UCF Challenge Starts This Weekend

Feb. 10, 2011

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By Leigh Torbin



ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Starting on Sunday, what Golf Digest selected as one of the Top 15 spring tournaments in the nation tees off when the Knight women's golf team hosts the UCF Challenge, Feb. 13-15 at RedTail Golf Club in Sorrento, Fla.

Seven Top 50 teams highlight the field for this weekend, including No. 14 Tulane and No. 16 Texas. Nine participating teams qualified for the NCAA Regionals last year. The 2011 UCF Challenge will feature three rounds of play with Sunday and Monday's play starting from both the first and 10th tees at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday's final round will feature an 8:45 a.m. shotgun start.

The Knights, which enter their home lone tournament of the year on the heels of a 598-591 upset win over No. 21 Kent State on Jan. 29 at RedTail, are starting to see the promise of a long hard winter of work.

"Now they know that they can beat good teams and I think they liked that taste of success," UCF head coach Courtney Trimble said of that win. "We want to play well at our own tournament. We're excited for the spring as a whole but especially for this tournament. The team has been working really hard and everyone is excited to play this week and defend our turf. I'm looking for some good performances."

RedTail will play at a 6,319-yard layout for the event with a par of 72. Although just its fifth year of existence, the UCF Challenge has seen some top competition, including three eventual national champions (Duke in 2007, USC in 2008 and Arizona State in 2009) and numerous individuals who now compete on the LPGA Tour.

UCF will be looking to improve upon last spring's sixth-place finish in the UCF Challenge, the Knights' best-ever placing in their lone home event's elite field. Spurring the Knights to victory against Kent State were final round scores of 69 by Valentina Fontaine (Santiago, Chile) and Carolin Pinegger (Marquartstein, Germany) and they have fittingly earned the top two spots in the lineup for the UCF Challenge. Freshman Kaitlyn Price (Jacksonville Beach, Fla.) is at No. 3 for UCF for the event, followed by sophomore Jordyn Hage (Winter Park, Fla.) and senior Katie Detlefsen (Eagan, Minn.). Detlefsen was UCF's top shooter in the 2010 UCF Challenge, carding a 223 (+7) that tied her for 10th place overall. Freshman Isabelle Bachtiar (Karlstad, Sweden) will compete as an individual.

What awaits the Knights in Sorrento will be a difficult challenge but one that the team can be successful with.

"There is a great mix of teams in this event," Trimble said. "We have schools with a good variety of rankings and this is a good opportunity for us to start off the spring in good fashion."