Starkute Leads Cats to Third Place in Kansas
LAWRENCE, Kan. – After a darkness-shortened first day of action, a morning freeze delay cut Arizona Women's Golf's participation in the Marilynn Smith Sunflower Invitational down to 45 total holes. Tuesday saw the Wildcats finish their last four holes of round two before completing their nine-hole final round, capping their trip with a third-place finish at 38-over par. Senior Gile Bite Starkute was Arizona's top player with a final score of 7-over par, which put her in a tie for ninth place.
"Today was a challenging day with a delayed finish to round two and a shortened final round, but it was a good lesson in adversity for our team to face," said head coach Laura Ianello. "We had the second-best team score for the final round, and that showed our team's resiliency. Overcoming tough holes in difficult conditions as well as weather delays is part of the game, and I feel our team was able to grow from those situations this week."
Starkute carded her team's best rounds in the first and third rounds with her final round score of 1-over tying for the sixth best score of the day out of a field of 83 players. Sophomore Lilas Pinthier finished her week one stroke behind Starkute in a tie for 12th place. Her 1-under performance in the second round tied for the best individual score of the round. Fellow sophomore Carolina Melgrati ended the event at 9-over par to give the Wildcats' their third top-20 finisher.
Arizona's top-three finish as a team was fueled by its dominance of Lawrence Country Club's longest holes. It led the tournament in par-5 scoring, pacing the field in scoring average on par 5's by four strokes.
The Wildcats will return to action for their final tournament of the fall on Monday, Oct. 31 with the Pac-12 Preview at Nanea Golf Club on the main island of Hawai'i.