HOOVER, Ala. – The third-ranked University of Arkansas women’s golf team was on the course for more than 10 hours on Saturday, winning two matches and advancing to the Southeastern Conference Match Play Championship in Hoover, Alabama.
The Razorbacks take on No. 10 South Carolina in the final day of the week-long event. Action began on Wednesday with three rounds of stroke play with the top eight teams advancing to match play on Saturday. The field of eight was cut to four with Arkansas advancing with a 3-2 win over Florida in the morning flight. The Razorbacks defeated Alabama, 3-1-1, in the afternoon to move on to the championship on Sunday.
South Carolina entered the day as the No. 1 seed after finishing first after three rounds of stroke play. They defeated Missouri and Georgia to reach the championship.
SEC individual runner-up Maria Fassi picked up two match play wins as did junior Kaylee Benton to lead Arkansas on the day. Alana Uriell and Cara Gorlei each won a match as well.
Inside The Ropes
When: Sunday, April 22, 2018
Time: 7 a.m. CT
Where: Legacy Course at Greystone Golf and Country Club
Who: No. 3 Arkansas vs. No. 10 South Carolina
Live Scoring: http://bit.ly/2HnANu4
Watch: The SEC Network – coverage begins at 8 a.m. CT
Semifinals – Arkansas def. Alabama, 3-1-1
The second match of the day saw the conditions and course change during the afternoon. Hot temperatures and relatively no wind gave way to cool and windy conditions with overcast skies as the round turned for the final nine holes.
Fassi was out of the gate first and she battled in a back-and-forth match with her opponent. The players turned all square and would remain even until the 14th hole of the afternoon. Fassi grabbed the lead on the par-5 as she continued to play well on the long holes. She held on for the first win of the match for the Razorbacks.
Uriell and Benton both picked up wins in their matches to clinch the Razorback victory. Uriell opened fast taking the lead on the third hole of the round. She would go up by as much as three before getting the 2 & 1 win.
Benton also took an early advantage winning the first hole of the match. She never surrendered the lead in the 3 & 2 win. Gorlei added some drama to the match on the 17th hole of her round. All square to that point, Gorlei hit her tee shot into the bunker on No. 8. A great sand shot saw the junior hole out and take the lead. She moved on to the 18th hole, but her contest was suspended after the Razorbacks won its third match.
Maria Fassi (Ark.) def. Kristen Gillman (Ala.) 1-up
Cara Gorlei (Ark.) vs. Cheyenne Knight (Ala.) Susp.
Alana Uriell (Ark.) def. Lauren Stephenson (Ala.) 2 & 1
Kaylee Benton (Ark.) def. Lakareber Abe (Ala.) 3 & 2
Angelica Moresco (Ala.) def. Dylan Kim (Ark.) 1 & 3
Quarter Finals – Arkansas def. Florida 3-2
Arkansas opened the day at 7 a.m. from the 10th tee against the Gators. Uriell won the first hole of the day and Arkansas was in a good position as they made the turn with all five Razorbacks leading their matches.
Fassi turned with a three-hole advantage and won her 10th hole to go up four with eight holes to play. She gave a hole back but rallied on No. 6, her 15th hole, winning the hole and the match 4 & 3.
Benton was on Fassi’s heels with a 3 & 2 win. She turned with a one-hole advantage and stretched that to three holes winning Nos. 2 and 3. Benton held on to the lead, winning in 16 holes.
Arkansas lead 2-1 at that point needing just one more match to move on. It was Gorlei who clinched for the Razorbacks winning 2 & 1 in 17 holes. Gorlei’s opponent hit her tee shot into the bunker on No. 8 (the 18th hole of the round). Gorlei followed with a long shot over a ridge. Her second shot was a 35-foot effort down a ridge to the green. Gorlei’s opponent conceded the putt, needing to make her own 6-footer to win the hole. She missed, and Gorlei sealed the Razorback win.
Elin Esborn (Fla.) def. Alana Uriell (Ark.) 1-up
Dylan Kim (Ark.) vs. Marta Perez (Fla.) Susp.
Cara Gorlei (Ark.) def. Sierra Brooks (Fla.) 2 & 1
Kaylee Benton (Ark.) def. Addison Baggarly (Fla.) 3 & 2
Maria Fassi (Ark.) def. Taylor Tomlinson (Fla.) 4 & 3
The Razorbacks move on to face South Carolina in the final. Ainhoa Olarra battled in a two-hole playoff with Fassi to win the SEC individual title on Friday.
Maria Fassi (Ark.) vs. Anita Uwadia (SC)
Cara Gorlei (Ark.) vs. Marion Veysseyre
Alana Uriell (Ark.) vs. Ana Pelaez
Kaylee Benton (Ark.) vs. Ainhoa Olarra
Dylan Kim (Ark.) vs. Lois Kaye Go (SC)
Keep up with all of the latest news and information and get behind the scenes looks into our program on our social media accounts. Follow us on Twitter at @RazorbackWGolf and check out our Facebook page “Razorback Women’s Golf.” Stats, news and player information can be found at ArkansasRazorbacks.com.