Kayla Smith and Krista Junkkari shot 73 and 74, respectively, to lead the University of North Carolina women’s golf team in the final round of the Blessings Collegiate Invitational Wednesday at the Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Ark.
Carolina finished ninth in the 10-team field at 52-over 916 (312-295-309). Arkansas, the host school, was the only team to shoot under par over the three rounds. The Razorbacks finished 9 under, 19 strokes ahead of UCLA.
Brooke Matthews of Arkansas won the individual competition with a 4-under 212. She won by four strokes and was the only player under par.
Smith, a junior, from Burlington, N.C., shot 1-over 73 for the second consecutive day and led the Tar Heels with a tie for 20th place at 8-over 224.
Junkkari tied for 26th place at 12-over 228.
“The Blessings is a great test of golf, a tremendous challenge mentally and physically,” says first-year Tar Heel head coach Aimee Neff. “We had some bright spots over the last three days, but we also shot some higher numbers. We have a really young team that lacks experience on the collegiate level, so we will learn better course management and clean some things up before we host our tournament at UNC Finley next week.
“I was pleased with Kayla’s play the last two days, Crista Izuzquiza (second round 72) is trending well and KJ (Junkkari) had a good round going yesterday. Our freshman, Stephany Kim, hung in there the first couple of rounds, as well.
“We are playing a very competitive schedule against the best teams in the country, so we are looking forward to getting back to work and improving.”
Carolina returns to action October 15-17 when it hosts the Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invitational at UNC Finley Golf Course.