Longhorns falter in final round, finish second at Evans Derby Experience

Wills Layton

For the second tournament in a row, the Longhorn women’s golf team failed to capitalize on a second round lead, finishing tied for second in the Evans Derby Experience.

The Longhorns entered the final round with a three-stroke lead over the Duke Blue Devils, who they would end up tying for second while Florida State won the event.

“We played really well for most of this week,” Texas head coach Ryan Murphy said. “Unfortunately, the final nine holes were not our best. This definitely stings because we were in position, but we’ll learn from it and move forward.”

Individually, Texas had several standout performers who continue to improve week by week. Sophomore Kaitlyn Papp finished in solo seventh place, while both foreign players on the team, sophomore Agathe Laisne from France and freshman Sara Kouskova of the Czech Republic, finished tied for 12th place.

“Individually, Papp was solid as usual and had a chance to win,” Murphy said. “Her time is coming soon. Agathe, Sara and Hailee (Cooper) also had some nice rounds and they all finished in the top 20. They are coming into form as well.”

Once again, the field this week was filled with quality teams, featuring 10 of the top 25 teams in the country, including members of the top 10 in Duke, Arkansas, and South Carolina. The Longhorns continue to test themselves against the best programs and are positioning themselves well for the postseason.

“It was definitely a good field this week with Duke and Arkansas and a bunch of other good schools,” Papp said. “To compete with them again is always nice. The course showed its teeth today with the pin placement, so it was a good test of golf.”

A major theme as the season has gone by has been the improvement of each of the golfers. While every player has a different aspect of their game to work on, each has progressed nicely as the season has gone on.

“We had a great week,” Laisne said. “We didn’t win, but we finished tied for second which is pretty good. My own game was really good. My putting has always been a struggle, but I stayed positive and know I’m going to work on that.”

Texas will next play in the Bruzzy Challenge starting April 1. This will be the last regular season tournament for the Longhorns before the Big 12 Championship.