FAYETTEVILLE – University of Arkansas freshman Emily Tubert leads the 12th-ranked Razorbacks into their final event of the regular season at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Invitational in Athens, Ga., April 1-3.
The Burbank, Calif., native has exploded onto the college golf scene with three wins and a pair of Southeastern Conference Women’s Golfer of the Week honors this year. She leads the team with a 72.00 stroke average and has been Arkansas’ top finisher in five events, including three in a row.
"I’m not surprised that Emily has won three events," Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylorsaid. "She is so capable and was one of the most well-rounded players coming into college. She has a good work ethic and is soaking up new things every time she plays."
Tubert and the Razorbacks are taking part in a new format for this weekend’s event at the UGA Golf Course. All five players will play in a group, promoting the team element of college golf and giving each player’s score a chance to count for each hole.
This is a variation from the traditional format of three players from different teams having a tee time and playing together.
"It’s a little different," said Estes-Taylor. "We’ve practiced it some and I’m interested to see if the strategies we have come up with help us get to the top of the leaderboard."
Tubert is joined by seniors Kelli Shean and Corinna Rees, sophomore Victoria Vela and redshirt freshman Emma Lavy in a lineup that has become pretty steady for the Razorbacks.
As a team, the Razorbacks have remained inside the top 15 in all three polls for much of the season. They are No. 12 in the Golfstat.com and Golf Week polls and move to No. 11 in this week’s Golf World/NGCA poll.
"We are coming off a pretty strong two weeks of golf," Estes-Taylor said. "Everyone seems to be playing her best golf at the right time. This event is always exciting for me personally and it’s a great event in terms of competition so we are really looking forward to it."
Estes-Taylor is a 2000 graduate of the University of Georgia and played her college golf for the Bulldogs. Current Georgia head coach Kelly Hester is a former Razorback head coach as well.
This week’s field of 23 teams is another top group of competitors for Arkansas. It includes No. 2 Alabama, No. 4 Duke, No. 5 Purdue, No. 6 LSU, No. 7 Virginia, No. 13 Georgia, No. 16 Wake Forest, No. 18 Auburn, No. 21 North Carolina, No. 22 Michigan State, No. 25 Oklahoma, No. 26 Notre Dame, No. 28 Florida, No. 29 Ohio State, No. 30 Florida State, No. 32 Chattanooga, No. 33 Kent State, No. 38 South Carolina, No. 55 Kentucky, No. 59 Furman, No. 75 Georgia State and No. 77 Kennesaw State.