Mean Green Break Program Record With -5 Second Round At Johnie Imes
North Texas Rebounded From A Tough First Round With An Historic Round Two At Mizzou
COLUMBIA, Missouri - It was a tale of two rounds Monday for the North Texas women's golf team on day one of the Johnie Imes Invitational at the Club at Old Hawthorne in Columbia, Missouri. The Mean Green set a school record for the lowest single round with their five-under-par second round performance. The previous record was a four-under-par performance during the 2010-11 season, in round three of the WorldLink North Texas Classic. The Mean Green posted the best second round score of the 15-team field Monday, and second best on the day behind leader and host Missouri's six-under-par first round.
"I am very excited to break the school record today," head coach Michael Akers said from Columbia. "We are still not where I want this team to be, but this round shows recruits that we are moving in a positive direction. I like teams that bounce back from adversity. We certainly did that today."
North Texas had a rather auspicious start in round one, digging itself a hole with a +32 showing on the challenging par 72 course, but rebounded with a round for the record books in the afternoon.
Senior Eji Kwon led the way for the Mean Green, finishing her two rounds at +3. She rebounded from a +8 (80) in round one with a fantastic, career-best round of -5 (67). That round by Kwon tied for the second best round in program history, behind Jackie Twamley's 66 in 1988-89, and was the best performance by a North Texas golfer since the 2010-11 season, when Chaslyn Chrismer also fired a 67, at the UNLV Invitational at Boulder Creek Golf Club. Kwon currently sits tied in 24th place individually.
"I am a senior, so after this year I will not be out there fighting for birdies on the course with my girls," Kwon said after play wrapped up Monday. "I want to make sure that I leave positive marks behind when I graduate. North Texas means so much to me and I know that with coach Akers and coach Little we are bound to do big things and see great changes as a program. Today we proved to ourselves that we are able and that we have so much potential within us."
Sophomore newcomer Sol Lee also had a historic performance for the Mean Green in round two, equaling the third lowest single-round score in school history, with a three-under-par 69. That ties Randi Gauthier's 2002-03 performance at the Lady Eagle Invite at Oakmont Country Club. Lee's day also got off to a rocky start with a 10-over-par 82 during the first round. She is currently tied for 44th place with junior teammate Devin Edwards, who shot a combined +7 after a 76 in round one and 75 to close out round two. Her 75 in the second round was her best round since her freshman season in 2014-15.
Sophomore Kalli Jennings also set a new collegiate-best mark for a single round, posting an even-par 72 in round two.
"We are talking about consistency, course management and believing in ourselves," Akers said. "The culture change does not happen overnight, but this is a great sign."
The Mean Green are back in action on Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m. with a shotgun start. As was the case on Monday, fans can follow along with the final 18 holes on BirdieFire.
1. Missouri (-2)
2. Fresno State (+3)
3. Kennesaw State (+5)
T-4. East Tennessee State (+7)
T-4. FIU (+7)
6. Troy (+9)
7. Mercer (+11)
8. Memphis (+14)
9. FGCU (+17)
T-10. Rutgers (+20)
T-10. Akron (+20)
12. Northern Illinois (+23)
13. Long Beach State (+26)
T-14. North Texas (+27)
T-14. UALR (+27)
T-24. Eji Kwon (+3)
T-44. Devin Edwards (+7)
T-44. Sol Lee (+7)
T-69. Kalli Jennings (+12)
T-77. Nyca Khaw (+14)