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. Murphy was the 2017 Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year.
SEC WOMEN’S GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS:
Matthews' birdie keeps UA golfing
Arkansas golfer Brooke Matthews waits to putt on the first hole green Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, during the third day of the inaugural Blessings Collegiate Invitational at the Blessings Golf Club in Johnson.
Brooke Matthews came up big for the University of Arkansas at the SEC Women's Golf Championships on Friday, rolling in a 4-foot birdie on the par-5 18th hole to send the Razorbacks into today's match play at the Greystone Golf & Country Club in Birmingham, Ala.
The No. 16 Razorbacks had a roller-coaster day, with a hot start leading a surge to third place, then a long dry stretch dropping them two strokes out of a tie for the eighth and final spot in match play with just a few holes left.
Arkansas freshman Cory Lopez started the late surge with a birdie on 18 after knocking a 6 iron to 30 feet and two-putting.
The Razorbacks still needed more scoring to avoid a playoff for the final spot, and Matthews, the junior from Rogers, provided it. She rolled in a 10-foot putt on the par-4 16th to get Arkansas to 11 under and in a tie with No. 24 Florida and Tennessee. Matthews then two-putted from 50 feet on the par-3 17th to set up her heroics on the final hole.
Prior to the late birdies, the Razorbacks struggled on the back nine with 11 bogeys and a double bogey against two birdies to drop back.
Arkansas finished three days of stroke play at 12-under 852, setting up today's 7:50 a.m. match with No. 1 seed LSU, who fired an 18 under on Friday to reach 46 under in match play.
Matthews completed stroke play at 9 under, eight shots behind medalist Pauline Roussin-Bouchard of South Carolina.
Lopez and Arkansas sophomore Ela Anacona fired even-par 72s on Friday and tied for 28th. Sophomore Kajal Mistry was at 2 under through five holes, but wound up with a nonscoring 5 over on the day and tied for 50th at 4 over. Sophomore Julia Gregg had a 4 over on Friday and wound up at 15 over in 67th place.
The other morning match play pairings are 2 seed South Carolina vs. 7 seed Alabama at 7 a.m.; 3 seed Auburn vs. 6 seed Vanderbilt at 7 a.m.; and 4 seed Ole Miss vs. 5 seed Mississippi State at 7:50 a.m.
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