Julia Beck

Photo Credit: Joe Capraro | Daily Texan Staff

A lot of kids dream of making the pros and getting paid to do what they love. 

For most, it’s just that — a dream. But for the eight Texas women’s golf team members, this dream of making the big leagues and playing in the LPGA Tour is close to reality.

“All have the ability to make the LPGA,” head coach Ryan Murphy said. “It’s just a question of if that’s what you want to do with your life.”  

Murphy’s statement is twofold: it’s an endorsement of his players’ abilities and also a recognition of the difficulties of earning and keeping an LPGA Tour card.

There are three qualifying stages to earning the tour card. About 300 women begin the process with Stage I of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament. The top 100 players and ties from the first stage move onto the second tournament. From the second, the top 80 and ties advance to the third and final stage, which is a 90-hole tournament over five days, after which the top 20 finishers receive
LPGA memberships.

“Love and passion for the game is necessary to be a professional,” Murphy said. “I have inherited a group of young women who work hard and are capable.” 

Last weekend at the Ping/ASU Invitational, junior Tezira Abe posted two season-low rounds of 70 (-2). At that same tournament, senior Bertine Strauss tied for first place with a three-round score of 210 (-6). 

A few weeks earlier at the Anuenue Spring Break Classic, sophomore Julia Beck had her best finish — a tie for ninth. All three hope to parlay this recent success into professional careers.

“My goal is to play on the LPGA Tour and contend for major championships,” Beck said. 

Her experience as a Longhorn has offered her the opportunity to play against the best and understand how she can improve on the course, specifically with her driver in her attempts to hit the ball longer and shorten the course.

As for Abe, advice from Murphy has encouraged her to be more prepared.

“Coach said that I should be first to arrive to practice and last to leave from practice,” said Abe. 

In addition to putting in the practice time and working hard, Abe said she has been able to learn from Kate Golden, 18-year LPGA veteran and associate head coach. 

Murphy, a first-time Division I head coach, believes Texas won’t be the end of the line for Strauss.

“You’ll see Bertine on television soon,” Murphy said. “It’s been her dream for some time.”

These players all have aspirations of becoming the next member of the tour, but each at her own pace. 

As a senior, Strauss hopes to finish this season, graduate and pursue the tour this fall. Abe will graduate in December, play through her college eligibility and then move to achieve LPGA membership. As for Beck, she will make the journey to the tour once her game reaches a point where she believes she can contend among the best.

These players know their dreams are close. It’s just a matter of realizing it.

Facing heavy winds, the Texas women’s golf team posted a final round team score of 300 in Orlando, Florida, on Tuesday to finish the UCF Challenge in a tie for eighth at 16-over par.

“Per our team effort, we were better today in the wind than we have been this season, so, in that regard, we are making progress,” head coach Ryan Murphy said.

Junior Natalie Karcher, one of the five individuals sent to the challenge, finished 11th place with a 2-under par for the tournament — a personal best for this season and second-best of her career.

Among the other Longhorns who participated in the tournament, sophomore Julia Beck posted a 4-over par, placing her 34th. Beck has had an incredibly consistent season for the Longhorns, having competed in all four events for the Longhorns with all 12 rounds she has posted counting toward the team’s final score.

Coming in right behind Beck, senior Bertine Strauss shot a 5-over par to finish in 35th place. Strauss finished strong in the final round of the event, posting a par in her final round, which was the best of the day for
the Longhorns.

“Good round by Bertine today in 18-20 mph winds,” Murphy said. “Not many scores were at or below par today, so it’s a good note for her to finish this tournament on.”

To round things out, sophomore Anne Hakula finished in 63rd place while junior Teriza Abe shot a 19-over-par, resulting in a 92nd place finish.

The event was the fifth of the season for the Longhorns, who scored an 880 at the three-day event. Ultimately, Texas finished 30 strokes behind the winners of the tournament, the Virginia Cavaliers, who posted a 14-under par.

“Finishing eighth of 18 is not what we were striving for, but it’s an okay starting point for us this spring,” Murphy said. “From here, it’s about getting better every time we tee it up.”

The Longhorns’ next event is the Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate from Feb. 22-24 at the English Turn Country Club in New Orleans, Louisiana.

A third and final round Tuesday concluded the Alamo Invitational for the Texas women’s golf team, which finished 18 over par in a tie for 11th place. This marked an impressive four-place jump for the Longhorns, who sat at 15th place going into their final round.

Sophomore Julia Beck (-2) led the Longhorns, as she birdied six holes and eagled one in her final round to finish 6 under par for the day, claiming 15th place. 

