FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Road to #NWAChampionship revealed the names of three University of Arkansas women’s golfers who have a chance to play in the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G, and the trio is ready to go as the event approaches next week. The event takes place June 20-26, at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers.
Freshman Maria Fassi clinched the sponsor’s exemption with a 72.56 stroke average at the time of the selection making her the top-ranked Razorback player. Sophomore Alana Uriell and senior Regina Plasencia were close behind with the second and third scoring averages, 73.46 and 73.93, respectively, giving them the opportunity to play in the tournament’s Monday qualifier.
“It will be an amazing experience playing with the top players in the world at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, and I’m excited to learn from them,” said Fassi. “I am really thankful for this opportunity and look forward to making memories at the tournament.”
Fassi, a Pachuca, Mexico, native, joined the team in January after graduating high school early in December, 2015. Since that time she has qualified and played in all six spring events, becoming the first player in program history to open her career with a victory when she won the Lady Puerto Rico Classic.
Fassi has been the Razorbacks’ low finisher in five of six events with four top-10 showings this season. Her season/career bests include a single-round 67 (second round of Puerto Rico) and a three-round total 208 (Puerto Rico). Fassi leads all Razorbacks with a 72.56 stroke average and is ranked No. 9 on the Southeastern Conference leaderboard. Fassi ranks No. 7 in Golfweek, and No. 55 on WAGR.com.
The first-year player earned selection to the All-SEC Second-Team and the SEC All-Freshman team this year.
Uriell was Arkansas’ best finisher at the Stanford NCAA Regional Championship with a third-place showing and finished tied for 20th at the 2016 NCAA Championship. Plasencia was Arkansas’ low scorer in several fall events this season.
“I couldn’t be more proud of each of these ladies for their hard work and performance on-and-off the course this spring,” Razorback women’s golf coach Shauna Estes said. “This is especially exciting for Maria with this being her freshman year and first semester of college golf. She has proven herself these past few months and I look forward to seeing her represent the University of Arkansas at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship.”
Uriell closed out the season with a 73.31 scoring average and Plasencia finished with an average of 74.06. Both golfers will compete in the tournament’s qualifier round on Monday, June 20 for a chance to claim each of the two final spots available in the official tournament field. Plasencia competed in the 2014 and 2015 tournament qualifier, while this is Uriell’s first year to compete.
The partnership, which began in 2015, includes specific criteria set for players to qualify. The criteria for selection include team rankings and academic standing for the golfers. The top-ranked University of Arkansas player based on the player rankings as of May 10 will be eligible for the sponsor’s exemption. The qualified player must write an official letter requesting invitation and be in good academic standing with the University. The second and third best stroke averages from the team’s competitive season will have an opportunity on Monday to qualify for the official LPGA event. Past exemptions have included Stacy Lewis, Emily Tubert and Gabriela Lopez.
To find out more information about the Road to #NWAChampionship or the LPGA tournament, please visit www.nwachampionship.com.