Longhorns head to Arizona for the Wildcat Invitational

Hicks Layton

Coming off a sixth-place finish at the Northrop Grumman Intercollegiate in Palos Verdes Estates, California, the Longhorns are set to tee off at Sewailo Golf Club in Tucson, Arizona, for the Wildcat Invitational.

In her sixth collegiate event ever, freshman Kaitlyn Papp was a co-champion at the Northrop Grumman three weeks ago, tying UCLA’s Lilia Vu (third-ranked player in the country) and Arizona State’s Olivia Mehaffey (No. 11-ranked player in the country).

Papp looks to continue her stellar play this week in Arizona.

The first tournament of the season is a great indicator for what the team needs to work on and reveals how they can improve through the rest of the season.

“That first tournament is a litmus test that shows us exactly where we’re at,” Texas head coach Ryan Murphy said. “Being our first tournament back since November, I felt like we did several good things. It's definitely a good place to build from."

This week, the Longhorns will face two of the top 25 teams in the nation, including No. 2-ranked UCLA, which won its last start at the Northrop Grumman.

UCLA’s co-champion from the Northrop Grumman will be in the field this week, which could be the continuation of a healthy rivalry between she and Papp, who is starting in the No. 1 slot in the Longhorns’ lineup this week.

The rest of the lineup is sophomore Emilee Hoffman, freshman Agathe Laisne, sophomore Greta Voelker and junior Maddie Luitwieler.

At the Northrop Grumman, Hoffman and Laisne both finished tied for 38th, Voelker finished in a tie for 60th and Luitwieler finished in solo-84th.

This will be the Longhorns’ second straight start without senior Sophia Schubert — winner of the 2017 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship — who was recently named to the ANNIKA Award watch list. The award is presented annually to the top female collegiate golfer.

Texas has fared well in Arizona tournaments in the past, finishing in the top-10 as a team in its last five starts in the Grand Canyon State.

The action starts Monday and the final round will be played the following day.