North Texas maintained their commanding day one lead and won the Entrada Classic on Tuesday, despite posting their highest single round score of the tournament at 302. Finishing 19 strokes ahead of No. 2 Iowa, this dominant win was the first tournament victory for the Mean Green this season.
Senior Lauren Cox won the day, finishing the tourney at No. 1 individually with a final round score of 75. Head coach Michael Akers enjoyed seeing Cox’s success, the only golfer to finish at or under par in the tourney, emphasizing her clutch play on the final hole.
“Lauren’s individual win was fun to watch,” Akers said. “She made a clutch up and down on 18 to seal the victory.”
Sophomores Patricia Sinolungan and Audrey Tan also posted strong finishes in the tourney, tying for Nos. 3 and 5 at two- and four-over-par, respectively.
Cox and Sinloungan tied for the lowest single round score of the tournament, both carding 69s in the second round of play on day one.
Posting strong finishes as well, freshmen Emilie Ricaud and Marija Jucmane finished tied for Nos. 10 and 15 at +8 and +10, respectively. For Jucmane, who competed as an individual, this was her second top 20 finish of the year.
Sophomore Katie Finley finished tied for No. 30 at +18 for the tourney, carding a final round score of 80.
Akers was very pleased with the team’s win, citing its necessity in keeping them within reach of an NCAA tournament bid, which typically goes to the top 50 teams nationally. Coming into Utah, North Texas was ranked No. 55 nationally by golfstat.com.
“I am very proud of this win,” Akers said. “Wins are rare in college golf because we play against 12-17 teams every event. This was an event we had to win in order to keep our ranking inside the [NCAA Tournament] bubble.”
The Mean Green ended day one of the Entrada Classic in sole possession of first place at 3-under par, posting first and second round scores of 290 and 283 respectively, the two lowest totals of any team in either round.
This finish put the team 21 strokes ahead of Iowa, No. 2 in the tourney heading into the final round of play on day two. Hosting the tournament, Brigham Young University ended the day one stroke back of Iowa at +19 and No. 3.
Ranked as the No. 55 team in the nation by golfstat.com, North Texas was the highest-ranked team coming into the tourney. Iowa and Brigham Young, ending day one of the tourney at No. 2 and 3, respectively. They were the next two highest-ranked teams entering the tourney, ranked at Nos. 112 and 60.
Leading the way for the team were senior Lauren Cox and sophomore Patricia Sinolungan, each posting scores of 72 and 69 and finishing the day at 3-under par, tied with each other for No. 1 individually.
Sophomore Audrey Tan finished the day close behind her teammates at +2 for the day and tied for No. 4 individually after carding rounds of 71 and 75.
Having posted rounds of 78 and 70 on the day, freshman Emilie Ricaud finished at +4 and No. 9 individually.
Competing as an individual, Marija Jucmane finished the day at +7 and tied for No. 13, carding rounds of 76 and 75.
After posting a first round score of 75, Katie Finley carded a 79 in round two and finished the day tied for No. 25 at +10.
Head coach Michael Akers cited the team’s talent and intelligence as being integral to their successful first two rounds of play.
“I’m very pleased with our first day in Utah,” Akers said. “We played very smart golf. This course requires skill and intelligence … this team has an abundance of both.”
Going into the final round of play tomorrow, Akers hopes the team will be able to maintain this level of competition and take advantage of their strong start.
“We will set our sights on shooting under par tomorrow and bringing home a victory,” Akers said.
UP NEXT: North Texas travels to Tucson, Arizona, for the Mountainview Collegiate tournament March 10-12th, hosted by the University of Missouri and Kansas State University.
Featured Image: Freshman Emilie Ricaud works on her swing before practice begins on Jan. 30, 2020. Image by Kyle Sproul