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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC women's golf puts in strong showing at Mason Rudolph Championship


UNC junior Kayla Smith obtained her first career top-10 finish at the Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invitational.
Photo courtesy of UNC Athletic Communications. 

In the UNC women's golf team's second consecutive weekend on the road, sophomore Inez Ng and first-year Reagan Southerland led the way for a strong Tar Heel finish — a strong indicator of this team's depth.

North Carolina women competed in the Mason Rudolph Championship over the weekend, finishing in sixth place at 10-under-par after the completion of the three-day tournament. The event was hosted by Vanderbilt University and saw a total of 18 teams competing at the par 72 course in Franklin, Tenn. Ng and Southerland were the top finishers for the Tar Heels, tying for 16th.

“One of the things that was really positive was knowing that our player [Kayla Smith] who was all-ACC the last few years, a fifth-year senior for us, she was steady but she was our [fifth-placing] player," head coach Aimee Neff said, later adding, "It was a good sign from a youth standpoint that we have some good talent in our underclassmen as well.”

Izuzquiza and Southerland lead Tar Heels in first round

The Tar Heels got off to a strong start in the first round on Friday, with senior Crista Izuzquiza and  Southerland finishing the day tied for first place at 2-under-par each. This, along with an even-par showing from Smith, put UNC in first place early in the day. 

“I think we got out the gate pretty well," head coach Aimee Neff said. "I feel like we had a good game plan and [knew] where we wanted to be on the greens.” 

Southerland and Izuzquiza dropped from first place later in the first day. Still, they remained the highest-placing Tar Heels, finishing at 3-under and 2-under, respectively. Ng finished 1-under, sophomore Megan Steicher ended even, and Smith finished one stroke over par. 

By Friday's end, UNC was locked in a tie with Ole Miss for fifth place at 6-under 282. 

North Carolina finishes strong in final two days

North Carolina had an impressive showing on day two as well, moving up one spot to finish Saturday in a tie for fourth place, with multiple Tar Heels stepping up and demonstrating their power. Ng shot 3-under, good enough to tie for eleventh place, while Smith shot 2-under to move up to 29th place. As a team, UNC finished the second day of competition 11-under 565 with all players even or under par. 

The final day of the championship saw a strong finish for the Tar Heels, led by Southerland and Ng. Southerland shot 2-under-par on the final day to reach a total of 69-73-70 across the three-day span and Ng shot even par on day three, to finish 71-69-72 across the weekend. 

“Reagan [Southerland] rolled the ball really well, she cut it really well," Neff said. "Inez [Ng] — her ball striking was great, and so they did it kind of two different ways. But it seems like they just were really steady and didn't make a lot of big mistakes.” 

Izuzquiza finished in a tie for 30th place overall, with a score of 70-72-74 and Streicher and Smith finished in a tie for 35th place at one stroke over par each. 

“We had all five scorers be really consistent,” Neff said. “Everyone was in it each day, and we gave ourselves a chance to win.”

The team will play next on October 9th, when North Carolina will host the Ruth's Chris Tar Heel Invitational in Chapel Hill. 


@dthsports |

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