fall Classic hosted by Colorado State.
-- UNCG --