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Razorbacks surge up leaderboard

Athletic Communications
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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Three players bettered their final round scores moving the No. 30 University of Arkansas women’s golf team up the leaderboard in the final round of the Ruth’s Chris Lady Tar Heel Invitational at Finely Golf Course in Chapel Hill, N.C., Sunday.

Arkansas opened the tournament shooting a 301 but improved each day finishing with a 290 on Sunday for an 888.  Senior Victoria Vela was the Razorbacks low finisher tying for 19th overall with a 222, but the big movers were junior Emily Tubert who was eight strokes better and freshman Regina Plasencia who was 13 better than Saturday’s scores.

“I think we shot the low round of the day and that excites me,” Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor said.  “We got off to a really slow start this week and I really attribute that to the three week break and I think it takes a little bit to get into the rhythm of competition.  This was definitely a complete group effort this week.  I think everybody had great moments.”

Vela, a Mansfield, Texas, native, opened play with rounds of 72-73 and finished with a 77 Sunday for her 222.  That mark ties her second-best three round total.

Freshman Gabriela Lopez improved with each round shooting a 223 with rounds of 76-74-73 over the three-day event.

“We got a lot of consistency out of Gaby,” said Estes-Taylor.  “That says a lot about her game and where it is.  We also got great play out of Emma (Lavy) and Victoria in the first two days and although they struggled today they fought so hard at the end.  Vickie birdied her last hole today to count and she counted all three days for us which is awesome from our senior.”

Tubert, a Burbank, Calif., native, moved up several spots with a two-under 70 in the final round.  She finished tied for 32nd with a 225 with rounds of 77-78-70 for the Razorbacks.

Lavy moved up to a tie for 38th with a 227 shooting 76-72-79.

Plasencia tied for 55th overall.  She struggled with rounds of 78-83 on the first two days but went low with a 70 in the final round for a 231.

“Regina and Emily really fought back and persevered today after the first two rounds,” Estes-Taylor said.  “They found a way to be mentally tough today and they found a way to post a great number for us.”

North Carolina, ranked No. 21 this week, won the tournament finishing with an 872 and leading the second and third rounds.  Southeastern Conference rival No. 43 Ole Miss tied No. 34 Baylor for second with an 885 followed by No. 5 duke with 887 and No. 24 Virginia and No. 30 Arkansas in the tie for fifth with 888. 

The rest of the field included No. 13 North Carolina State with 889, LSU with 893, No. 4 Florida with 893, No. 8 Michigan State with 900, Louisville with 902, South Carolina and N. 25 Kentucky tied for 12th with 910, No. 11 Auburn with 921, No. 45 UCF with 924, No. 47 Wake Forest with 926, Colorado with 930 and Michigan in 18th with 947.

“We have to get comfortable with going low and being in those situations,” Estes-Taylor said.  “I’m proud of the way they climbed the leaderboard and it gives us great momentum heading into Texas in a week and a half.”

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