Arkansas 4th entering final day of regional

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Tuesday, May 7, 2019
Arkansas golfer Kaylee Benton is shown during a qualifier for the LPGA Walmart NW Arkansas Championship on Monday, June 18, 2018, at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers.
Photo by Charlie Kaijo
Arkansas golfer Kaylee Benton is shown during a qualifier for the LPGA Walmart NW Arkansas Championship on Monday, June 18, 2018, at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers.

On a day with tough scoring conditions in western Washington, the No. 8 University of Arkansas women’s golf team could not get a player under par at Tumble Creek Club at the NCAA Cle Elum Regional on Tuesday.

The lack of scoring did not cost the Razorbacks any positioning as they remained in fourth place among the 18 teams following the second round in the 54-hole regional.

Arkansas fired a team score of 8-over par to sit at 7 over overall, 17 strokes behind No. 1 Southern California. The Trojans fired a 3 under as the only team to break par on the day. Host Washington is in second at 2 over, followed by San Jose State at 6 over. Arkansas spent a good portion of the day in second place before falling back on the back nine.

“I thought the conditions were tough today,” Arkansas Coach Shauna Taylor said. “A wind of 20-25 miles an hour on top of this mountain can be difficult. … I think we let a few slip coming in.

“I still think we have a chance to win a regional championship.”

Ten of the 18 teams were at least 10 strokes over on Tuesday, which featured gusting winds, tougher pin placements and difficult greens to read.

The top six teams at each of four regionals will compete for the NCAA championship at The Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville starting May 17.

Senior Maria Fassi reached 3 under with a birdie on the par 3 13th hole, but she double bogeyed the 14th and finished the day at even-par 72. She’s tied for sixth individually at 3 under, four shots behind Jennifer Chang of USC.

Senior Kaylee Benton bogeyed the final two holes to finish at 3 over. She is tied for 13th at 1 over overall.

Freshmen Brooke Matthews and Ximena Gonzalez had counting scores for the Razorbacks for the second consecutive day.

Matthews, of Rogers, had birdies in succession on Nos. 8, 9 and 10 after a rough start, then stabilized for the rest of the round to post a 2-over par. She is tied for 34th.

Gonzalez parred her first seven holes, had bogeys on three of the next four holes, then had seven more pars en route to a 3 over. She is tied for 29th at 4 over.

Senior Dylan Kim struggled for the second consecutive day, carding a 10-over 82. Kim made the turn at 1 over, the second-best among the Razorbacks, but posted three double bogeys and four bogeys on the back before firing her lone birdie on No. 18 to finish 9 over on her final nine.

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