Papp leads Texas to top-10 finish

Hicks Layton

Freshman Kaitlyn Papp picked up the first win of her Texas career on Tuesday at the Northrop Grumman Intercollegiate in Palos Verdes, California.

Papp finished in a tie for first place individually. There was no playoff to determine a champion, so Papp, along with Olivia Mehaffey of Arizona State and Lilia Vu of UCLA, were declared co-champions.

For Papp, it’s a continuation of her solid tournament performance from the fall season, when she finished in the top 10 twice.

“I do have a desire for each person to be able to win individually,” Texas head coach Ryan Murphy said of his team last week. “In my mind, I’m always trying to help them develop their game to get to that point, where if they play well, they can win.”

As a team, Texas finished sixth overall in the Northrop Grumman Intercollegiate to start off the spring season, with a total score of 885 over three rounds at the tough Palos Verdes Country Club. Texas improved its position each day of the tournament, moving from 11th to 10th to sixth.

Papp started off round one hot, with two birdies and an eagle on the front side. She cooled off on the back with a 2-over par 38, ending the day with a 2-under par 69. She followed her round-one performance with an even par 71 and 1-over par 72 in rounds two and three, respectively.

Heading into the final round, Papp stood one shot off the lead. Mehaffey, an eventual co-champion, led the pack at 3-under par and shot a 2-over par 73 to slip back to 1-under — the winning score. Papp had a chance to win the tournament outright at 2-under, but a bogey on her 14th hole dropped her back to 1-under overall.

Sophomore Emilee Hoffman struggled during the first two rounds of the tournament, following up her opening-round 76 with an 81 on Monday. Tuesday was a different story, as Hoffman fired a redeeming 3-under par 68 to finish tied for 38th.

Freshman Agathe Laisne shot 75 in all three rounds and also finished in a tie for 38th. Sophomore Greta Voelker finished in a tie for 60th, and junior Maddie Luitwieler came in 84th.

The Longhorns get a bit of a break before their next tournament, The Wildcat, which takes place at Sewailo Golf Club in Tucson, Arizona, on March 5 and 6.