PEORIA, Ariz. – University of Arkansas freshman Gabriela Lopez fired a Westbrook Invitational course record 66 in the final round earning medalist honors and leading the No. 7 Razorbacks to a runner-up finish in Peoria, Ariz., Monday.
Lopez, a Mexico City, Mexico, native won the second tournament of the spring by two strokes shooting 208 (72-70-66) for the two-day, three-round event at Westbrook Village Golf Club in Peoria, Ariz. Her round of 66 ties the second-best round in Razorback history as well as the ties the second best round versus par at six-under. Lopez’s 208 ties for the fourth-best three-round total in Razorback history.
“Winning is a process and each week our goal is to put ourselves in contention and learn and grow from the experiences,” Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor said. “I’m really proud of the team and Texas Tech just played a tremendous round of golf today. I can’t say enough about Gaby’s 66. It was just flawless and that’s super impressive. We had really solid play from everyone. I feel really good about where we are and the direction we are headed. We have to stay patient and stay the course and it will go our way.”
Lopez opened her day on the first hole and came out of the games strong with a birdie on hole three, a par four 411-yard hole. She dropped another stroke on the fifth hole counting a four on the par five, 487-yard hole moving to two-under.
Lopez next counted an eagle, her second of the tournament, taking a three on the par five eighth hole and she birdied the nine to turn five-under. The birdies continued on the 10th hole and Lopez would par the final eight holes to finish six-under for the round.
Junior Emma Lavy and freshman Regina Plasencia were solid for the tournament tying for sixth overall. Lavy, a Fayetteville, Ark., native shot 71-75-73=219 while Plasencia, a Guadalajara, Mexico, native, posted scores of 74-73-72=219.
Senior Victoria Vela tied for 17th overall with a 224 that included 71-70-73 and junior Emily Tubert finished tied for 22nd overall with a 226 with rounds of 79-74-73.
As a team, the seventh-ranked Razorbacks saw their second round lead slip away despite playing four-under on the day. Arkansas was second with rounds of 296-287-284=867, the team’s second-lowest score of the season.
Fifteenth-ranked Texas Tech came from behind to win with an 862, five better than Arkansas at 867. The rest of the field included No. 9 Washington at 874, Kansas State with 900, Mississippi State and No. 50 Indiana tied for fourth with 903, Washington State with 906, No. 42 Wisconsin and Eastern Michigan tied with 911, Iowa with 912, Illinois with 914, Colorado State with 920 and Nebraska with 930.
The Razorbacks’ season continues next week at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate March 8-10, in Hilton Head Island, S.C.
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