AUSTIN, Texas – University of Arkansas freshman Gabriela Lopez fired a second round 69 and is tied for fifth overall helping the 19th-ranked Razorbacks to a tie for third after second round action at the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational in Austin, Texas, Monday.
Lopez, a Mexico City, Mexico, native, tied for the second-best round of the day and is in the clubhouse with a two-day 141 (72-69).
Countrywoman Regina Plasencia was also under par today shooting a 71 and is tied for 11th overall with a 143 (72-71).
“Obviously this was a great job by our freshmen today,” Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor said. “Gabby posted a 69 and Regina with a 71 really helped the team today. It was just a fantastic and total group effort today and I’m really proud of these guys. I told them again today that we don’t with the golf tournament on day one and day two but we put ourselves in a position to win on the final day. I think we are three strokes back and that’s a good spot to be in. Everyone is playing well and tomorrow our goal is to go out and attack the golf course and get everyone on a roll.”
The Razorbacks finished the day with a 288, matching their first round score and are tied for third overall with a 576. Fourth-ranked Florida surged to the top of the leaderboard thanks to a second round 280 and is tied with No. 10 Alabama in the lead with a 573 – just three better than Arkansas. The Razorbacks and No. 8 Arizona State are tied for third with 576 followed by host No. 39 Texas and Tulsa who are tied for fifth with 586.
Junior Emily Tubert posted a two-over 74 Monday and is tied for 17th overall with a 145 (71-74) followed by senior Victoria Vela who is tied for 24th with a 147 (73-74). Junior Emma Lavy rounds out the Razorback scores and is tied for 37th overall with 150 (73-77).
Lopez has been Arkansas’ early leader with a second-place finish as an individual in her first event and a top 25 spot last week in North Carolina. She was even yesterday but came out of the gates on fire Monday turning three-under on the front nine.
Lopez opened with a three on the par four third hole and followed with her second birdie of the round on the fourth hole. She birdied the par three eighth hole as well as her good start continued. She turned and gave a shot back on the 11th hole with one of two bogeys for her round but birdies on 13 and 17 helped in the strong finish.
Plasencia was also good for the Razorbacks in the second round. She rallied after a tough start opening play with a double on the first hole. Plasencia regrouped quickly birding the second hole, a par three, 141 yarder and added her second birdie on hole five to turn even. Plasencia bogeyed the 12th hole but finished strong with birdies on 15 and 18.
“We had great rounds of golf today and I’m looking forward to being in contention tomorrow,” Estes-Taylor said. “I really enjoy watching this team get more confident with each round and I can’t wait for tomorrow.”
In addition to the top five teams listed above, the rest of the field incudes No. 28 Denver in seventh with 590l followed by No. 36 UNLV with 596, No. 23 Auburn with 597, Kent State with 598, No. 30 Pepperdine with 602, No. 40 UCLA and New Mexico tied for 12th with 605, TCU with 608 and Illinois with 629.
Play concludes with a final round and a shotgun start tomorrow in the final event of the fall for the Razorbacks.