Texas women’s golf finishes second at ANNIKA Intercollegiate

Gabby Norman, Sports Reporter

Coming off of a 13th place finish at the 2022 NCAA Championships and its fourth Big 12 title in the last five seasons in which the competition was held, No. 15 Texas women’s golf placed second at the ANNIKA Intercollegiate competition, hosted by Minnesota.

The competition was held at The Royal Golf Club in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, where the twelve teams played 18 holes each day, totaling 54 holes from Sept. 12-14. The course is 6,901 total yards and has a par-72 layout. Texas sent golfers Bentley Cotton, Sophie Guo, Cindy Hsu, Faith Kilgore and Bohyun Park to Minnesota.

”I’m happy with the effort, but definitely know that we could have won this tournament,” head coach Ryan Murphy said afterward. “As usual, we’ll evaluate and try to improve as we go.”

All eyes were on Park after the sophomore was named to the ANNIKA Award preseason watch list, which honors the best female collegiate golfer. She also earned Second Team All-American honors during her freshman year. 

Kilgore, the 2021 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Women’s Golfer of the Year, and Hsu, the 2021 IMG Junior World Championships medalist, also made their first appearances golfing for the Longhorns. 

Texas shot even par 288 on Monday, putting them in a tie for second place with Michigan, behind Virginia. 

Tuesday saw the team drop down the leaderboard as the Longhorns shot a 3-over 291 and found themselves in sixth place. 

But Texas made a recovery and climbed back up the leaderboard Wednesday, ending up in second place overall. The Longhorns recorded four birdies combined on the 17th and 18th holes to finish out the tournament with a bang. The Longhorns shot a 5-under third round and ended up with a combined 2-under score of 862. Wake Forest went for a 6-under 858, taking first. 

“I’m happy with the result,” Murphy said. “There are lots of positives, and obviously second in this field is strong. We are capable and will simply continue to work and sharpen a few areas.”

Hsu moved up 17 spots in the final two rounds, including five shots in the third round. She shot a 2-under 70 on the final day of the tournament, while Cotton tied for 19th in the tournament. Guo shot her best round in the final round, a 1-under 71, shooting four birdies for the round. Kilgore improved each day of the tournament and fired a 2-over 74 on the final day.

Park ended up tying for second with 7-under 209, only two shots behind Virginia’s Amanda Sambach. She was satisfied with this start to her season and is excited to see where the rest of the season goes. 

“My play this week has boosted my confidence going into this season,” Park said. “I’ve left some putts out there, but I also made some clean-up putts. Overall, I feel like my putting has been more stable than it was before. Our team had a solid start and finish. We played our final round 5-under which was really strong for us and showed us what we are capable of.”

Up next, the Longhorns will compete in the Mo’Morial hosted by Texas A&M in Bryan, starting Sept. 20.