FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 4/7 University of Arkansas women’s golf team takes on one of the toughest fields outside of the NCAA Championship this week, facing seven teams in the top-15 at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic in Athens, Georgia.
The Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic
When: April 1-3, 2016 | All Day
Where: Athens, Ga. | UGA Golf Course
Course Info: Par 72; 6,404 Yards
Live Stats: www.birdiefire.com
Format: 18 holes of stroke play followed by three rounds/two brackets of match play
The 12-team field features No. 1/1 Duke, No. 2/2 Southern California, No. 3/5 Alabama, No. 5/4 Northwestern, No. 6/3 UCLA, No. 7/6 host Georgia and No. 15/14 Kent State and will challenge the Razorbacks with not only great competition, but a format that mirrors the NCAA Championship and includes match play this week.
The Razorbacks are no strangers to tough fields, facing another top field at the ANNIKA Invitational in the fall. Arkansas finished third in the field, ahead of then second-ranked Duke and No. 4 UCLA.
Arkansas’ top finisher in the ANNIKA was senior Gabriela Lopez who tied for fourth overall. Fast-forward to March and the Razorbacks are without the services of Lopez who turned professional in December. Freshman Maria Fassi graduated high school early and joined Arkansas in January and has done a nice job filling the void left by Lopez.
Fassi won her first event as a collegiate player in Puerto Rico, has been Arkansas’ top finisher in every event this spring and leads the team in stroke average.
Pair her with senior Regina Plasencia, junior Summar Roachell, sophomore Alana Uriell and freshman Cara Gorlei, all of whom also faced the field at the ANNIKA, and it is easy to see how the Razorbacks have remained in the top-10 this spring.
The Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic is the final regular season event for Arkansas. The Razorbacks next travel to the SEC Championship April 15-17, followed by NCAA Regionals May 5-7 and the NCAA Championship May 20-25 in Eugene, Oregon.
• Freshman Maria Fassi has been the Razorbacks’ top finisher in all three events she has competed in since joining the team in January
• Arkansas has had six top-five finishes in seven events this year with one tournament win and four runner-up finishes
• Arkansas has competed at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic every season since adding golf
• Head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor graduated from Georgia in 2000 with a degree in turf management
The Field (Golfstat/Golfweek rankings)
No. 3/5 Alabama, No. 4/7 Arkansas, No. 59/65 Auburn, No. 75/85 Denver, No. 1/1 Duke, No. 7/6 Georgia, No. 15/14 Kent State, No. 5/4 Northwestern, No. 40/42 Purdue, No. 67/58 Oregon State, No. 2/2 Southern California, No. 6/3 UCLA