The Ole Miss men’s and women’s golf teams finished third in their respective tournaments over the past few days, signaling a strong start to what they hope will be a successful season.
The women finished third in the Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Monday and Tuesday. The Rebels finished 2-under par with an overall score of 862, behind Kent State and Pepperdine and two spots ahead of rival Mississippi State.
Returning junior Julia Johnson led the way individually in 13th place with an at-par score of 216. Meanwhile, returning senior Pi-Lillebi Hermansson led the way early in the tournament at the No. 1 spot with an excellent 5-under par score of 67 in the first round, but she struggled in round 2 with a 10-over 82 before finishing tied for 38th.
Ellen Hutchinson-Kay, Andrea Lignell, and Kennedy Swann are also returning starters. Swann, a senior, posted the best single-round score in the tournament, tying Gioia Carpinelli of San Diego State with a 6-under par 66 in the second round. She would finish tied for 17th, along with Lignell, while Hutchinson-Kay finished tied for 32nd.
The women’s team should be highly competitive again this season after winning the first SEC Championship in program history last season and earning a spot in the NCAA Championships.
They bring back real experience from last year’s run and are a consensus top 25 team nationally. The Golf Channel ranked the Rebels No. 18 in their preseason rankings, while Golfweek slotted the Rebels at No. 23 in the same edition of their rankings. They also received the most points for any team not in the top 25 in the Women’s Golf Coaches Association poll, essentially placing them at No. 26.
Meanwhile, the men’s team started their season with a 3rd-place finish at the Badger Invitational in Madison, Wisconsin. The Rebels finished with a 6-under 858 behind a stellar final round score of 278, good for 10-under par, which moved them from sixth to third on the final day.
The excellent play of sophomores Jackson Suber and Sarut Vongchaisit was a key component in the Rebels’ finish. Suber had an incredible final round score of 65, good for 7-under par, to put him at a tie for fourth overall in the tournament at an 7-under 208. Vongchaisit also finished towards the top of the leaderboard, earning 10th place with a 4-under par final round after breaking even in the first two rounds.
While the sophomores caught fire on the final day of the tournament, steady play from seniors Chip Getz and Brody Blackmon in the second round helped the Rebels stay within striking distance. They would finish 36th and 70th, respectively.
The men’s team will travel to Illinois next week to attend the Windon Memorial Classic hosted by Northwestern University, while the women’s team will take part in the Golfweek Conference Challenge in Colorado in two weeks.