ARLINGTON, Texas -- The inaugural UT Arlington women's golf team opens its spring season Monday in the annual Texas State Invitational at Plum Creek Golf Course in Kyle, Texas.
The first day of the 54-hole tournament features two rounds with the first 18 holes scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Monday morning. The second round follows immediately afterward. The final round is scheduled for an 8:30 a.m. start on Tuesday morning. Each team is represented by five golfers with the low four scores of each round counting toward the team total.
The event's 17-team field on Plum Creek's 6,059-yard, par 71 layout includes women's golf programs from Arkansas State, Central Arkansas, Georgia Southern, Houston Baptist, James Madison, Lamar, Little Rock, ULM, McNeese, North Dakota State, Stephen F. Austin, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, UTA, UTEP, UTRGV, UTSA and host Texas State.
UTA will be represented by all six golfers on its roster with freshmen Sydney Garber (Rockwall), Madigan Murray (McKinney), Ava Schwienteck (Magnolia), Kate Tran (Arlington) and redshirt freshman Allison Wade (Arlington) comprising the athletes who's scores will count toward the team finish. Junior Rachel Phillips (Plano) will compete as an individual and be eligible for medalist honors.
The Mavericks are in their first season as an intercollegiate sport at UTA and played in five tournaments during the fall season. The team registered a high finish of seventh place out of 12 teams at the ULM Fred Marx Invitational in Little Rock, Ark. In its first-ever event, UTA finished eighth in a 13-team field at the USA Intercollegiate in Mobile, Ala.
Schwienteck finished the fall season as the team's top finisher, posting three top 10 individual finishes. She finished tied for fifth at the USA Intercollegiate and registered a season-best fourth place tie to conclude the fall at the Little Rock Golf Classic.
Every golfer on the team posted at least one top 50 finish in their first-ever season of collegiate competition.
UTSA returns to defend its title after claiming a 5-stroke victory over runner-up Texas State in last year's event, hosted at The Bandit Golf Club in New Braunfels, with a 54-hole team score of 49-over par 901. Georgia Southern, Stephen F. Austin and Central Arkansas rounded-out the top five teams - each of which return this year.
UTSA junior Julie Houston (Allen), senior teammate Nikki Long (San Antonio) and Stephen F. Austin junior Erica Lautensack (Arlington) are the top returning individuals from last year's competition. The trio finished in a tie for fourth place at 8-over par 221.
Plum Creek is a Par 71, 18 hole championship golf course cut from the natural beauty of Texas live oaks, limestone, rolling hills, and Texas wildflowers. The course layout spreads out on more than 200 acres of land and is designed so no two fairways touch.
Located just one mile off I-35, Plum Creek is located in Kyle and is just 10 minutes north of San Marcos and 15 minutes south of downtown Austin. Now owned & operated by Foresight Golf, more than $1 million was invested to create a state-of-the-art practice facility, convert the 10th hole into an outstanding par 3, increase irrigation systems, add Turfgrass to improve several fairway corridors and construct 18 new tee-boxes with five sets of tees for each hole.
Following the Texas State Invitational, UTA will return to competition on Feb. 25 at the Edwin Watts/Kiawah Island Classic in South Carolina. The team plays five spring season events prior to competing at the Sun Belt Conference Championships April 16-18 at Raven Golf Club in Miramar Beach, Fla.
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