KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – University of Arkansas senior Emily Tubertposted back-to-back under par rounds leading the No. 18 Razorback women’s golf team to the title in the rain-shortened 17th Annual Mercedes Benz Collegiate in Knoxville, Tenn., Sunday.
Arkansas shot 282-281 for 563 and the first team title of the season.
Tubert, a Burbank, Calif., native, opened play with a 69 on Friday adding a 68 on Sunday for a 137 and a three-stroke win. The Razorbacks were the only team under par for the tournament with rounds of 282-281=563, winning the event by eight strokes over second place.
Tubert opened her round with a bogey on the first hole but settled in with eight consecutive pars turning at one-over. She lit up the back nine playing four-under with birdies on the 10th, 12th, 15th and 16th holes for her 68.
“It is so awesome to see this group stick to the game plan and execute the shots when it counts most,” Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor said. “We were tied going into the 12th hole and just hit quality golf shots when we needed to. I’m really glad they benefited from all the hard work.”
“We had three players in contention to win the title and when you have that, it is exciting golf,” Estes-Taylor continued. “We had two seconds and a first and that is just amazing. All three just played really awesome golf. I’m excited for Emily to get the individual win – that is great for her confidence.”
Teammates sophomores Regina Plasencia and Gabriela Lopez tied for second overall shooting 140 for the two-round event. Plasencia shot 69-71 and Lopez counted 72-68.
Plasencia was plus-two after three holes and fought her way back with a strong finish. The Guadalajara, Mexico, native picked up the first of three birdies on the fifth hole adding two more in the 15th and 17th holes for her even par 71 in the final round.
Lopez matched Tubert with a final round 68 in a nearly perfect effort on Sunday. She too bogeyed the first hole of the round but moved to one-under with birdies on the fourth and eighth holes. She stumbled with a bogey on the 10th hole but finished with three birdies in the final eight holes to move up the leaderboard.
“Regina continues to play well and for Gaby to close strong is fantastic,” Estes-Taylor said.
Freshman Summar Roachell also counted this weekend for Arkansas. The Conway, Ark., native finished tied for 19th overall with a 146 with rounds of 72-74. Senior Emma Lavy tied for 56th overall shooting a 78 in the first round and adding 74 Sunday for a 152.
Roachell continues to improve with each tournament. She was four-over on the front nine with her lone birdie on the sixth hole. She had two birdies in the final nine holes to finish with 74. Roachell had seven birdies in the two rounds.
Redshirt freshman Olivia Lavy tied for 74th overall in her first event as a collegiate player. The younger Lavy shot 8075 for 155 for the Razorbacks.
The team had an “off” day Saturday when the rain washed out play but the Razorbacks were far from idle. They did do some studying and took in a movie but also focused on their golf games.
“We did some mirror swings, stretches and played the course in our heads,” Estes-Taylor said. “It was an advantage to have a day off and we got creative and trained in the hotel.”
The Razorbacks finished with an eight stroke lead over day-one leader No. 6 South Carolina who finished with a 571. No. 35 Tulane made a second round charge to finish third with 579 followed by host No. 21 Tennessee with 581, and No. 34 UCF with 582 to round out the top five. The rest of the field includes No. 13 Louisville with 585, No. 60 Notre Dame with 588, No. 69 Chattanooga with 591, Michigan with 593, No. 8 Mississippi State with 593, No. 4 College of Charleston with 598, No. 14 Campbell with 599, No. 44 Penn State with 601, No. 81 UTSA with 602, No. 41 Ole Miss and Rollins College with 603 and No. 62 Missouri with 604.