ROGERS, Ark. – University of Arkansas sophomore Samantha Marks fired an even par 71 and won the Monday Qualifier of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G.
The Maitland, Fla., native moves on to compete against the world’s best golfers in the weekend event beginning Friday at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Ark. Marks and teammate Regina Plasencia tested their skills against professional players Monday in a play-in at Pinnacle. Plasencia shot 75 and missed qualifying.
The duo faced off against a field of 18 players vying for two spots. Marks moves on to Friday’s tournament field joining Razorback teammate Gabriela Lopez who earned a sponsor’s exemption and former Razorback Stacy Lewis. They face a field of 144 players with a $2 million purse this weekend.
The Road to #NWAChampionship was announced earlier this year as a partnership between the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G and the University of Arkansas women’s golf team. The program guaranteed one Razorback student-athlete a Sponsor’s Exemption into the tournament and two qualifying spots for the Razorback women’s golf team in the 2015 & 2016 LPGA events.
Marks opened her round at 1:22 p.m. from the first tee box and struggled out of the gate with back-to-back bogeys on the first and second holes. She settled in with a tough putt on No. 3 to save par en route to four consecutive par holes.
She moved to one-under with a birdie on No. 7 after draining a 45-foot putt. She was in good shape off the tee box with 110 yards to the green for her second shot. She left it a bit short but rallied with the long birdie putt on the hole.
Marks added a par on No. 8 and birdied nine to turn even. She hit her first shot down the middle of the fairway and spun her second shot back to the hole for the short birdie putt.
After the turn, Marks moved to one-under with an eagle on the short par three 190-yard 11th hole but she gave the shot back after a “good” bogey on No. 12. Marks ripped her tee shot to the right and rolled it into a creek that runs along that side of the par four, 413-yard hole.
She took the drop and lifted her next shot about 60 feet short of the green. She chipped up and drained an eight-footer for the bogey. Marks played the remainder of the course even finishing strong with a 71.
Former Razorback Kelli Shean is the only other Razorback to even advance out of the Monday qualifier. Shean did so in 2009 but did not make the cut after two rounds of play in the tournament.
For more information on Arkansas women’s golf, follow @RazorbackWGolf on Twitter.
- Sophomore Samantha Marks shot even par 71 and won the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G.
- Junior Regina Plasencia shot 75 and did not advance.
- Marks is just the second Razorback women’s golfer to advance out of the Monday event (Kelli Shean, 2009).
- Razorback teammate Gabriela Lopez earned a sponsor’s exemption to the tournament and is playing for the third time.
- #ProHogs Stacy Lewis is the defending champion of this event
- The Road to #NWAChampionship was announced earlier this year as a partnership between the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G and the University of Arkansas Women’s Golf Team. The program guaranteed one Razorback student-athlete a Sponsor’s Exemption into the tournament and two qualifying spots for the Razorback Women’s Golf Team in the 2015 & 2016 LPGA events.
- Former Razorback @LisaCornwellGC of the Golf Channel will be in town to cover the event.
- Razorback teammate Summar Roachell caddied for Regina Plasencia.
- Samantha Marks’ father, Roger, caddied for her.