Tom Murphy is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 football poll.
UA women golfers seek first title
Maria Fassi, from the University of Arkansas, watches her drive off the 10th tee Friday, June 24, 2016 during the LPGA Wal-Mart NW Arkansas Championship at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers. Fassi earned a spot in the tournament with a sponsors exemption.
FAYETTEVILLE -- The Arkansas Razorbacks' women's golf team will take Golfweek's No. 12 ranking into the SEC Championships this weekend in Birmingham, Ala.
That makes the Razorbacks the fifth-highest ranked team in the SEC, led by No. 1 Alabama, heading into the 54-hole tournament today through Sunday at the Greystone Golf & Country Club's Legacy course.
At a glance
SEC Women’s Golf Championships
Where Greystone Golf & Country Club, Birmingham, Ala.
Course Par 72, 6,898 yards
Arkansas Lineup (stroke average) Alana Uriell (72.23), Maria Fassi (73.41), Kaylee Benton (73.5), Cara Gorlei (73.82), Summar Roachell (76.8).
Team rankings (Golfweek top 25) No. 1 Alabama, No. 6 Florida, No. 7 Georgia, No. 11 South Carolina, No. 12 Arkansas, No. 23 Texas A&M
Noteworthy Arkansas’ Maria Fassi tied for fifth at 1-under 215 at last year’s 54-hole SEC competition. … The SEC women’s tournament is being played at the Legacy Course at Greystone for the fifth consecutive year. … The top five individuals in the SEC are Alabama’s Cheyenne Knight (70.41 average), Texas A&M’s Maddie Szeryk (70.56), Florida’s Maria Torres (71.04), Alabama’s Lauren Stephenson (71.05) and South Carolina’s Katelyn Dambaugh (71.26).
— Tom Murphy
"It shows you how tough the SEC is," Arkansas Coach Shauna Estes-Taylor said. "We'll have to play our best golf to win."
The Razorbacks, who have four top-5 finishes this season, including a victory at the 12-team Mary S. Kauth Invitational in October, are looking for their first SEC title after finishing second in 2008, 2009 and 2012. Arkansas finished third last season behind Alabama and Florida, and has been no lower than eighth every year since 2007.
The Razorbacks will be led by junior Alana Uriell, who has a team-best 72.23 stroke average. Uriell will be joined in the lineup by sophomore Maria Fassi, sophomore Kaylee Benton, senior Summar Roachell and sophomore Cara Gorlei.
Estes-Taylor thinks her club is peaking at the right time.
"I think our team is playing some of the best golf we've played all year," she said. "It comes down to putting. If they can get some putts to fall, it's a magnet for good stuff to come. It'll all come down to putting."
Sports on 04/21/2017
Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.