No. 3 Arkansas women's golf team wins Puerto Rico Classic

Arkansas women's golf coach Shauna Taylor watches her team tee off, Thursday, May 16, 2019, during the practice round of the NCAA Women's Golf National Championship at Blessings Golf Club in Johnson. (David Gottschalk/NWA Democrat-Gazette)

FAYETTEVILLE — The No. 3 Arkansas Razorback women’s golfers put on a birdie fest to race into the lead and then hold on for a one-stroke win over No. 11 LSU to capture the season-opening Purdue Puerto Rico Classic on Tuesday.

Arkansas was in ninth place, 10 shots behind LSU, after the opening round on the 6,305-yard, par 72 layout at the Grand Reserve Golf Club in Rio Grande, P.R. The Razorbacks surged into fourth on Monday with the day’s best round of 3-under 285 and surpassed that with a 12-under 276 on Tuesday to finish the event at 10-under par. 

“I’m extremely grateful to start the 2024 season with a team win here in Puerto Rico, which has been very good to Arkansas women’s golf over the years,” Arkansas Coach Shauna Taylor said in a UA release. “To come here this week and get the victory is a window into what our team is capable of.”

Maria Jose Marin played a bogey-free round of 5-under 67 to lead Tuesday’s Arkansas charge en route to a tie for 16th place at 1 under for the freshman. Marin birdied, in order of her round, Nos. 9, 12, 15, 18 and 3, giving her back-to-back rounds under par after an opening 77.

Sophomore Reagan Zibilski and junior Kendall Todd were the low scorers of the tournament for Arkansas at 2 under, which tied for 11tth. Zibiliski shot a 2-under on Tuesday with five birdies, including three in a row on Nos. 14-16. Todd had a finishing 73 with three bogeys and a birdie.

Senior Miriam Ayora posted five consecutive birdies on Nos. 13-17 to reach 4 under and finished the day two below par and in a tie for 23rd place at even par 288.

Senior Kajal Mistry collected five birdies, including three in her final five holes on Nos. 1-5, to fire a 69 on the day and finish at 4 over and tied for 35th.

Arkansas senior Ela Anacona, playing as an individual, carded a 2 under on Tuesday and a 3 under for the tournament to finish in sole possession of 10th place. 

“It just shows you I think we have a lot of depth and I’m excited to celebrate with our group,” Taylor said of the overall team performance. “I look forward to getting back to Fayetteville and getting ready for the Moon Golf Invitational in a little over a week.”

Furman’s Anna Morgan shot a 67 on Tuesday to tie Marin for low round of the tournament and took medalist honors at 10 under, one stroke ahead of LSU ace Ingrid Lindblad.

No. 17 Auburn, which played with the Razorbacks on Tuesday, placed third at 8 under after Tuesday’s  sizzling 11 under. No. 12 Texas A&M finished third at 6 under, followed by Oklahoma State (-4), Georgia Southern (+6), TCU (+9), Minnesota (+11), Kansas State (+12) and No. 22 Purdue (+16) in the top 10 of the 15-team field. No. 9 Ole Miss struggled to an 18 over score to finish 12th.