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UK women’s golfer María Villanueva Aperribay captures medalist honors at tournament in Spain

Newcomer María Villanueva Aperribay is also getting in on the University of Kentucky women’s golf’s summer of championships.

The incoming transfer is the latest Wildcat to capture a title at a summer tournament with a victory at the World Amateur Golf Rankings’ Championship of the Principality of Asturias Absolute Women 2020. For the 2020-21 UK roster, it’s the group’s sixth summer championship.

Villanueva Aperribay earned medalist honors at La Llorea Municipal Golf Course in Asturias, Spain, with a comeback in the third and final round on Sunday. The transfer from Augusta started the day in fourth place and a couple of shots back, but she made an impressive charge on the front nine Sunday to put herself in position to win.

UK golfer María Villanueva Aperribay earned medalist honors at La Llorea Municipal Golf Course in Asturias, Spain. (UK photo)

After a double bogey on the fourth hole, Villanueva Aperribay went birdie, birdie, par, birdie, par, birdie over her next six holes as she made the turn to the back nine. With plenty of competitors just a shot or two behind, Villanueva Aperribay managed to hold them off for a 1-over-par 73 in the final round. She finished at 4-over par for the tournament (74-73-73).

Coupled with freshman Marissa Wenzler’s second championship of the summer earlier this week – at the Heritage Classic at Heritage Hill Golf Club in Shepherdsville – the Wildcats are up to six titles since the end of the 2019-20 season with a number of other top finishes.

More opportunities await Kentucky’s 2020-21 roster this week. Jensen Castle, Laney Frye, Casey Ott and Wenzler are all competing in the North & South Women’s Amateur Championship at Pinehurst (courses No. 2 and No. 4) in Pinehurst, N,C. Considered to be one of the top amateur tournaments of the summer, the 120-player field begins play Tuesday with stroke play before a 32-player match-play bracket.

Villanueva Aperribay’s weekend triumph is the latest proof of talent the UK women’s golf roster will feature in the upcoming campaign. Villanueva Aperribay was a major contributor for Augusta last season, appearing in six team events with a 73.6 stroke average in her first year of collegiate golf.

Although just a freshman in 2019-20, Villanueva Aperribay played with the consistency of a veteran. She finished in the top 25 in four of her six appearances with 13 of her 18 rounds at 74 or lower, including five rounds of par or better. In all four of those top-25 finishes, Villanueva Aperribay posted a 54-hole score of 219 or better with a season low of 218 at the Illini Invitational at Medinah in October. Her best finish was in February at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic, where Villanueva Aperribay tied for 16th with a 3-over-par 219.

Villanueva Aperribay has been a member of the Spanish national program since 2014 and considers helping her country to a second-place finish at the European Girls’ Team Championship in 2019 to be her crowning golf achievement thus far.

From University of Kentucky

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