Haley Stephens

The Longhorns will look to get back on track this weekend at their own Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational after last week’s performance at the Stanford Invitational.

At the Stanford Invitational, Texas finished last out of the 17 competing teams with a score of 904, 52-over par. Senior Haley Stephens said the team has to put that tournament behind them. 

“We didn’t play to our abilities,” Stephens said. “There are a lot of good teams coming up, and we have to move forward. We can’t lose the mindset that we’re playing golf.”

Because of the bad finish in the tournament, the Longhorns fell from sixth to 34th in the Golfweek team rankings and have no individual players in the top 50.

Despite all of that, Stephens said they walked off of the course learning how they want to compete.

“We have to give it our all all the time,” Stephens said. “We have to fall in love with the game. You can’t get beat up. You have to learn to stop the bleeding and brush it off.”

For this tournament, the Longhorns will be playing on their home course at The University of Texas Golf Club. Stephens said that it’s just an awesome time.

“A lot of people come out to this tournament,” Stephens said. “We have the home-course advantage. It’s really cool to see the support you have from your teammates, classmates and people who work at the University.”

While the strength of the field lightens up this week, the Longhorns still have to face three top 10 schools in order to defend their title. Despite the competition, Stephens said they still have a good shot to repeat.

“We won it last year, and we have the ability to do it again this year,” Stephens said.

Women's Golf

Despite struggling to find their rhythm on the first two days, the Longhorns finished with a strong 290 on the final day of the Stanford Intercollegiate tournament this weekend. Texas finished last out of 17 teams.

Senior Haley Stephens finished as the highest placing Longhorn. Stephens tied for 32nd place, turning in an 8-over-par 221, including an even-par 71 Sunday.

Fellow senior Madison Pressel finished with a 9-over-par 222, placing her tied for 36th place.

The tournament featured nine of the top 25 teams in the country, including the top five teams in the Golfweek rankings.

The Longhorns started out the weekend on the wrong foot with a 27-over-par 311 Friday. Things would not get much better Saturday as the team shot an 18-over-par 302. Texas would finally break under the 300 mark with a 6-over-par 290 Sunday.

Sophomore Bertine Strauss, senior Desiree Dubreuil and freshman Tezira Abe each finished the weekend in the 230’s. Strauss shot a 232, Dubreuil ended with a 233 and Abe shot a 235. The trio finished 74th, 77th, and 80th respectively.

Stephens, Strauss, Dubreuil and Abe helped the Longhorns finish the weekend with a strong round Sunday, each of them shooting their best round in the final round.

The University of Southern California took first place at the tournament, shooting a 5-over-par 857. Kyung Kim of USC finished as the top individual player of the weekend.

The Longhorns will finish out their fall schedule on Oct. 28–30 at the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational at The University of Texas Golf Club.

Despite struggling to find their rhythm on the first two days, the Longhorns finished with a strong 290 on the final day of the Stanford Intercollegiate tournament this weekend. Texas finished last out of 17 teams.

Senior Haley Stephens finished as the highest placing Longhorn. Stephens tied for 32nd place, turning in an 8-over-par 221, including an even-par 71 Sunday.

Fellow senior Madison Pressel finished with a 9-over-par 222, placing her tied for 36th place.

The tournament featured nine of the top 25 teams in the country, including the top five teams in the Golfweek rankings.

The Longhorns started out the weekend on the wrong foot with a 27-over-par 311 Friday. Things would not get much better Saturday as the team shot an 18-over-par 302. Texas would finally break under the 300 mark with a 6-over-par 290 Sunday.

Sophomore Bertine Strauss, senior Desiree Dubreuil and freshman Tezira Abe each finished the weekend in the 230’s. Strauss shot a 232, Dubreuil ended with a 233 and Abe shot a 235. The trio finished 74th, 77th, and 80th respectively.

Stephens, Strauss, Dubreuil and Abe helped the Longhorns finish the weekend with a strong round Sunday, each of them shooting their best round in the final round.

The University of Southern California took first place at the tournament, shooting a 5-over-par 857. Kyung Kim of USC finished as the top individual player of the weekend.

The Longhorns will finish out their fall schedule on Oct. 28–30 at the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational at The University of Texas Golf Club.

It’s not very often that Texas gets a chance to play at an event that is both competitive and fun, but this weekend is one of those few opportunities.

Texas will host its annual Weis Cup Alumni Match this Sunday at The University of Texas Golf Club, bringing in Longhorn alumni to compete with current players.

“It’s good competition,” senior Haley Stephens said. “Some of the alumni have gone on to play professionally, but there’s still a lot of joking around and it’s a good environment.”

The Weis Cup, now in its eighth year, pits current players against former alumni in a team-style match, with the team that has the most points at the end of the day taking home the cup.

“It’s a good reminder that the alumni support you,” Stephens said. “It gets me in the mindset of what golf is about and it relieves stress.”

Though they’ve been away from the college game for a while, some of the alumni participating in the match have continued on in golf, including Sherri Steinhauer, who graduated in 1985, and won eight events on the LPGA Tour, including the Women’s British Open in 2006.

