FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – University of Arkansas sophomore Gabriela Lopez
opened play against the professionals Friday in first round action at the Walmart NW Arkansas LPGA Championship at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Ark.
The Mexico City, Mexico, native was the Razorbacks No. 2 finisher as a true freshman last season and earned a sponsor’s exemption to play with the pros this week. Lopez struggled a bit out of the gate and finished with an eight-over 79 in the first round but the experience was worth the trials.
“I wish I could have made some more putts today and my course management was a little off today,” Lopez said. “I had a hard time controlling my emotions today but I hope I can be better tomorrow. Either way, I’m going to enjoy this experience and I feel blessed to be here.”
“It was definitely tough,” Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor
said. “You see Gaby struggling out there and it was more her course management. It is stuff we go over and so we’ll talk about it tonight and regroup. This is such an amazing opportunity for her and I think she’ll learn so much from this experience and come back strong tomorrow.”
Former Razorback Stacy Lewis
had a better day on the links shooting a four-under 67. Lewis is tied for fourth overall.
Lopez is scheduled for a 9 a.m. start and Lewis tees off at 8:16 a.m.
In other summer action, Razorback junior Hally Leadbetter
was eliminated in the afternoon match in the round of eight at the 113th Women’s Western Golf Association Amateur Championship in Dayton, Ohio. Leadbetter opened the morning with a 1-up win over Jennifer Ha of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, but fell 2&1 to Jenna Hague of Burlington, Ontario, Canada, in the after match in the round of four.