UT improves, unable to win spring debut on the road

Stephanie Yarbrough

Texas sophomore Haley Stephens ended the UCF Challenge on Tuesday tied for fifth place with a season-low 54-hole total of 1-under-par 215. As a team, the Longhorns (290-294-298) jumped from sixth place to a tie for fifth place in the 17-team competition after Tuesday’s play. They finished their spring debut at 18-over 298.

The last time the Longhorns were at this event in 2009, they finished in 15th place at 23-over 877.

Stephens (69-72-74) continued to be UT’s leader after starting the competition with a career-best 69 on Sunday at the Red Tail Golf Club. After all three rounds, she finished with 11 birdies, eight bogeys and only one double bogey.

Among the top-20 finishers were Texas sophomores Katelyn Sepmoree (72-74-73) and Madison Pressel (72-73-74). The duo shared 16th place with totals of 3-over 219. Sepmoree led Texas after a final-round 73 on Tuesday.

Junior Nicole Vandermade (77-75-77) finished 13-over 229 tying for 50th place while freshman Rebecca Lee-Bentham (81-77-77) tied for 66th place finishing at 19-over 235.

Junior Megan Rosenfeld (75-81-81=237, +21) tied for 72nd while competing as an individual for
the Longhorns.

Coming into the tournament, the Longhorns were ranked No. 16 in the Dec. 3 edition of the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index.

Coastal Carolina (285-289-293) won the UCF Challenge with a 3-over 867. Tulane (284-295-289=868, +4) finished second and Minnesota (288-295-286=869, +5) rounded out the top three.

Kentucky’s Ashleigh Albrecht (66-70-72) and Minnesota’s Teresa Puga (70-72-66=208, -8) were confirmed as co-medalists after a two-hole playoff. Both players made par twice on the 18th hole.

Texas returns to play at the Bruin Wave Invitational on Feb. 28.