Shean fifth Arkansas third at Liz

ATHENS, Ga. — The University of Arkansas women’s golf team counted its lowest round of the weekend carding a 297 finishing third at the 38th Annual Liz Murphey Collegiate Golf Classic in Athens, Ga., Sunday.

Junior Kelli Shean paced Arkansas with a fifth-place finish with a three-day 224. Shean shot 78-72-74 on the par 72, UGA Golf Course.

Freshman Victoria Vela went low for Arkansas on Sunday with an even-par 72. Vela finished with a 229(79-78-72) and was tied for 20th overall. Senior Kristin Ingram stepped up for her final two rounds of the weekend and tied for 13th overall with 227 (79-74-74).

Junior Corinna Rees and senior Tiffany Phelps each posted final round 77s. Rees tied for 53rd overall with a 236 (76-83-77) and Phelps tied for 62nd with a 238 (82-79-77).

“It was an awesome finish,” Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor said. “We did what we needed to do and stepped up and played solid golf all weekend.”

Shean started the day on the first tee and finished the front nine plus two after a double on the ninth hole. She bogeyed the 10th hole but rallied and birdied the final hole of the day.

“Kelli is strong,” Estes-Taylor said. “She is a good competitor and to finish with a birdie just speaks to her character.”

Vela started her round on the second hole and played the front eight holes plus-two. Vela picked up three birdies on the back nine and finished with Arkansas’ only under-par round on the day.

“Victoria is just such a fighter,” Estes-Taylor said. “She just gets the ball in the hole and never gives up.”

Ingram also turned in a good weekend playing some of her best golf in recent tournaments.

“Kristin in our missing link,” Estes-Taylor said. “She did an awesome job this week. I kept her in the lineup because I knew she was close to playing well. This weekend was good for her confidence. She’s the reason why we played so well as a team this weekend.”

Fourth-ranked Duke won the event shooting a final round 289 for an 889 (300-300-289) — 21 strokes better than second-place No. 6 Alabama who finished with a 910 (316-302-292). Arkansas was third with a 48-over 912 (312-303-297) followed by No. 13 Purdue (310-315-290) and No. 2 Auburn tied for fourth with 915. The rest of the top 10 includes No. 9 Wake Forest in sixth with 921 (316-304-301), No. 14 Michigan State (314-3107-307) and No. 34 North Carolina (310-304-314) tied for seventh with 928, No. 20 Denver in ninth with 929 (321-312-296) and No. 21 Ohio State in 10th with 931 (315-311-305).

“It’s a great accomplishment to finish third against this field,” Estes-Taylor said. “My philosophy as a coach is to have my team ready at the end of the year for postseason and we seem to be peaking at the right time.”

Estes-Taylor and the Razorbacks have one regular season event remaining traveling to the Bryan National Championship April 2-4, in Browns Summit, N.C.