FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year Kaylee Benton will join the University of Arkansas women’s golf team for the 2016-17 season, head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor announced Thursday.
Benton comes to the Razorbacks after a stellar freshman campaign at UNLV where she led the Rebels to the postseason earning first-team and freshman of the year honors. The Buckeye, Arizona, native has Arkansas ties and lived in Cabot, Arkansas, before attending UNLV.
Benton comes from an athletic family and her great-grandfather Jim Benton was an All-American, and NFL All-Pro Team selectee as well as a member of the Arkansas All-Decade Team in the late 1930’s. Benton found his resume and photos of her great-grandfather in the Broyles Athletics Center as well has his name on Senior Walk during her visit to campus.
FROM SHAUNA ESTES-TAYLOR
I was sitting at my computer working on our summer recruiting schedule and an email from Kaylee Benton popped up. We had initially recruited Kaylee when she was in Cabot and then she decided to stay closer to home once her family moved to Arizona. Mike (Adams, assistant coach) and I had always tracked her progress as we always do with Arkansas players. I knew it was meant to be when I saw that email I had received was a release for her transfer. Kaylee is a well-rounded student-athlete that will add even more depth to our roster. She completed a very solid freshman season at UNLV and was named Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year. She is a tremendous young woman who embraces excellence in all that she does. We feel lucky to get this second chance to have her on our team and I know she will embrace us and will add to our “Do The Possible” culture that we have created.
MWC Freshman of the Year … MWC First-Team selection … Finished second in the MWC stats with a 73.17 stroke average … Top-ranking freshman in the MWC … Four top-10 finishes as a freshman … Runner-up finish shooting 209 at the Bison at Boulder Creek II … Collegiate best round of 208 at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown …Five career rounds in the 60’s and 16 rounds of par or better in her first season.
A 2015 graduate of Verrado High School in Buckeye, Arizona … Ranked 14th among Class of 2015 in AJGA Polo Rankings and 39th overall … Named a four-time All-State selection … Won Division II state girls individual title with a 4-under par 140 as a senior … Collected over 40 victories in Arkansas and Arizona with four AJGA Top 3’s and nine Top 10’s; including a win at the Ryan Moore AJGA in Las Vegas.
Kaylee Jade Benton was born May 17, 1997, in Jackson, Tennessee … Daughter of Shelley and Jeff Benton who played baseball at Central Arkansas … Brothers Nicklaus and Colby played golf at Arkansas Little-Rock … Grandfather Bob played basketball at Ole Miss … Great-grandfather Jim was an All-American at Arkansas, NFL All-Pro Team and All-Decade Team of the 1930’s … Major is finance … Chose UNLV over eight other schools.