FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 27, 2023 (Paradise Island, Bahamas) – Kansas State’s Haley Vargas made playing in the strong wind seem easy for most of Friday, as the senior birdied four of her first six holes and hung on to post a 2-under-par 70, tying for the low round of the day and taking her team to a 7-stroke lead after the first round of the White Sands Bahamas NCAA Women’s Invitational at the Ocean Club Golf Course at Paradise Island, Bahamas. The 54-hole event is scheduled through Sunday.
Steady winds of more than 20 miles an hour with gusts of 32 miles per hour made the 6,156-yard course play extremely hard. As a result, only two players finished under par, and just two more were at level par. “I am from Lubbock, Texas, so I am used to playing in the wind,” said Vargas, with a smile. “But at least here the dirt doesn’t blow around.
“It was difficult out there; maybe as much as a three-club wind. And playing without our top player (Carla Bernat), means we all have to step up. She is a vital part of our team,” continued Vargas. But Bernat is missing for a good reason. The Spaniard, who is ranked 31st in the latest amateur rankings, is playing for her home country in the World Amateur Golfers Championship this week in Dubai.
Kansas State freshman Alenka Navarro of Mexico stepped up to help the cause with an even-par 72, and the Wildcats also relied on freshman Julia Ballester Barrio (75) of Spain and sophomore Noa van Beek (76) of the Netherlands for a team total of 5-over 283.
“The players had some good scores on a difficult golf course in these conditions,” said Kansas State head coach Stew Burke. “They have all done the hard work at home, so now we want to make it pay off. And without Carla, other players have to step up. That’s why you have a roster.”
Casilda Allendesalazar and Kaitlynn Washburn each carded 73s, the best in a balanced attack for North Florida to hold second place at 12-over 300. Grand Canyon was two more shots back in third place, at 302.
Tulane and Santa Clara are tied for fourth, at 308, followed by Delaware (309), who had senior Christina Carroll, of Bear, Del., who tied for low round at 70. Following Delaware in the team standings are Troy, Eastern Kentucky, Tampa, UNC-Charlotte and Eastern Michigan.
This is the fourth year for the annual golf tournament, which also was played at the Ocean Club Golf Course in 2019, 2021 and 2022. Texas, Campbell and Lipscomb are the past women’s winners over this layout designed by past major champion Tom Weiskopf.
For more coverage of the 2023 White Sands Bahamas NCAA Invitational, follow @WhiteSandsBah on social media and use the following hashtags: #WhiteSandsBahamas and #WhiteSandsNCAA or visit WhiteSandsBahamas.com
1. Kansas State 293 +5
2. North Florida 300 +12
3. Grand Canyon 302 +14
T4. Santa Clara 308 +20
T4. Tulane 308 +20
6. Delaware 309 +21
7. Troy 310 +22
8. Eastern Kentucky 315 +27
T9. Tampa, U. of 319 +31
T9. Charlotte 319 +31
11. Eastern Michigan 326 +38
T1 Haley Vargas, Kansas State 70 -2
T1 Christina Carroll, Delaware 70 -2
T3 Constanza Guerrero, Grand Canyon 72 E
T3 Alenka Navarro, Kansas State 72 E
T5 Casilda Allendesalazar, North Florida 73 +1
T5 Laura Fangmeyer, Troy 73 +1
T7 Julia Sanchez Morales, Tulane 74 +2
T7 Dili Sitanonth, Eastern Kentucky 74 +2
T7 Kaitlynn Washburn, North Florida 74 +2
T7 Ana Maria Jimenez Rios, Tampa 74 +2
ABOUT THE BAHAMAS
With over 700 islands and cays and 16 unique island destinations, The Bahamas lies just 50 miles off the coast of Florida, offering an easy fly-away escape that transports travelers away from their everyday. The Islands of The Bahamas have world-class fishing, diving, boating and thousands of miles of the earth’s most spectacular water and beaches waiting for families, couples and adventurers. Explore all the islands have to offer at www.bahamas.com or on Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram to see why “It’s Better in The Bahamas.”
ABOUT OCEAN CLUB GOLF COURSE
Atlantis Paradise Island’s Ocean Club Golf Course offers a challenging and beautiful course for golfers desiring championship play. Masterfully conceived, the Tom Weiskopf-designed 18-hole, par 72 championship course stretches over 7,100 yards on Atlantis’ peninsula. The course has hosted iconic sporting events such as the Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational (MJCI), the Michael Douglas & Friends Celebrity Golf Tournament and the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic. For more information about Atlantis Paradise Island resort and the Ocean Club please visit www.atlantisbahamas.com.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
For White Sands Bahamas NCAA Invitational
Contact: Mike Harmon
BAHAMAS MINISTRY OF TOURISM, INVESTMENTS & AVIATION CONTACT:
Atlantis Paradise Island