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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona women’s golf gains confidence with season-opening win

Courtesy of AJGA
Courtesy of AJGA

The No. 14 Arizona women’s golf team won its season-opening tournament on Sunday at the Mason Rudolph Championship hosted by Vanderbilt in Nashville, TN.

At the end of the three-day tournament, the Wildcats had a combined score of 889 (25 over par) and finished 3 strokes ahead of No. 12 Virginia, who placed second. The Wildcats fought off Pac-12 foes Stanford (11th place) and Oregon (12th place).

Women’s golf head coach Laura Ianello was excited about Arizona’s performance.

“We knew beforehand we were going into a tournament that had a great field,” Ianello said. “Our expectations are always to win but in college golf it’s really hard when you’re going up against 14 competitive schools like we did. But the girls did really well.”

Transfer sophomore Kendall Prince made her Arizona debut and led the Wildcats with an overall score of 219 (plus 3). Prince’s collective three rounds (73, 70 and 76) were good enough to tie for second overall.

“I think I did pretty good in my first tournament as a Wildcat,” Prince said. “I think an early win like that shows what we can do and that we are only going to get better.”

Prince decided to leave Ohio State University after her freshman year in pursuit of a program that better fit her goals, and Ianello believes her decision to transfer helped the team hit the jackpot.

“Kendall [Prince] is very motivated,” Ianello said. “She’s passionate about playing, she has an impressive work ethic and she is an incredible leader for only being a sophomore.”

Prince believes that there is still room for improvement.

“I liked to be more confident going into the final round,” Prince said. “I have to learn from that and know that nothing good comes from playing scared.”

Ianello wants the entire team to work on finishing strong, as the Wildcats almost blew an 11-stroke lead over Virginia in the final round.

“The whole team struggled in the final round,” Ianello said. “I’m sure it was mostly mental, but we really need to improve on that because we won’t usually win if we can’t finish or hold a big lead.”

The rest of the Arizona women also placed near the top of the leaderboard. Manon Gidali ( 6), Janie Jackson (plus 12), Anna Kim (plus 16) and Andrea Vilarasau (plus 16) finished sixth, 23rd, 39th and 41st, respectively.

Ianello was thrilled that the underclassmen performed so well in their opening tournament.

“The early win helps the team to believe in themselves,” Ianello said. “To beat 14 teams builds confidence and momentum and hopefully shows them that the hard work they are doing is working.”

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