Senior Bertine Strauss (+5) scored 1 over par in her final round to finish in a seven-way tie for 37th place.

Junior Tezira Abe (+9) shot her lowest round Tuesday of 1 under par to finish at 57th, while fellow junior Natalie Karcher (+12) and sophomore Lara Weinstein ended their final rounds in 64th place.

LSU claimed the first place team title, scoring 23 under par. Auburn freshman Sophia Schubert (-12) took the individual gold.

The invitational marks the completion of the Longhorns’ fall season. They will begin play again at the UCF Challenge on Feb. 8 in Orlando, Florida.

Texas women’s golf turned in a final round team score of 301 Tuesday to finish in a tie for fourth at the Minnesota Invitational.

The event was the first of the season for the Longhorns, who carded a 43-over-par 907 team score at the two-day event. Senior Bertine Strauss finished in a tie for third place among individual players, the best finish of her career, by shooting a 4-over-par 220 for the tournament.

Junior Tezira Abe also recorded the best finish of her career, tieing for 21st with sophomore Julia Beck and shooting 12-over-par 228. 

“I was happy with the top-5 finish,” head coach Ryan Murphy said. “It is one of our goals this year to finish every tournament in the top five. I was pleased with Bertine’s finish. She had a strong performance to start what should be a terrific season for her. I was also happy with the solid play by [Abe] and Beck. While we still have plenty of room for improvement, overall, I am happy with our performance and think it’s a solid start to the season.”

East Carolina finished first among the 14-team field, carding a 15-over-par 879 for the event. Colorado finished second with a score of 36-over-par 900.

The Longhorns’ next event is the Schooner Fall Classic in Norman, Oklahoma, from Oct. 4-6.

Behind junior Bertine Strauss’ 13th-place finish, Texas (302-301-295=894, +34) finished a season-best eighth place at SDSU Farms Invitational in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. 

The eighth place finish marks the team’s first top-10 finish of the year.

Strauss and freshmen Julia Beck, Anne Hakula and Lara Weinstein all recorded season-best individual finishes. 

Powered by Beck, who shot a season-best 71 in the final round, Texas recorded the fourth lowest final-round score in the 17-team field. Beck (+10), Strauss (+3), Hakula (+13) and Weinstein (+18) earned the Longhorns a +7 performance Wednesday to push their three-day total to 34-over par — 37 strokes behind the leader. 

Overall, USC claimed team honors in the invitational, finishing 3-under par, while Stanford and UCLA finished tied for second at even-par. USC’s Karen Chung took home the individual title with a field-low 66 on Wednesday.

The Longhorns will conclude the regular season at the PING/ASU Invitational from April 4-6 in Tempe, Ariz. 

Texas fell to last place after the second round of the Alamo Invitational in San Antonio on Monday.

The team ended the day 23-over-par to give it a total score of 599. Sophomore Tezira Abe, who ended with an even scorecard Sunday, struggled on Monday in shooting nine shots over par for with a mark of 81. 

Freshman Julia Beck provided a positive note for the team, finishing two shots over par, the highest score for the team in round two. Beck recorded three birdies and five bogies for the day. She ranks highest among Longhorns on the overall leader boards, sitting in a tie for 43rd and six strokes behind the leader, LSU’s Lindsay Gahm.

Oklahoma, Arkansas and LSU battled for first place throughout the second round, with the Razorbacks moving into the top spot with a total score of 283 for the day. 

The Longhorns hope to catch up in the third round and final round of the tournament Tuesday.

Photo Credit: Sam Ortega | Daily Texan Staff

Not much changed in the second round of the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational for the women’s golf team on Monday. 

Sophomore Natalie Karcher still leads Texas with a second round score of 3-over-par 75 and a total score of 145. But she did drop in the overall rankings from tied for 11th on Sunday to 26th at the end of Monday’s play. 

Freshman Julia Beck and sophomore Tezira Abe are close behind in total score but tied Karcher in today’s round, both shooting 3-over-par 75. Beck recorded two birdies, two bogies and one triple bogie on the 17th hole. The two are ranked 43rd and 64th overall. 

“I think a lot of us are hitting it well,” Beck said. “We’ll get some good night sleep and do the same thing tomorrow.”

Junior Bertine Strauss, who is playing in the No. 1 position for Texas, reported a 9-over-par 81 score for the second round, the lowest finish for the team. 

Hopefully Tuesday’s final round will bring better weather and better scores from the home team to end the invitational on a positive note.