For the current players, this is a tune-up for their upcoming competitive event next weekend in Stanford, Calif.

“Anytime you have competition and are fighting to win, it’s a better way to play than just practicing,” Stephens said. “You get in that competitive mindset. More people are watching and you get a bigger sense of the crowd.”

After staying in the top two in the first and second rounds, the Longhorns slipped up Sunday on their way to a fourth-place finish at the Mason Rudolph Championship in Franklin, Tenn. Texas finished its first tournament of the season with a combined score of 34-over-par.

The Longhorns started out the weekend with a strong opening round on Friday, holding a four-shot lead over Arizona. Seniors Katelyn Sepmoree and Desiree Dubreuil and freshman Tezira Abe each turned in rounds of 1-over-par to give Texas the early lead.

Senior Haley Stephens led the team on Saturday, finishing her second round 1-under-par. Abe finished at an even 72, but despite her efforts, the Longhorns slipped back to second, trailing Arizona by five strokes.

Sunday saw the Longhorns fall even further back. Dubreuil, Sepmoree and Stephens each shot a 77 in the final round. As a team, Texas shot a 21-over 309.

Arizona won the tournament with a 25-over-par, followed by Virginia and Michigan State. Emilie Burger of Georgia took home the individual title with an even-par 216.

Individually, Dubreuil and Abe led the Longhorns with a 7-over-par and finished tied for seventh over the weekend. Stephens finished tied for 15th with a 9-over-par.

Sepmoree ended her weekend tied for 28th with a 13-over-par.

Competing as individuals, freshman Natalie Karcher tied for 41st and senior Madison Pressel finished 58th. Karcher shot a 16-over-par and Pressel shot a 20-over-par.

The tournament featured the collegiate debut of three freshmen. In addition to Abe and Karcher, freshman Taylor Kim shot a 24-over-par and finished tied for 66th.

The Longhorns will next compete at the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, CA on Oct. 19 – 21.

While the Texas golf scene was dominated by the men’s team last season, the women’s golf team quietly put together a solid season of its own. The Longhorns finished as runners-up in the Big 12 tournament and tied for 13 in the NCAA Championship.

Texas opens its 2013 season Friday through Sunday with the Mason Rudolph Championship in Franklin, Tenn.

“This is going to be a great year,” senior Haley Stephens said. “We’ve had a lot of great preparation, and we have a good mix of players. We have four seniors and three freshmen going on the trip this weekend. We gel together, and we’re ready for great golf.”

In addition to their success in the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments, the Longhorns won two other tournaments. But that accomplishment was overshadowed by the men’s team winning a national championship. Stephens said that the men’s triumph has inspired her to do better.

“It really sets the bar within the culture,” Stephens said. “It gives me chills to see the pictures that they have taken and to see them day in and day out. I feel like I’m a part of that from the outside in. It feeds us knowing that now it’s been done.”

In addition to Stephens, the Longhorns return with sophomore Bertine Strauss, who finished last season ranked No. 98 in the GolfWeek Women’s Player Rankings. As a team, the Longhorns are 28th in the Golfweek rankings and unranked by the National Golf Coaches Association.

Stephens said she doesn’t look too much into the rankings.

“Rankings are good to see where you stack up, but there are a lot of politics in it,” Stephens said. “Numbers don’t define us. We don’t let those rankings determine how we are.”

Despite the rankings, the team is ready for the season to begin.

“We are all excited,” Stephens said. “We’re going to Nashville and for the freshmen, this is their first trip. There’s good excitement, and we all have good vibes. It’s a great environment to be a part of.”

Women's Golf

Exhibition with Vanderbilt
With an open weekend and an extra pocketed day of competition, Texas took on Vanderbilt in a one-day dual event two weekends ago. Not only was this an extra opportunity to compete against another top team, but it was a chance to preview the course where the upcoming NCAA Championships will take place at the end of May.

“That was so much fun and a great way to see the course before Nationals,” said junior Haley Stephens. “We feel really good about going back because it was a really good, relaxed atmosphere.”

The Longhorns also have the inside scoop on Nashville’s course from their own head coach, Martha Richards, who previously coached at Vanderbilt for seven seasons before coming to Texas in 2007.

“I know the golf course so well, and I think it can help us in the practice rounds,” Richards said. “We have to make sure they have great strategy in how to go play the golf course. It allows you to have really productive practice rounds because the coaches don’t have to sit around and wonder, ‘Oh, I wonder what this green does?’ — we know what it does and we will have a strong game plan.”

Peaking at the right time
After claiming the program’s first No. 1 national ranking in September, Texas has not played as well this spring. However, after the slow start, Texas has gradually gotten more consistent play from its veteran leaders and happily welcomed back the play and presence of freshman Bertine Strauss, who missed five weeks in the fall with pneumonia.

“She adds a great vibe to this team that we missed, and we’re glad to have it back,” Stephens said. “She’s always positive and a great asset to this team.”

Starting off with a mediocre finish in Florida in February, the Longhorns are beginning to look like the team that early season success indicated they could become.

