Ole Miss women’s golf poised for another NCAA Tournament run

Posted on Sep 17 2018 - 5:50am by Mack Gordon

Ole Miss Women’s Golf kicks off its 2018-19 season today, as the team competes in the two-day Mercedes Benz Collegiate Championship in Knoxville, Tennessee. The Rebels are led by head coach Kory Henkes and assistant coach Drew Belt, both of whom are in their fourth year at the helm of the women’s golf program.

The Rebels are coming off their best season in school history, having advanced to the NCAA Championships for the first time in school history and earned three team wins during the memorable 2017-18 campaign.

Conner Beth Ball drives the ball during the 36-hole opening day at The Ocean Course Invitational at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in 2017. Photo Courtesy: Ole Miss Sports

Ole Miss earned wins at the Magnolia Invitational, Palmetto Intercollegiate and Rainbow Wahine Invitational. The Rebels matched or broke 12 different single-season records last season, including their impressive single-season stroke average of 295.26, which was an Ole Miss Women’s Golf all-time best.

Ole Miss returns all five of their main contributors from last season, including Conner Beth Ball, Pi-Lillebi Hermansson, Julia Johnson, Kie Purdom and Diane Lim.

Johnson, a sophomore, led the Rebels with a 72.9 stroke average last season, breaking the school record for freshman stroke average. The St. Gabriel, Louisiana, native earned two individual wins last season and was named to the 2018 SEC All-Freshman team along with being named the 2018 SEC Freshman of the Year.

Ball, a sophomore, was also a member of the 2018 SEC All-Freshman team with Johnson. The Starkville native finished the season with a 74.7 stroke average and totaled up two top-five finishes. Ball was also a member of the 2018 SEC Community Service Team.

Hermansson, a junior from Djursholm, Sweden, finished last season with a 75.2 stroke average and two top-10 finishes.

Seniors Purdom and Lim will both return, bringing some experience to the relatively young Rebels. Purdom is a Lexington, Kentucky, native who finished her junior campaign with a 75.5 stroke average. Lim is a Suwanee, Georgia, native who finished second on the team last season, with a 74.4 stroke average.

Following the Mercedes Benz Collegiate Championship, the Rebels will have a couple weeks off before heading out west from Oct. 5-7 to play in the Ron Moore Women’s Intercollegiate in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, at the Highlands Ranch Golf Course. From Oct. 14-16, Ole Miss will host the Magnolia Invitational at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point.

Then, from Oct 20-21, the Rebels will travel to Louisville, Kentucky, to play in the Cardinal Cup at the University of Louisville Golf Course. From Oct. 28-29, Ole Miss will wrap up the fall portion of the season as the team travels to San Marcos, Texas, to take part in the Jim West Challenge at Kissing Tree Golf Club. Following the Jim West Challenge, the Rebels will be off until Feb. 25.