Once she got her master's degree in 2009, Simpson played professionally until 2011. That year, she also became the assistant head coach for both the men’s and women’s golf teams at Old Dominion University, a role she held until 2014.
After the 2014 season, she joined the University of Maryland women's golf staff and stayed there until coming to UNC in July. With Simpson’s help, the Terrapins finished in second place at the 2018 Big Ten Championship.
Simpson and the two newcomers are joining the six returning veterans on the team.
Sophomore Ava Bergner is returning for her second year. Last season, she was second on the team in stroke average at 74.00. Her stroke average in 2017-2018 was the second lowest for a first-year in the history of the program. In the final tournament of last season for UNC, Bergner shot 3-over-par and tied for 33rd place on the individual leaderboard.
Along with Bergner, junior Brynn Walker returns for a new season. Last year, Walker competed in every regular season tournament and both the ACC Championship and NCAA Regional for the Tar Heels.
Her stroke average was 74.36, which placed her third amongst her teammates. She also shot 6 rounds under par and had three top-20 finishes on the individual leaderboard. Her best finish came in the Ocean Course Invitational in September 2017. She placed 18th in the event and shot 5-over-par. In the San Francisco Regional, Walker stood out for UNC and shot a 1-over-par, which tied her for 22nd on the individual leaderboard.
The only two seniors on the team this season are Kelly Whaley and Clementina Rodriguez. Throughout her past three years in Chapel Hill, Whaley has started in every single tournament.
In her junior season, Whaley set a program record by shooting the lowest stroke average, 73.24. In addition to that, she also has the two lowest tournament scores in program history. She shot her lowest tournament score last season at the Briar’s Creek Invitational, 12-under-par, which was also the last tournament the Tar Heels won.
Rodriguez competed in five tournaments as an individual last year and finished with a 79.88 stroke average for the season.
North Carolina's road back to the NCAA Championship this season goes through eight regular season tournaments and the ACC Championship in April. The Tar Heels begin their quest in the Cougar Classic in Charleston, S.C., this weekend.
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