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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC women's golf places third in Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invitational

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UNC graduate student golfer Kayla Smith tees off during the Ruth's Chris Tar Heel Invitational at the Governor's Club on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023.

The North Carolina women’s golf team hosted the annual Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invitational in Chapel Hill this week. The two-day tournament took place at the Governor’s Club and featured 14 teams. 

UNC finished in third place, with top-10 finishes from graduate Kayla Smith and sophomore Megan Streicher. Smith became the second player in program history to ever shoot a second round 65, tying former teammate Krista Junkkari. Streicher also excelled, achieving a personal best of 66.  

“I set goals for myself, I always want to finish as well as I can in the top-10 is one of them,” Smith said. “I mean, obviously you want to go out and win. So I'll take this as some progress for sure.”

At the end of the first round, UNC was in 9th place with a total of 598 strokes. Sophomore Crista Izuzquiza and first-year Reagan Southerland led the Tar Heels at one stroke over each. Sophomore Inez Ng followed closely behind at two strokes over, and Southerland was three strokes over par. Both Streicher and Smith finished round one with four strokes over. 


UNC freshman golfer Thanchanok (Ing) Iadpluem reads her putt during the Ruth's Chris Tar Heel Invitational at the Governor's Club on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023.


Despite the slow start for the Tar Heels, a whole new world opened up in the second round. Smith shot a 65, jumping in the rankings from a tie for 37th to a tie for fourth. Streicher shot even with par, moving up slightly from 37th place to 31st. 

“They showed some good resilience and obviously made up some ground, which is good to see,” head coach Aimee Neff said. 

Both Ng and Southerland shot 74s while Izuzquiza shot 81, falling from 14th to 60th place. 

The final day of competition featured a strong showing from North Carolina. Smith shot even to finish in sixth place, three under par. Stretchier shot a 66 in round three to finish in ninth place, scoring a total of two strokes under par. 

“They're both capable – Kayla has won a college tournament before – and they're both able to win college events,” Neff said. 

UNC graduate student Kayla Smith teeing off at the 10th hole of the Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invitational on Monday, Oct. 9, 2023, at the Governors Club in Chapel Hill, NC. Carolina placed 3rd.


Streicher attributed some of her success to scouting out the Governor’s Club before the tournament began.

“We came out here before we played the event, which was nice,” Stretcher said. “Got to see the course. I mean, we know it pretty well, so just stick to what we're used to.”

Ng also ended the day under par putting up a total of 71 to finish in 19th place. Both Southerland and Izuzquiza shot over par during round three, with 78 and 79, respectively. 

The Tar Heels play their next match in St. Andrews, Scotland. The three day competition will begin on Oct. 23. 

@aplancaster_

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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