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Courtesy: Athletic Communications
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Razorbacks finish strong

Athletic Communications
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Junior Emily Tubert tied for third place leading the No. 6 University of Arkansas women’s golf team to a tie for seventh place at the 2013 Southeastern Conference Championship in Birmingham, Ala., Sunday.

The Razorbacks shot a 302 – their best score of the weekend to finish with a 923 (313-308-302).

“We didn’t have our A game this week but like I told the team we’ve been doing things right all year long but it just didn’t fall our way,” Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor said.  “I think we take a lot of valuable things away as we head into the NCAA Regionals in a couple of weeks.  There are some things we need to tidy up and we need to work on eliminating the big number but there is some things we can work on and get better.”

Junior Emily Tubert opened play hitting her tee shot off of one within eight inches of the pin.  She sank the birdie putt and seemed to be in good shape.  The Burbank, Calif., native had to drop on the second hole when her approach rolled off the fast and steep green near the edge of the water.  She was unable to hit her ball as it was lying up against a thicket of flowers.  She dropped, chipped up near the pin and saved the hole with a par.

Her luck ran out on the third hole where she ran into water and doubled the hole as the Greystone course again proved difficult.  But Tubert settled in playing even par golf for the final 13 holes including a birdie on the 18th hole.  Tubert finished with a final round 76.

Senior Victoria Vela made the turn at one-over for the Razorbacks.  She opened with eight consecutive pars before a plus-one on the par four ninth hole.  Her tee shot was to the middle of the fairway but her second shot was short of the green giving her a tough up-and-down.

The Mansfield, Texas, native rallied on the 10th hole with a birdie returning back to even for her round.  She would pick up bogeys on the 13th and 18th holes.  The final hole continued to be tricky all weekend as her approach rolled off the side on the fast green.

Despite the scores, Arkansas rallied late in Sunday’s round playing the final five holes one-under to wrap up play.

“We got a little momentum coming down the stretch and we were overdue some momentum,” Estes-Taylor said.  “I think the team grinded hard all week.  This is definitely a championship golf course and they just did a great job of finishing strong.”

Freshman Gabriela Lopez had a solid start to the day.  She shot even on the first four holes and the last four holes before the turn.  The lone blemish was a bogey on the long par five fifth hole.  Lopez finished her round four over with four bogeys in the first six holes on the back side.  She rallied with a birdie on the 18th shooting 76 for the round.

Freshman Regina Plasencia turned at two-over for Arkansas.  She birdied her first hole but struggled with three consecutive bogeys on five, six and seven.  She got one back on the par four eighth hole with a three before the turn.  Three quick bogeys on the back nine gave way to four pars and a birdie on the 18th as she also finished with a four-over 76.

Junior Emma Lavy bogeyed the second and sixth holes but got one back on the eighth and was in good shape heading into the turn before the ninth hole saw her count a high number and she moved to four-over for the day.  She also played the final nine holes even for a 76 on Sunday.

“We talk about it all the time – your attitude equals altitude and they did a good job of staying positive and that is good for a couple shots on the golf course,” said Estes-Taylor.  “When you get into the championship part of the season the golf courses get tougher and we talk about winning one shot at a time and you just really focus on the moment.  We did a better job of that today.  I’m really proud of the team and how they finished up.”

Although places are not yet final, Tubert is poised to finish in the top five shooting 226 with rounds of 76-74-76.  Lopez, Vela and Plasencia finished tied with 223.  Lopez shot 82-75-76, Vela counted 81-78-74 and Plasencia carded 76-81-76 for three rounds.  Lavy rounded out the Arkansas scores with a 237 with rounds of 80-81-76.

Arkansas awaits word of its NCAA Regional selection next week.

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