Texas women’s golf looks to recapture momentum in Hilton Head

Cameron Parker

The Texas women’s golf team returns to action this week in Hilton Head, South Carolina, for the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate still seeking their first win of the spring season.

After ending the fall season with three straight victories, the No. 1-ranked Longhorns have struggled in their first two tournaments since winter break. Texas opened with a third-place finish at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge and followed that up with a fourth-place finish at the Icon Invitational, their worst finish of the season.

“Obviously, it was not our week here in Houston,” Texas head coach Ryan Murphy said to Texas Sports. “Going forward, I simply need to do a better job of getting the team ready to compete.” 

While freshman Sophie Guo continued her stellar play with a top-five finish at 3 under par, no one else finished under par for Texas. Guo led the tournament after the second round, but a final-round 73 diminished any shot of winning her second collegiate tournament.

“I am very proud of Sophie and how she continues to play some very strong golf,” Murphy said. “I know she wanted to play a little better today and get her second win of the season, but it just wasn’t her day. Nonetheless, a very strong showing.”

Sophomore Hailee Cooper and senior Emilee Hoffman both finished at 2 over par, placing them tied for 15th, while junior Agathe Laisne was one stroke behind them at 3 over par, tying for 20th after firing a 69 in the final round. Sophomore Sara Kouskova tied for 49th at 9 over par. 

Texas entered the final round two strokes behind leaders Kent State and Purdue, but it sputtered as the Golden Flashes increased their lead. When it was all settled, the Longhorns were 12 strokes behind Kent State on the leaderboard.

The Longhorns played the Icon Invitational without junior Kaitlyn Papp, who missed her first start of the season. Papp is currently ranked third among the nation’s top golfers, according to Golfweek, with teammate Guo right above her at second. Guo and Papp will start at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate alongside Cooper, Hoffman and Laisne.

The 17-team field features 11 Top 25 teams, including No. 4 Duke, No. 6 South Carolina and No. 7 Wake Forest, and the event will be played at the Long Cove Club. Three tournaments remain for the Longhorns before the Big 12 Championships, along with the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and U.S. Women’s Open Qualifying. Cooper and Hoffman will play in the Augusta Women’s Amateur, forcing them to miss the Bruzzy Challenge.

The Darius Rucker Intercollegiate will be a 54-hole event played over three days starting at 7:30 a.m. Friday.