Courtesy of Texas Athletics
Editor’s Note: This article first appeared as part of the October 5th flipbook.
As the women’s golf team enters its second tournament of the fall season, Texas is looking to show up and show-off with two of its three new players making the five-person lineup. This year, the team is made up of four returning players and three new faces, whose additions have already helped the Longhorns in intercollegiate play. Let’s take a look at this year’s roster:
As a new addition to the roster, Tiffany Cao is looking to make her mark on Texas women’s golf. Hailing from Midlothian High School in Midlothian, Texas, Cao qualified for the 5A UIL State Tournament as an individual medalist, finishing second overall in the 5A State Championship with a score of 141, only one stroke back from first place. While Cao has yet to compete in a tournament this year, she brings great promise.
Sophomore Bentley Cotton is off to a great start this season. At the ANNIKA Intercollegiate Tournament, she tied her best at an impressive 1-under 71 with an eagle and three birdies. In high school, Cotton led her Westlake team to the UIL 6A State Championship in 2018 and 2019. She also won the Texas Women’s Amateur Tournament at the UT Golf Club in 2020. Cotton has been a three-time selection for UIL’s 6A All-State First Team and a three-time US Women’s Amateur competitor.
Now a junior, Sophie Guo looks to expand her list of accolades after record-breaking performances. In her freshman season, Guo averaged 70.71 strokes, setting the school record for the best single-season stroke average in program history. In the same season, she earned her first collegiate victory at the White Sands Invitational where she carded a 17-under victory with a six-stroke lead, making her the first Texas Longhorn golfer to shoot sub-200 for 54-hole total. This season, Guo tied for 18th at the ANNIKA Intercollegiate tournament with a two-under par 70.
Since her freshman year, senior Sara Kouskova has been a standout golfer for the Longhorns. In her freshman season, Kouskova was an All-Big 12 Conference Selection as well as a member of the Big 12 All-Tournament Team in 2019. Originally from Prague, Czech Republic, Kouskova has been a member of the Czech National Golf Team since she was 14 and represented her country at various international tournaments, including the Women’s World Team Amateur Championship. At the ANNIKA Intercollegiate this season, Kouskova tied for 15th with a final score of 73, 1-over par.
As one of four returning players, sophomore Ashley Park is ready for a redo of last season. As a freshman, Park made consistent appearances in the lineups and teed-off against some of the strongest female golfers in the game.
At the Wildcat Invitational in March, Park put on a show, pulling a 5-under 67 and recording her first collegiate top five finish. Since age ten, Park has competed in the SCPGA Toyota Tour in her hometown of Irvine, California and won it five times since she was twelve. This year, Park is looking forward to repeating last season’s success alongside her new teammates.
Despite being in her first season of college golf, Park joined the team with a number of record-breaking performances. This summer, Park finished top three in a U.S. Open Qualifying tournament where she clinched a berth in the touted U.S. Women’s Open as an 18-year-old. Park finished 2-under par after shooting rounds of 72 and 70 at Golf Club of Houston in May. At the ANNIKA Intercollegiate, Park carded a four-under par performance in her final round to finish tied for tenth place in her collegiate debut. Given her talents, Park will be one to watch in future seasons.
In her first season, Brigitte Thibault joins the team with a great deal of international experience under her belt. Originally from Canada, Thibault takes on her first year with the Horns as a graduate transfer student using her fifth year of COVID eligibility. Since transferring from Fresno State University, Thibault has made the lineups for the first two tournaments of this season. Despite struggling at the ANNIKA Intercollegiate in September, Thibault is looking to bounce back this week at the Windy City Classic.