FAYETTEVILLE – The eighth-ranked University of Arkansas women’s golf team begins a busy month traveling to the UCF Invitational in Sorrento, Fla., Sunday-Tuesday, March 9-11.
The Lady Razorbacks, ranked eighth in the first Golf World/NGCA coaches poll of the spring, take on one of the toughest fields they face during the regular season in the first of four consecutive weekends of play.
“This is the toughest field I think we will see with the exception of the NCAA Championship in May,” said Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor. “It will be a great test to see how we match up and also help us to prepare for May.”
The Lady Razorbacks face No. 14 Alabama, No. 10 Auburn, No. 1 Duke, No. 5 Florida, No. 36 Florida State, No. 37 Furman, No. 12 Georgia, No. 25 LSU, No. 22 New Mexico, No. 7 Oklahoma State, No. 18 Pepperdine, No. 11 Purdue, No. 15 Tennessee, No. 47 Central Florida, No. 2 UCLA, No. 4 Southern California and No. 23 Vanderbilt on the par 70, 6,301-yard RedTail Golf Club in Sorrento, Fla.
“The course will be a difficult test,” Estes-Taylor continued. “It is very similar to what we see here at the Blessings so our practice round will be very important with regards to developing a game plan to compete at this golf course.”
Although weather was making it difficult for Arkansas to qualify and settle on a line-up, one thing is for sure – senior Stacy Lewis will be leading the Lady Razorbacks again this week.
Lewis is coming off three consecutive collegiate wins and is the reigning Southeastern Conference golfer of the week. She faces the challenge of not only leading her team but also goes head-to-head with Duke’s Amanda Blumenhurst, the number-one ranked collegiate golfer this week.
“Stacy will see Amanda Blumenhurst for the first time this semester,” said Estes-Taylor. “It will be exciting to watch them go head-to-head, but it will be very important for Stacy to focus on what she will need to do to be successful at this tournament and on this course. I know a lot is being made of this match up but it’s imperative that we focus on our mission as a team and the awards and accolades will take care of themselves.”
The Lady Razorbacks follow up with a trip to the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Classic March 17-19, as the University’s spring break begins. The “break” concludes with a trip to the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic march 21-23 and the month ends at the Bryan National Collegiate March 28-30. For more information about Arkansas golf, log on to LADYBACKS.COM.