MIRAMAR, Fla. -- The inaugural UT Arlington women's golf team opens the first day of competition in its first ever Sun Belt Championships tomorrow at Raven Golf Club at Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort.
The Mavericks are paired with golfers from Appalachian State and are scheduled to open first round play beginning at 7:43 a.m. (CST) [NOTE: Due to inclement weather, UTA will begin at 9:13 a.m.] off the 10th tee. UTA will be represented by a 4-golfer team that consists of a quartet of freshmen: Sydney Garber (Rockwall, Texas), Madigan Murray (McKinney, Texas), Ava Schwienteck (Magnolia, Texas) and Kate Tran (Arlington, Texas).
"Obviously, the girls understand that winning the tournament is a huge task," said UTA director of golf Stuart Deane. "But, I think finishing somewhere in the middle of the pack would be a great accomplishment considering this is the first year of the program. The measure of the year would be to finish nicely and get into the top 200 nationally. For a first-year program and for the golfers, that would be a really nice pat on the back."
Garber will make history as the first-ever UTA female golfer to tee off in a conference championship event. She is paired with Appalachian State's Annika Winebager and Patricia Thompson as the first group off the back nine. Schwienteck and Murray will play with the Mountaineers' Abby Bolt, while Tran will compete in a threesome with Melany Chong and Joliana Elias.
The Mavericks are wrapping up their first-ever women's golf season after the UTA athletic department added the program two years ago. Last year, the program featured two student-athletes that did not compete in an intercollegiate event.
This season, UTA competed with a roster that consisted of six golfers and played 10 regular season events prior to the Sun Belt Championships. The Mavericks registered four top 10 finishes with a high of 2nd place at the ORU/SFA Spring Break Invite.
"If you look at the entirety of the season, I think they have been well-prepared for their college golf careers and they have laid a strong foundation for the future of the program," said Deane. "As a group, they are preparing for the Sun Belt Championships the same way they have prepared for any tournament they've played this season. They are accustomed to being ready to play. They take pride in going out and leaving their heart and soul on the golf course. They do their best mentally and physically and by the end of each day, they are exhausted because they have put in so much energy in trying to do their best. That is really cool thing to see, especially for freshmen."
Robert Trent Jones Jr. crafted Raven Golf Club, a unique and visually stunning 6,900-yard par 71, into what he calls "a true modern traditional." Voted "Best New Course in Florida in 2000" by Florida Golf News, the Raven Golf Club is a natural wonder that presents drama and strategy on every tee. Guests are presented with a myriad of exciting shot options while experiencing dramatic changes in color and texture throughout the course. Large undulating greens make club selection an essential part of each round.
Ravel Golf Club will play at 6,171 yards for the women's championships.
Following the women's championship, the course will host the Sun Belt Conference Men's Golf Championships April 22-25.
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