Over the weekend of March 19-21 the women’s golf team is slated to travel to Tucson, Arizona, to participate in the Mountainview Collegiate Golf tournament hosted by Kansas State University. Through the week of March 15, North Texas stands at No. 35 in the nation.
“All we can really do this weekend is control what we can control by adjusting to the course and playing some good competition,” Head coach Michael Akers said. “We’ve beat good teams all year by adjusting to the course and playing well. Personally this weekend I’d like for the team to shoot par, there’s a lot of birdie opportunities on this course.”
Coming off a third and fourth place bid in the Texas-San Antonio hosted Maryb S. Kauth Invitational, the Mean Green looks to finish in a top position in Tucson against top-25 ranked opponents in No. 8 Baylor University, No. 9 Oklahoma State University and No. 25 University of Houston.
Other participating teams in the tournament are Florida International University, California State University-Fresno, Iowa State University, San Jose State University, University of Southern Mississippi, University of Texas, Tulane University, Tulsa and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.
Last week in San Antonio, North Texas came into the tournament as the No. 29 ranked team finishing in third place following the first day. Junior Katie Finley shot (+2) and took second place. The Mean Green also had three golfers in the top-20 with junior Patricia Sinolungan is tying for the No. 12 spot at (+6), senior Lauren Cox is tying for No. 17 at (+8) and junior Audrey Tan is tying for No. 19 at (+9).
On the final day, North Texas finished in fourth place behind Texas State University (third place), University of Texas-San Antonio (second place) and No. 31 Texas Tech University who took home the title. Finley was the North Texas leader Sunday shooting (+9) to tie for eighth place, Sinolungan tied for No. 14 at (+11), Tan tied for No. 17 with a (+12) and Cox finished in No. 20 with a (+15) score.
With multiple players having experience playing in The Preserve Golf Course in Tucson, the team says it is an opportunity to bounce back from the San Antonio tournament.
“Most of us have played this course before and we’ve really enjoyed it the times we have been here,” Cox said. “If the team shoots under par [Akers] wears his pink shorts as a joke in front of everyone and this weekend would a good time to see it.”
Baylor, Houston and Oklahoma State are familiar foes with North Texas as the four programs participated in the Icon Invitational on Feb. 22 and 23. Baylor at the time was the No. 1 ranked team in the nation and shot (-24) in the final day, then-No. 6 Oklahoma State shot (-10) overall in third place, North Texas shooting (+1) to finish in sixth and then-No. 12 Houston finished in seventh with a (+3) score.
Baylor and Oklahoma State are the two programs with tournament wins thus far in the season.
The Bears also had a win in their opening tournament in Dallas at the Trinity Forest Invitational hosted by Southern Methodist University on Feb. 1-2.
Oklahoma State closed out with a win in the Army Ranger Lead the Way Fund (ARLWF) Heroes Ladies Intercollegiate hosted by Purdue in Sarasota, Florida on Tuesday, Feb. 9.
The weather conditions in Tucson for Friday and Saturday are expected to be sunny in the mid-80s with eight to 13 MPH winds, and Sunday is called to be cloudy with 15 MPH winds. The elevation in Tucson is nearly 2,400 feet.
“It will be good weather for sure especially in a nice course to have the opportunity to play well, there’s not much more you could ask for,” Tan said. “This weekend is important to keep trusting in the process of the things we do and accomplishing our goals.”
Featured Image: Senior Lauren Cox chips the ball out of the sand during practice on Feb. 1, 2021. Image by Zach Del Bello