Golf Opens 2021 Season Strong
ORLANDO, Fla. – Nearly a year removed from last competing as a unit and with a pair of freshmen in the lineup, the University of Miami golf team did not skip a beat in the opening round of the UCF Challenge.
Fourth-year junior Kristyna Frydlova teed off the event Sunday morning with the tournament’s first birdie on the par-4, 360-yard first hole, her first of five on the day. From that moment, the Hurricanes combined to collect 20 more birdies and a pair of eagles to finish 11-under, 277 as a team.
Just four strokes back on the leader, seventh-ranked Arkansas, and one stroke behind Kent State, Miami rounded out the first day tied for third with Wake Forest at the par-72, 6,349-yard Eagle Creek Golf Club.
“We are all thrilled to be back playing along one another, it was a long fall,” Miami head coach Patti Rizzo said. “It’s been almost a year since our last tournament, so it feels great. The players had a great comeback today. After the first four holes I was a little nervous and I think they were, as well. But, everyone got it together and we had a great back-nine. I’m so proud of them. Of course, I hope for the same, if not better, tomorrow.”
Leading the way for the Hurricanes from start to finish, Frydlova carded a trio of birdies through five holes, before rounding out the front-nine at three-under-par.
Overall, the Prague native carded 17 consecutive par or better holes and tallied five birdies to finish the afternoon four-under-par. Frydlova enters the second round in fifth place, three strokes back on tournament leader Emily Price (-7) of Kent State.
Following closely behind, fifth-year senior Renate Grimstad rebounded from a slow start Sunday morning, scoring four-under on the back-nine. After registering three bogies and a pair of birdies through 11, the Bergen, Norway, native parred the next three, before ending the day with four consecutive birdies.
After 18, the defending UCF Challenge individual champion finished tied for sixth at three-under, 69.
Franziska Sliper got off to a blazing start, hitting birdies on four of the opening eight holes. However, the second-year Hurricane bogeyed holes nine through 13, before returning to form with birdies on two of the final three holes.
The Stavanger, Norway, native enters the second day of competition tied for 13th at two-under, 70.
Joining Sliper at two-under-par, freshman Sara Byrne made her collegiate debut posting a one-over-par front nine.
The Cork, Ireland, native, then tallied her second birdie on the day on the par-3, 164-yard 11th hole to return to even par. The freshman capped a three-under-par back-nine, collecting her first collegiate eagle on the par-5, 508-yard 16th hole.
Rounding out the Hurricanes lineup, freshman Nataliya Guseva, a January enrollee, overcame a five-over-par opening 12 holes and finished tied for 49th at one-over-par.
The Moscow native found her stroke on the par-5, 484-yard 13th hole, tallying her first collegiate eagle. She later carded back-to-back birdies on the 16th and 17th holes.
As a team, Sunday’s performance ranks fourth in program history in relative to par score.
The Hurricanes will return to the Eagle Creek Golf Club Monday at 9:40 a.m. with the tournament leaders, as Guseva is set to be the first to tee off against Kent State’s Marissa Kirkwood and Arkansas’ Kajal Mistry.
Byrne will then return to course at 9:50 a.m., followed by Sliper (10 a.m.), Grimstad (10:10 a.m.) and Frydlova (10:20 a.m.).
5. Kristyna Frydlova (-4, 68)
t6. Renate Grimstad (-3, 69)
t15. Sara Byrne (-2, 70)
t15. Franziska Sliper (-2, 70)
t45. Nataliya Guseva (+1, 73)
1 – Arkansas (-15, 273)
2 – Kent State (-12, 276
3 – Miami (-11, 277)
3 – Wake Forest (-11, 277)
5 – Houston (-8, 280)
6 – Penn State (-4, 284)
7 – Virginia (-3, 285)
8 – Mississippi State (-2, 286)
9 – Kentucky (+1, 289)
10 – UCF (+2, 290)
11 – Iowa State (+3, 291)
11 – Kennesaw State (+3, 291)
13 – Michigan State (+4, 292)
14 – Purdue (+6, 294)
15 – College of Charleston (+11, 299)
16 – NC State (+15, 303)
17 – UNC Wilmington (+16, 304)