FAYETTEVILLE, Ar. (arkansasrazorbacks.com) – The Arkansas women’s golf team got off to a solid start at the fourth annual Blessings Collegiate Invitational, as the Hogs finished with a 3-under 285. As the only team in the field to finish under par, the Arkansas A Team has a four-shot lead on Mississippi State, who is 1-over par. Arkansas’ B Team, composed of individuals, finished the first round with a 3-over 291 to sit in third place. Between the two Arkansas teams, five Hogs are in the top five led by Maria José Marin with a 5-under 67 and Ela Anacona in second with a 4-under 68.
Arkansas’ A team, which will count toward the Hogs’ team score, saw some trouble at holes 7 and 8, but after all five players birdied hole 10, the team started to heat up to finish strong on the back nine. The first group, which will count toward Arkansas’ team score was led by José Marin who was 5-under par on the day. José Marin logged eight birdies, which led the field and just three bogeys. Her 67 ties a career low round in just her second collegiate tournament, and is also her third time in the 60s in just four rounds.
Miriam Ayora is coming off playing as a sponsor exemption at the 2023 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G. The senior showed no look of tiredness, finishing the day with a 2-under 70 to sit in a tie for third. After starting the day 2-over par thru four holes, she started to heat up, finishing the final 14 holes with four birdies and no bogeys, including three on the back nine.
Kajal Mistry had a strong showing on the back nine with a 36 after finding some trouble on hole 7 with a triple bogey. She finished the day with three birdies and sits at a tie for 18th with a 2-over 74. Kendall Todd is tied with Mistry at 18th with a 74, highlighted by four birdies. Reagan Zibilski finished the day with a 75 behind four birdies, including three straight on holes 9-11. She is tied for 22nd.
Arkansas had a field’s best 4.04 par 4s scoring average and 23 total birdies.
Anacona, who sits one shot behind José Marin in second place logged her seventh career round in the 60s with a 68. The graduate student was 1-over par thru five holes and then was superb on her final 13 holes. Anacona birdied holes 18 and 1 before converting an eagle on hole two. She closed out her final seven holes with six pars and a birdie on five. Anacona has a two-shot cushion ahead of third-place Ayora and NC State’s Lauren Olivares Leon.
Freshman Abbey Schutte had a superb collegiate debut with a 1-under 71. Schutte was 2-over par thru her first nine holes, and despite a double bogey on hole three, she was 33 on the front nine with five birdies to finish under par. She is tied for fifth.
Julia Gregg was cooking on holes 15 through 17 with back-to-back-to-back birdies. She was 35 on the back nine and 38 on the front to finish with a 1-over 73. Gregg finished the round with six birdies and a field’s best par 3s average with 2.25. She is tied for 13th.
After rehabbing from injury last season, Cory Lopez made her return to college golf, finishing with a 7-over 79 to sit in a tie for 39th. Giovanna Fernandez is in 49th after shooting an 11-over 83.
ROUND ONE SCORES
1 – Maria José Marin – 67=67 (-5)
2 – Ela Anacona* – 68=68 (-4)
T3 – Miriam Ayora – 70=70 (-2)
T5 – Abbey Schutte* – 71=71 (-1)
T13 – Julia Gregg* – 73=73 (+1)
T18 – Kajal Mistry – 74=74 (+2)
T18 – Kendall Todd – 74=74 (+2)
T22 – Reagan Zibilski – 75=75 (+3)
T39 – Cory Lopez *– 79=79 (+7)
49 – Giovanna Fernandez* – 83=83 (+11)
* – Individual
ROUND ONE TEAM SCORES
1 – No. 3 Arkansas – 285=285 (-3)
2 – No. 29 Mississippi State – 289=289 (+1)
3 – No. 3 Arkansas (B) – 291=291 (+3) (all individuals)
T4 – No. 5 South Carolina – 295=295 (+7)
T4 – Washington – 295=295 (+7)
6 – NC State – 301=301 (+13)
7 – No. 9 Clemson – 303=303 (+15)
8 – No. 38 North Texas – 304=304 (+16)
9 – No. 28 Kentucky – 311=311 (+23)
10 – No. 42 Minnesota – 312=212 (+24)
The Hogs will play round two at the Blessings Collegiate Invitational, tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 3. Arkansas’ B team tees off from hole 1 at 10 a.m., while the Hogs’ A team will go off hole 10 at 10:15 a.m. Admission to Blessings Golf Club is free to the public.
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.