No. 3 Women’s Golf opens season with third-place finish at ANNIKA International

Cameron Parker

Coming into the season ranked No. 3, the highest preseason ranking under head coach Ryan Murphy, the Texas Women’s golf team opened its season with a third-place finish at the ANNIKA Intercollegiate.

Kaitlyn Papp started her junior campaign with a seven-under-par finish, good enough for third overall individually. Papp’s 54-hole total of 209 tied her collegiate best for a tournament, showing that the 2019 WGCA All-American is picking up right where she left off last year.

“(Papp) had a great week, as usual,” Murphy said. “Very consistent play, and she hung in there today in some tough conditions. I’m very proud of her effort.”

Playing at the Royal Golf Club in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, golfers were hit by a brutal storms and windy conditions that delayed the final round by two hours. 

While the fast start from Papp is anything but surprising, freshman Sophie Guo’s debut for Texas was. Playing in her first collegiate tournament, the Chinese native opened her Texas career with a 69 before finishing the tournament at even par, where she finished 14th overall for the tournament.

“I’m very proud of her effort,” Murphy said . “She did not have the finish to the round today that she wanted, but overall a very good showing. She did a ton of good things this week to look back at (and) build on going forward.”

Senior Emilee Hoffman finished the tournament at three over par overall, while sophomore Sara Kouskova carded five over par for the tournament.

“Really good, tough finishes by Emilee and Sara today,” Murphy said. “Per the weather, today was the toughest day by far, and Emilee and Sara hung in there for us. I’m very proud of them both.”

Sophomore Hailee Cooper tied for 39th overall at eight over par after opening the tournament with a 76. 

“(Cooper) didn’t have the week she wanted, but she’s not far off,” Murphy said. “I fully expect her to bounce back quickly for us.”

The Longhorns were among only three teams that finished under par for the tournament. Nine of the 12 teams from the tournament are currently ranked inside the top 25. 

Texas will have a week off before traveling to Norman, Oklahoma, for the Schooner Fall Classic at the Belmar Golf Club. The Longhorns have yet to finish outside the top five since joining the tournament field in 2016, including a runner-up finish last year.