“We are playing really well, so this is perfect timing for us to go out and play,” senior Nicole Vandermade said.

“They’ve done a really good job the last two weeks,” Richards said. “Everybody has honed in and focused, but also they’re at ease as well, so that should give us a lot of confidence this weekend.”

What to work on with one month to go
Unlike most sports, golf is solely an individual game. Although a team score is accumulated from the team’s top four scorers, there are no timeouts or game plan adjustments halfway through the game. The setup does not allow for crowds to pump up the home team or root against the opponent. However, just like all other sports, there is always room for individual improvements, and Texas is finding what each player needs to focus on before the postseason.

“I felt uncomfortable with my driver, so I’ve been really working on hitting with my driver a lot more,” Vandermade said. “The courses in the postseason usually play better with my driver, so I know that my ball striking doesn’t have to be perfect in order for me to play well.”

As a whole, the Longhorns’ main focus has been on the short game and knowing that a few missed putts could cost them several places in the final standings of a tournament.

“We’ve been all figuring out what we need to work on individually,” Vandermade said. “Coach [Richards] makes us all work on our short game for two hours before we’re allowed to do anything else.”

“I’ve really been working on getting my short game pristine and getting ready for the tournament,” Stephens said.

Printed on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 as: Texas looks to championships with one month of play left

Women's Golf

In arguably Texas’ toughest tournament of the year, the Longhorns rode a hot second round to finish seventh overall as a team.

After a solid opening round that had Texas in sixth place, it hoped not to falter on day two.

Head coach Martha Richards tweeted before Saturday’s round, “Beautiful day for some low scores ... Let’s have a great day!”

On Saturday’s second round, freshman Bertine Strauss shot a 2-under par (69) to leap into fourth individually. Solid rounds from senior Nicole Vandermade and junior Haley Stephens had the Longhorns in good shape for Sunday’s final round. Strauss, Vandermade and Stephens were each in the top 10 individually and had Texas tied with Texas A&M for 2nd going into Sunday’s final round, only behind No. 1 UCLA.

“Feels good to shoot some red numbers again,” Strauss said, who shot four birdies on the front nine to climb up the leaderboard Saturday.

Vandermade had only one blemish on her card Sunday going to the par-4 15th tee, a hole which she birdied on Friday and Saturday. Vandermade put up a triple-bogey, and closed with a bogey on the 18th, to finish 15th overall.

Stephens shot a 75 in her final round to finish 11th overall.

Women's Golf

 As October came to an end yesterday, the Longhorns ended their first round of the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational strong. Juniors Madison Pressel, Desiree Dubreuil, Haley Stephens and senior Nicole Vandermade all led the team with scores of even par (72). No. 14 Texas is currently in second place going into today’s round only three strokes behind Florida.

The Texas golfers finished the front nine at three under par. Dubreuil had three straight birdies while Stephens finished the first nine with three birdies and a lone bogey. To round out the day, the Longhorns finished with nine bogeys and six birdies on the back-nine to end with a score of
even par (288).

Pressel, Dubreuil, Stephens and Vandermade are all tied for 12th place individually in the tournament. Junior Katelyn Sepmoree, their fifth player in the field, is tied for 50th place with a five-over-par 77. Also competing individually is sophomore Alyssa Morgan (79, +7) and senior Megan Rosenfeld (80, +8), who are tied for 61st and 67th place, respectively.

The Longhorns set off this morning at 9:45 a.m. alongside first-place Florida and third-place Oklahoma State (290, +2). Tomorrow is the last day of the tournament here in Austin and the last round Texas will play before their spring season.

Printed on Tuesday, November 1, 2011 as: Texas within striking distance going into tourney's last round
 

Texas kicked off the “Mo” Morial Invitational on Sunday with an 11-over-par 299, good for second place, three strokes back of the Auburn Tigers’ opening round 296.

The highlight of the morning was South African freshman Bertine Strauss  scoring a 5-over-par 77 in her college debut.

Strauss’ 77 was good enough to put her in a tie for 16th in the individual scoring after day one.

Nicole Vandermade’s 1-under 71 led the team on Sunday while Haley Stephens scored a 74, Katelyn Sepmoree earned a 77 and Madison Pressel carded a 78.

The Longhorns wasted no time erasing Sunday’s 3-stroke deficit on Monday morning. Led by junior Haley Stephens’ 2-under-par 70, tied for the tournament low, Texas was able to take over first place in the team’s opening tournament of the season at Traditions Golf Club in Bryan, Texas.

To go with Stephens’ great day, Vandermade shot a par 72 to put herself in a three-way tie for first in the tournament at 1-under after two rounds.

Strauss and Pressel shot matching scores at 2-over 74 to put them at 7-over and 8-over, respectively, on the tournament. Sepmoree finished the day with a 10-over 82, putting her at 15-over-par for the week.

The Longhorn’s team score of 290 on the day, combined with Auburn’s 14-over par 302, gives Texas a nine stroke lead heading into Tuesday’s final day of play.