The Longhorns kicked off the 2017 season at the Dick McGuire Invitational in New Mexico on Monday and Tuesday, placing 10th out of 18 teams competing.
Despite team standouts senior Sophia Schubert and freshman Agathe Laisne — winner of the 2017 European Ladies Amateur Championship — missing the tournament to compete in the Evian Championship, the Longhorns still notched three top-25 individual finalists.
“You have to have a team that’s capable,” head coach Ryan Murphy said. “You have to prepare well, and then you have to have some lucky things happen that week.”
Freshman Kaitlyn Papp, a local star from the Austin area, made her college debut this week and finished tied for 20th. Papp entered college ranked as the No. 5 prep golfer in the nation per Golfweek and was part of the 2017 Junior Solheim Cup Team for the U.S. that emerged victorious over the European squad. Papp started off hot in the first round of the tournament on Monday, firing off a 2-under par 70 at the Championship Course at University of New Mexico.
“This is a great course — it’s challenging and you have to place the ball well,” Papp said. “I am really happy with how I played (Monday) morning; played bogey free for my first collegiate round.”
Sophomore Greta Voelker, the 2017 Big 12 Freshman of the Year and recipient of an All-Big 12 Conference selection, didn’t get off to the start she wanted with a 3-over par 75 in the opening round. But Voelker fought back with a 1-under par 71 in round 2 and an even par 72 in round three to finish tied for No. 18 individually.
“Today was a grind,” Voelker said Tuesday. “I struggled a little bit this morning with my putter and wedge game, but I turned it around this afternoon. I was really happy with how I drove the ball.”
Sophomore Emilee Hoffman, a 2017 World University Games team gold medalist, shot a 3-over par 75 in the first round, but came back with second and third round scores of even par 72 and par 1-over par 73, respectively.
With the Invitational now in the rearview mirror, the Longhorns will look to cap off the month of September with a strong finish in the Schooner Invitational at the Belmar Country Club in Oklahoma. Tournament play will begin on Sept. 23.