The University of Arkansas women’s and men’s golf teams are set to host the third annual Blessings Collegiate Invitational presented by Tyson Foods at Blessings Golf Club. Tournament play is set to commence Monday, Oct. 3, and run through Wednesday, Oct. 5. Admission is free and the GOLF Channel will stream each day of the three-day tournament at 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.
On Monday, the women’s team will tee off at 11:30 a.m. from hole one, while the individuals will follow go off from 10 for round one. The Arkansas men’s and women’s teams will switch on Tuesday with the women getting the earlier time at 9:45 a.m. from hole 10. At Blessings, the team plays in fivesomes, presenting a unique opportunity for the coaches and fans to watch every shot from every hole. The tournament features 10 other men’s and women’s golf programs, three of which are also in the SEC. Six of the 11 teams, including Arkansas sit in the top 15 in the most recent Golfweek rankings.
Arkansas is looking to go for a three-peat for the team and individual medalist titles. At last year’s BCI, the Razorbacks dominated the field by finishing nine-under (295-274-286 – 855), which was 19 strokes better than second-place UCLA. As the only team to finish under-par, all five Hogs in the lineup finished in the top 20. Brooke Matthews won the tournament in its first two years, ending four-under par (72-66-74 – 212) in last year’s BCI.
After one tournament this season, Miriam Ayora leads the team with a 73.33 scoring average after pacing the team at the Carmel Cup (72-74-74=220). Kajal Mistry is coming off her second appearance at the LPGA’s Walmart Northwest Arkansas Championship presented by P&G. Mistry, a sponsor exemption for the event, carded a 73 in round one and 71 in round two to finish 2-over.
Mistry will stay put at the No. 1 spot, while fellow vets Ayora and Julia Gregg are at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively. Reagan Zibilski is at the No. 2 spot after a solid collegiate debut at the Carmel Cup where she was the second lowest scoring Hog (73-72-77=222). Sophomore Giovanna Fernandez is making her season debut and first appearance at the BCI, and will do so at No. 5. As the host of the tournament, Arkansas has the opportunity to compete two individuals. Kendall Todd has one of those spots, while Meghan Royal will make her collegiate debut with that second spot.
- Kajal Mistry
- Reagan Zibilski
- Miriam Ayora
- Julia Gregg
- Giovanna Fernandez
- Kendall Todd
- Meghan Royal
COMPETING TEAMS (GOLFWEEK RANKINGS FOR WOMEN)
- Arkansas (15)
- Clemson (8)
- Ole Miss (7)
- Mississippi State (11)
- Texas A&M (2)
- UCF (14)
- UCLA (49)
Blessings Golf Club – Fayetteville, Ark. – Par 72 – 6,452 yards
The BCI is in its third year and has become one of the best collegiate golf tournaments in the country. As a mixed event, men’s and women’s golf programs from 11 different schools, including Arkansas, are featured in the field. The women’s team has won the event as a team and individual medalist the past two years.
TAYLOR’S TAKE ON BLESSINGS
Shauna Taylor, Head Women’s Golf Coach:
“Any time we can compete at home on a championship golf course in front of Razorback nation is a tremendous opportunity for our team. We get two extra spots with individuals playing, so we get to see our entire team compete. It’s early in the season and we get to play in fivesomes, which will be awesome to see all the girls hit every shot for three days.”
MISTRY’S PERSPECTIVE ON THE TOURNAMENT
Kajal Mistry, senior
On her mom being here from South Africa this week: “She hasn’t been here since I moved in and hasn’t watched me play college golf, so that should be fun. I can only think good things. She loves it out here.”
“I’m super excited that we get to host it again. It’s such an honor we get to show everyone, especially since it’s on TV, show everyone our home and how special it is. It’s an amazing opportunity.”
The women’s team has a quick turnaround, hitting the links early next week for the Jackson T. Stephens Cup from Monday, Oct. 10 to Wednesday, Oct. 12 at Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Florida.
Keep up with all of the latest news and information and get behind the scenes looks into our program on our social media accounts. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @RazorbackWGolf and check out our Facebook page “Razorback Women’s Golf.” Stats, news and player information can be found at ArkansasRazorbacks.com.