FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas women’s golf team returns to the links Monday and Tuesday for the Central District Invitational at River Wilderness Golf and Country Club in Parrish, Fla.
The Razorbacks have been idle from competition since Oct. 28, when the team finished fifth at the Las Vegas Showdown. Tough weather conditions have forced the team inside for workouts but head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor’s team is ready to go.
“We can’t wait to get out there and test what we’ve been working on,” Estes-Taylor said. “We’ve had to be creative with our workouts and we’ve had a chance to work a lot on our strength and conditioning. I think we’re ready to go out and see what we can do.”
This is Arkansas’ fifth appearance at the Central District Invitational. The Razorbacks most recent appearance came Feb. 19-20, 2007 and Arkansas’ best showing was in 2005 when they were second in the 14-team field.
Senior Alex Schulte is the only current Razorback to have played at the Central District Invitational. Schulte played in Arkansas last appearance in 2006-07. She tied for 30th overall shooting 71-74-75=230 as a true freshman.
Schulte has played in all four fall events and is averaging 77.33 strokes per round this year.
Seniors Kelli Shean and Kristin Ingram are also looking for big spring seasons. Shean emerged as the Razorbacks top finisher in most of the fall events.
“This is a great place for us to start,” Estes-Taylor said. “This course sets up well for us. It’s short and tight and should be an advantage for us. It’s also a really good field. We get a chance to see a lot of SEC schools and several others from our district.”
This year’s Central District field includes: Arkansas, Florida, Kent State, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Purdue, South Carolina, Texas, Texas A&M and TCU.
Arkansas is facing 10 teams in the 15-team field for at least the second time. Arkansas meets TCU for the fourth time, Northwestern for the third and Florida, Kansas State, LSU, Missouri, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, South Carolina and Texas A&M for the second time this season.
The season happens fast for Arkansas from this point forward. The Razorbacks have six regular season events in the spring and follow up from the Central District Invitational with a trip to Valdosta, Ga., for the program’s first appearance at the Kinderlou Challenge Feb. 28-March 2.