Story by Brandon Collins, Athletics Communications
BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 11 Texas A&M women’s golf team finished the first two rounds of the “Mo” Morial Invitational in second thanks to a trio of Aggies in the top 10 Tuesday at the par-72, 6,406-yard Traditions Club.
“Playing 36 holes in a day is a marathon, but I thought we handled it well,” head coach Gerrod Chadwell said. “Jennie [Park], Hailee [Cooper] and Zoe [Slaughter] were in control and led us throughout the day. The course got tougher as it got hotter with the greens drying out. If we want to win SEC Championships and NCAA Championships, we have to play well in conditions like this. I am excited to get back out there tomorrow and compete for a championship.”
Texas A&M shot 11-under through the first two rounds and are three shots behind No. 16 Texas for the lead. Florida (-7), Miami (+3) and North Carolina (+4) round out the top five.
Jennie Park (69-68—137) was a consistent force for the Aggies through the first 36. The Carrollton, Texas, native shot 3-under 69 in the first round and followed that up with a 4-under 68 in the second in both rounds, knocking down 10 birdies in the process. The senior stood in sole possession of third to lead the Maroon & White and is two strokes behind Florida’s Maisie Filler on the individual leaderboard.
Zoe Slaughter (70-68—138) tied for fourth place heading into the final round. The junior was dominant on her home course, birdieing Nos. 5,6 and 14 in both rounds. Her second-round performance was all but perfect with six birdies and a lone blemish with a double bogey on No. 3.
Hailee Cooper (70-71—141) recorded three-straight birdies in round one on holes 11, 12 and 13. She followed it up with another trio of bridies in round two on Nos. 7, 8 and 9, highlighted by a deadly accurate approach shot on 9 that left her with about an eight-inch birdie putt. The Montgomery, Texas, native took a share of seventh into the final 18.
Adela Cernousek (75-74—149) and Blanca Fernández García-Poggio (76-77—153) rounded out the starting lineup tied for 35th and 57th, respectively. Additionally, Lana Calibuso-Kwee (80-74—154) tied for 62nd and Lauren Nguyen (81-82—163) and Antonia Zacharovska (78-79—157) tied for 75th and 68th, respectively, in their first collegiate of their careers.
The Aggies tee off at 8 a.m. with the rest of the field in a shotgun start on Wednesday to conclude the tournament. Live stats can be followed at golfstat.com.
History of the “Mo”
The “Mo” was last played in 2014 and returns after the eight-year break. The tournament is named after former Aggie women’s golf great Monica Welsh. Welsh, who tragically died in an auto-mobile accident in 1992, was a four-year letter winner for the Aggies from 1978-1982. She was a two-time TAIAW All-State selection and set the then-record for low competitive round (68) in 1981 at the TAIAW State Championship. This marks the Maroon & White’s 20th time hosting the “Mo”. The Aggies have finished first an event-best six times, including a tournament-record 25-stroke victory in 1996.