Vela goes low for Arkansas

NEW ORLEANS, La. — University of Arkansas freshman Victoria Vela paced the No. 41 Razorback women’s golf team with a career-best 227 in final round action at the Tiger/Wave Classic in New Orleans, La., Sunday.

Vela carded her first below par round with a final day 69 for an Arkansas’ best 227 (77-81-69) and a tie for 24th overall.

Vela’s round helped Arkansas to a final round plus-five 293 for a three-day 923 (314-316-293) and 12th place, up two spots from Saturday’s finish.

“It was a lot better today,” Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor said. “We talked a lot about having a championship mindset. We needed to believe that we can win championships and wanted to have that mindset going into today.

“I can’t say enough about Victoria,” Estes-Taylor continued. “She’s just been a sponge to what we’ve taught her and she’s taken it in and put it to good use. She played with such amazing tenaciousness and no fear. It was awesome to watch.”

In addition to Vela’s career round, senior Tiffany Phelps stepped up with a season-low 72 for a 237 (85-80-72) and a tie for 74th.

“It was big for Tiffany to shoot a 72,” Estes-Taylor said. “We really need someone to step up and give us some good numbers in the four and five spots and she did that today.”

Junior Kelli Shean, Arkansas’ best finisher in the first seven events of the season, tied for 31st overall with a 288 (78-75-75), followed by junior Corinna Rees who posted her best score of the tournament with a 77 for 236 (79-80-77). Senior Kristin Ingram rounded out the Arkansas scores. Ingram tied for 86th overall with a 240 (80-82-78).

“Kelli was pretty good today,” said Estes-Taylor, “and Kristin played much better. She had two doubles but otherwise played the course even today. We have a couple little adjustments to make and we’ll be OK.”

Second-ranked Auburn won the team title with an 880 including an even-par 288 on the par 72, 6,132-yard English Turn Golf and Country Club course. Number 27 TCU was second with an 896 followed by No. 7 Alabama with 897, No. 20 LSU with 901 and No. 18 Virginia with a 902 rounding out the top five teams.

The rest of the field included No. 16 Tennessee in sixth with 906, No. 17 Georgia in seventh with 906, No. 35 North Carolina in eighth with 909, No. 10 Wake Forest in ninth with 912, Ole Miss in 10th with 917, No. 13 Vanderbilt in 11th with 919, No. 41 Arkansas in 12th with 923, No. 46 Notre Dame in 13th with 924, No. 5 Purdue in 14th with 926, North Carolina State in 15th with 927, No. 28 Tulane and No. 47 Furman tied for 16th with 932, No. 26 Louisville in 18th with 934, College of Charleston in 19th with 935, Kentucky in 20th with 946, UNC-Wilmington in 21st with 946, UCF in 22nd with 961 and Mississippi State in 23rd with 969.

The Razorbacks season continues March 26-28, at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic in Athens, Ga.

Download: Tiger Wave Team Final.pdf