Following a solid fall season which included five top-10 team finishes, Texas women’s golf now has its eyes set on the 2018 NCAA Championship.
To get there, the Longhorns need to continue to post low numbers and rack up as many high finishes as they can.
“Whatever tournament we go to, I want to have a chance to be in contention to win,” Texas head coach Ryan Murphy said.
Each member of the team has a star-studded resume. Senior Sophia Schubert won the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship last August, and freshman Agathe Laisne won the European Ladies’ Amateur Championship last July. Both Schubert and Laisne competed in the Evian Championship this past September — a major competition. Schubert tied for 58th place, and Laisne missed the cut by six strokes.
Schubert competed in only three of Texas’ five tournaments last fall, missing two to compete in the Evian Championship. Of the three tournaments she did play in, she finished in the top 10 in each, including a win at the Betsy Rawls Invitational at UT Golf Club in Austin.
Laisne also missed two tournaments in order to compete in the Evian Championship. Her best finish in the tournaments she did play in was a tie for 28th at the Betsy Rawls Invitational.
Freshman Kaitlyn Papp, an Austin native, finished in the top 10 twice last season. While she has only competed in five collegiate tournaments, she has the best overall scoring average on the team with a 72.2. Papp also tied sophomore Emilee Hoffman for the team’s lowest fall individual round with a 64 at the Schooner Fall Classic.
Hoffman also racked up two top-10 placements in the fall, including a runner-up finish at the Betsy Rawls Invitational. Sophomores Maren Cipolla and Greta Voelker had two and three top-25 finishes last fall, respectively.
“I do have a desire for each person to be able to win individually,” Murphy said.
Coming out of a long break, the Longhorns are set to tee up at the Northrop Grumman Challenge this Sunday at the Palos Verdes Country Club in Palos Verdes, California.
Coaches have little to no control over offseason practice, so this tournament is an opportunity for Texas to knock the winter rust off and see what aspects of players’ games need work.
“That first tournament is a litmus test that shows us exactly where we’re at,” Murphy said. “I’d like to think we’re really ready, but you don’t know until you compete.”