Lady'Backs finish third in final fall event
Jump toagate FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas golf team shaved three strokes off Monday’s team total hanging on to third place at the Lady Razorback Invitational at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Ark., Tuesday. Arkansas battled higher than average scores all weekend but hung on with a 920 (303-310-307) in the final outing of the fall season. The Lady’Backs, ranked 20th in this week’s Golfweek.com poll, battled strong winds Monday and faced fog and colder temperatures on Tuesday to finish third in the 19-team field. "We’re a little disappointed that we didn’t play better," said Arkansas head coach Kelley Hester. "We seemed to struggle a bit this whole tournament. The irony is that this is the most talent we’ve had in a long time and we’ve had a pretty good fall but couldn’t win our own event. We were a bit banged up coming in and we knew that but we were unable to overcome some things." Junior Amanda McCurdy carded a 228 (73-77-78) for the weekend finishing tied for third in the 100-player field to lead the Lady Razorbacks. McCurdy struggled with both injury and illness throughout the tournament but still paced Arkansas. Freshman Stacy Lewis was a stroke behind McCurdy turning in a three-day 229 (78-74-77) to tie for 12th overall while senior Gena Johnson carded a 231 (75-77-79) to tie for 17th overall. Junior Courtney Mahon had Arkansas’ best round on the final day carding a 75 for 235 (78-82-75). Mahon finished tied for 29th overall. Lindsey Hinshaw rounded out the Arkansas scoring finishing tied for 44th overall with a 238 (77-84-77). Forty-eighth-ranked Iowa State won the event leading wire-to-wire and finishing with a 905 (297-304-304). The Cyclone’s Lisa Meshke captured individual honors shooting a 215 (70-70-75) for the event. Forty-ninth-ranked Texas A&M was second just four strokes ahead of Arkansas counting a 916 (311-302-303), followed by the Lady’Backs at 920 (303-310-307). Missouri, ranked ninth this week, was fourth with 921 (309-302-310) and 33rd-ranked Notre Dame rounded out the top five with a 922 (314-408-300). "It helped us to beat Missouri and a couple other teams this week," said Hester. "They are a solid team both in the region and nationally. We also finished ahead of a couple SEC teams and that’s important for us as well." Southeastern Conference rival Alabama finished 11th overall and Mississippi was 14th on Tuesday. The Lady Razorback Invitational is the final event of the fall for Arkansas. The Lady’Backs return to the course Feb. 21, 2005, at the Central District Invitational in Parrish, Fla. "I know this team is destined for greatness," said Hester, "and we have yet to see them reach their full potential. It’s exciting to have not played our best and gotten this far and I can’t wait to see what we can do next." For more information about Arkansas golf, log on to www.ladybacks.com.