Tezira Abe

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.

Tuesday marked the end of the Alamo Invitational, where the Texas women’s golf team finished 14th out of 15 teams, with a total score of 893. The Longhorns struggled in the final round, despite sophomore Tezira Abe carding her best score of the tournament at one-under-par 71. Abe recorded five birdies for the round and recorded the only sub-par score for Texas during the tournament.

Freshman Julia Beck, who had previously led Texas, dropped to 55th place on the leader board with a four-over-par 76 round three finish. Abe joined Beck at 55th, followed by junior Bertine Strauss who carded her best score of the tournament, a three-over-par 75 that tied her for 66th place. 

Oklahoma held on to first place with a total score of 840 and Louisiana State’s Lindsay Gahm took top individual honors. 

This tournament was the final event of the fall season for Texas and the team will not compete again until Feb. 9 in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. 

Women's Golf

Despite struggling to find their rhythm on the first two days, the Longhorns finished with a strong 290 on the final day of the Stanford Intercollegiate tournament this weekend. Texas finished last out of 17 teams.

Senior Haley Stephens finished as the highest placing Longhorn. Stephens tied for 32nd place, turning in an 8-over-par 221, including an even-par 71 Sunday.

Fellow senior Madison Pressel finished with a 9-over-par 222, placing her tied for 36th place.

The tournament featured nine of the top 25 teams in the country, including the top five teams in the Golfweek rankings.

The Longhorns started out the weekend on the wrong foot with a 27-over-par 311 Friday. Things would not get much better Saturday as the team shot an 18-over-par 302. Texas would finally break under the 300 mark with a 6-over-par 290 Sunday.

Sophomore Bertine Strauss, senior Desiree Dubreuil and freshman Tezira Abe each finished the weekend in the 230’s. Strauss shot a 232, Dubreuil ended with a 233 and Abe shot a 235. The trio finished 74th, 77th, and 80th respectively.

Stephens, Strauss, Dubreuil and Abe helped the Longhorns finish the weekend with a strong round Sunday, each of them shooting their best round in the final round.

The University of Southern California took first place at the tournament, shooting a 5-over-par 857. Kyung Kim of USC finished as the top individual player of the weekend.

The Longhorns will finish out their fall schedule on Oct. 28–30 at the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational at The University of Texas Golf Club.

Despite struggling to find their rhythm on the first two days, the Longhorns finished with a strong 290 on the final day of the Stanford Intercollegiate tournament this weekend. Texas finished last out of 17 teams.

Senior Haley Stephens finished as the highest placing Longhorn. Stephens tied for 32nd place, turning in an 8-over-par 221, including an even-par 71 Sunday.

Fellow senior Madison Pressel finished with a 9-over-par 222, placing her tied for 36th place.

The tournament featured nine of the top 25 teams in the country, including the top five teams in the Golfweek rankings.

The Longhorns started out the weekend on the wrong foot with a 27-over-par 311 Friday. Things would not get much better Saturday as the team shot an 18-over-par 302. Texas would finally break under the 300 mark with a 6-over-par 290 Sunday.

Sophomore Bertine Strauss, senior Desiree Dubreuil and freshman Tezira Abe each finished the weekend in the 230’s. Strauss shot a 232, Dubreuil ended with a 233 and Abe shot a 235. The trio finished 74th, 77th, and 80th respectively.

Stephens, Strauss, Dubreuil and Abe helped the Longhorns finish the weekend with a strong round Sunday, each of them shooting their best round in the final round.

The University of Southern California took first place at the tournament, shooting a 5-over-par 857. Kyung Kim of USC finished as the top individual player of the weekend.

The Longhorns will finish out their fall schedule on Oct. 28–30 at the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational at The University of Texas Golf Club.

About a month after their last tournament, the Longhorns will compete in the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif. this weekend.

Despite the long layoff, head coach Martha Richards said the team looks really good going into the tournament.

“We’ve got a really deep team,” Richards said. “We’re eight deep, and we’ve got a great five going, and we’re leaving three really good players at home, and it’s a good situation to be in. I like the way everybody’s playing.”

While they haven’t played a competitive match since their tournament at Vanderbilt, the Longhorns hosted their annual Weis Cup Alumni match Sunday and won 5-1. Richards said it was good to have that match to get the team back into the competitive flow.

“It got us back into the competitive mode,” Richards said. “We’ve had some inter-team matches, but I think we’re excited to play a couple more tournaments here, and I think we’re in a good place.”

The Longhorns also made strides in the rankings during their layoff. Texas moved up to the No. 7 position in the Golfweek team rankings, and freshman Tezira Abe and senior Desiree Dubreuil are ranked No. 32 and 33, respectively.

Even though she’s ranked highly as a freshman, Abe said she doesn’t feel any pressure.

“I’m just really excited to be here,” Abe said. “I want to keep building on that. The goal is still to win a national championship, and I really want to be a part of that.”

Also competing in the Stanford tournament are five other top 10 schools, including No. 1 Washington. Despite that lineup, Abe said she believes the Longhorns can still come out with a strong finish.

“My very first collegiate tournament I finished tied for 10th with Desiree, and that was a really good time,” Abe said. “I just want to keep building on that.”

After staying in the top two in the first and second rounds, the Longhorns slipped up Sunday on their way to a fourth-place finish at the Mason Rudolph Championship in Franklin, Tenn. Texas finished its first tournament of the season with a combined score of 34-over-par.

The Longhorns started out the weekend with a strong opening round on Friday, holding a four-shot lead over Arizona. Seniors Katelyn Sepmoree and Desiree Dubreuil and freshman Tezira Abe each turned in rounds of 1-over-par to give Texas the early lead.

Senior Haley Stephens led the team on Saturday, finishing her second round 1-under-par. Abe finished at an even 72, but despite her efforts, the Longhorns slipped back to second, trailing Arizona by five strokes.

Sunday saw the Longhorns fall even further back. Dubreuil, Sepmoree and Stephens each shot a 77 in the final round. As a team, Texas shot a 21-over 309.

Arizona won the tournament with a 25-over-par, followed by Virginia and Michigan State. Emilie Burger of Georgia took home the individual title with an even-par 216.

Individually, Dubreuil and Abe led the Longhorns with a 7-over-par and finished tied for seventh over the weekend. Stephens finished tied for 15th with a 9-over-par.

Sepmoree ended her weekend tied for 28th with a 13-over-par.

Competing as individuals, freshman Natalie Karcher tied for 41st and senior Madison Pressel finished 58th. Karcher shot a 16-over-par and Pressel shot a 20-over-par.

The tournament featured the collegiate debut of three freshmen. In addition to Abe and Karcher, freshman Taylor Kim shot a 24-over-par and finished tied for 66th.

The Longhorns will next compete at the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, CA on Oct. 19 – 21.