UK Women’s Golf Adds Liz Murphey Fall Collegiate Classic
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The 2020 Kentucky women’s golf schedule is complete with the addition of the Liz Murphey Fall Collegiate Classic.
The Wildcats will play in Georgia’s home tournament Nov. 6-8 at the UGA Golf Course in Athens, Georgia.
The Liz Murphey Fall Collegiate Classic will mark the third and final tournament for UK’s fall slate.
After careful consideration from health officials, the Southeastern Conference deemed it safe for league membership to participate in three team events in the fall. Competition can take place no earlier than Oct. 1 and teams are limited to events involving only SEC members or nonconference teams from the tournament host’s geographic region.
The Wildcats will take advantage and play in all three allowable events.
Prior to the Liz Murphey Fall Collegiate Classic, Kentucky will compete Oct. 5-7 in the Blessings Collegiate Invitational at the Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and the Ally on Oct. 19-21 at Old Waverly in Starkville, Mississippi.
The fall finale in Georgia carries the same namesake as Georgia’s annual spring tournament but they will be separate events with Georgia still scheduled to host the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic, the oldest women’s collegiate tournament in the southern United States, in the spring.
UK was scheduled to play in the spring version of the tournament last season before the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the rest of the season.
The 48th edition of the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic will be a three-day, 54-hole event among SEC teams only at the UGA Golf Course. The UGA Golf Course is a par 71 Robert Trent Jones layout. It was renovated by Love Golf Design in 2006.
The Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic is one of the oldest continuous sporting events in women’s intercollegiate athletics. The tournament originally began in 1973 as the Georgia Invitational and was contested as the Women’s Southern Intercollegiates from 1977-94. In 1995, the tourney was renamed in honor of Liz Murphey, UGA’s Hall of Fame golf coach and longtime senior woman administrator. The list of golfers who have competed in the event reads like a who’s who of women’s golf, including hall of famer’s Beth Daniel, Betsy King and Julie Inkster, and recent medalists include current LPGA standouts such as Jillian Hollis, Cheyenne Knight and Gaby Lopez.
The fall season will begin Oct. 5-7 at the Blessings Collegiate Invitational at the Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The 2020 BCI will be a mixed men’s and women’s tournament with team champions crowned for the men and the women as well as an individual male champion, an individual woman champion and an overall program champion.
All three rounds of the BCI will be televised live on the Golf Channel (daily coverage from 4:30-7:30 p.m. ET).
With a course rating of 80.9 and a slope of 155 off the longest tees, the Blessings – originally designed by architect Robert Trent Jones with a redesign completed by noted architect Kyle Phillips – is considered one of the toughest courses in the country. Arkansas’ home course hosted the 2019 NCAA Championships, setting up a difficult test for the Wildcats to begin the season.
Two weeks later, Oct. 19-21, UK will travel to Starkville, Mississippi to play in the Ally. Although under a different conference-only format this time, Kentucky has played in an iteration of Mississippi State’s tournament before, winning the tournament in its last appearance in September 2012 with a score of 14-over par.
Consistently appearing in both Golfweek’s Top 100 and Golf Digest’s Top 100 courses, Old Waverly Golf Club is considered one of the gems of the South. Designed by Bob Cupp, Old Waverly hosted the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship in 2019.
Kentucky’s original fall schedule included stops at the Cardinal Cup (Sept. 11-3 in Simpsonville, Kentucky), the Mason Rudolph Championship (Set. 25-27 in Franklin, Tennessee), the Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invitational (Oct. 9-11 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina) and the Landfall Tradition (Oct. 23-25) in Wilmington, North Carolina. Kentucky will not participate in those tournaments in 2020.
A determination for the 2021 spring schedule has not been determined with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. At this time, the Wildcats are scheduled to play in four regular-season spring tournaments before postseason play begins in April with the SEC Championship, followed by NCAA Regionals in May. Detailed information on those tournaments is available here. A tentative spring schedule is below:
- Feb. 14-16 – Moon Golf Invitational (Duran Golf Club | Melbourne, Fla.)
- March 5-7 – Darius Rucker Intercollegiate (Long Cove Club | Hilton Head S.C.)
- March 12-14 – The Clover Cup (Longbow Golf Club | Mesa Ariz.)
- April 6-7 – The Grove Cup (Ole Miss Golf Course | Oxford, Miss.)
- April 14-18 – SEC Championship (Greystone Golf & Country Club | Hoover, Ala.)
- May 10-12 – NCAA Regionals (TBD)
- May 21-26 – NCAA Championships (Grayhawk Golf Club | Scottsdale, Ariz.)
Kentucky will take on its 2020-21 slate with arguably the most talented, deepest and most experienced team in program history. UK will try to build on what was a historic, albeit bittersweet, 2019-20 season. Chief among the highlights: two championships, a new team scoring record, a new individual scoring average by Jensen Castle and a top-25 ranking to end the season.
In addition to the school-record marks, the 2019-20 group blazed a new trail for future teams to follow. Of the school’s single-season top 10 scoring averages, five of them – all of whom will return in 2020-21 – belong to players on the 2019-20 team. The Wildcats also posted 10 individual top-10 finishes with 20 top-20 showings.
Nearly all that production will be back this season, plus the additions of freshman Laney Frye, the 2018 Kentucky High School Athletic Association state champion, and Augusta transfer María Villanueva Aperribay, who posted a 73.6 stroke average in her first season in college.
UK enjoyed an impressive summer with six individual championships (two by Wenzler and one each by Castle, Frye Villanueva Aperribay and Janika Rüttimann, who has since had retire from golf) and several other top-five showings.
For the latest on the Kentucky women’s golf team, follow the team on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, as well as on the web at UKathletics.com.