FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas women’s golf team returns to the links Monday and Tuesday at the Kinderlou Challenge in Valdosta, Ga., at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club.
The event is billed as a Southeastern Conference-Atlantic Coast Conference challenge between the leagues.
Arkansas takes a new look lineup into this week’s event, the second of spring for Arkansas. Making the trip this week are seniors Kelli Shean and Kristin Ingram, junior Corinna Rees and a pair of freshmen in Victoria Vela and Meaghan Roberts.
Roberts was a late addition after an injury to senior Alex Schulte.
“This is a new event,” said Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor. “The SEC is the best conference for women’s golf and everyone wants to challenge us. I think we’re going to take part in more conference challenges and I think this is the first of more to come.”
The inaugural event features 18 of the best teams in the country with 36 holes Monday with a 9:30 a.m. central start. The final 18 holes have a shotgun start Tuesday.
Ten of the 12 SEC teams will be in attendance. In addition to Arkansas, the field includes Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Tennessee, South Carolina and Vanderbilt.
Florida State, Virginia, Ohio State, Tulane and Kennesaw State are also schedule to participate.
Tennessee is the highest-ranked team checking in at number six. Number 11 Georgia, No. 12 Virginia, No. 17 Florida, No. 18 LSU, No. 21 Vanderbilt, No. 23 South Carolina, No. 26 Tulane and No. 30 Florida State are all in the top 30 in this week’s rankings.
“This is a strong, strong field,” Estes-Taylor. “It looks like a great golf course and we’re excited to be a part of this event.”
As for the lineup change, Estes-Taylor is excited about that as well.
“As a coach, you always worry about how the team responses to change,” Estes-Taylor said. “But we challenge all 10 on the roster to train hard and be ready for any opportunity that comes up. I feel very comfortable with Meaghan in the lineup. I’m excited to watch a freshman in her first competition. It brings a level of excitement and energy in their first event.”