RECAP: Hicken, @UTTylerWGolf wins ASC Preview

Tuesday, March 27, 2018
by Wes Bloomquist | wbloomquist@uttyler.edu

AUSTIN – UT Tyler sophomore Katelyn Hicken won the first tournament of her career in dominant fashion and the Patriots secured their first team title of the season at the American Southwest Conference Preview on Tuesday at Avery Ranch Golf Club.

Hicken shot 74-73 – 147 (3-over) to run away with the title with the second-place finisher nine strokes back at 156. UT Tyler, which has won four straight ASC Championships, shot 315-306 – 621 to win the ASC Preview which UT Dallas coming in a distant second with a 337-318 – 655 scorecard. The 2017 ASC Championship will be played on April 23-24 back at Avery Ranch with the Patriots going for their fifth straight conference title and with confidence on a course where they dominated the competition.

Hicken secured the first individual championship in her career finishing the tournament with three birdies and limiting mistakes throughout the 36-hole event. She led the tournament with 27 pars as she recorded her third top-10 finish of the season.

“My game is just in really good shape right now,” Hicken said. “I’m just hitting every shot one at a time and that really helps my mental game so I don’t worry about anything except that shot. I just focus on the basics: hitting the fairway, hitting the green, then two putting. It gives me a lot of confidence knowing that we’re coming back here to play conference and this course plays really well to my game. The fairways are in great shape, the greens are rolling well and my ball striking is better than it’s ever been.”

UT Tyler junior Taylor Denton took fourth in the event with an 80-78 – 158 scorecard, while Stephanie Tutt was fifth with an 83-78 – 158 for the Patriots. Hannah Washburn recorded the best finish of her freshman season with a 78-91 – 169 for 12th overall with Macy Williams (96-79 – 175) finishing 16. Tutt has now recorded back-to-back top-10 finishes after taking sixth at the George Fox Invitational last weekend, while Denton’s fourth-place showing is the best of her season after she was fifth at the Hardin-Simmons Invite in the fall where Hicken had her previous top finish with a runner-up showing.

“I was most excited that Katie played incredibly well to get an individual win,” UT Tyler coach Grant Spencer said. “Our team played a lot of good golf on the course we will be playing the conference tournament on so that bodes well for us in a few weeks. We still need to improve in a few areas but are feeling good right now.”

As a team, UT Tyler finished the two-day event with 12 birdies and 110 pars. The Patriots will return to action in two weeks with the West Region Preview on Monday and Tuesday at Berry Creek Country Club in their final tune-up before returning to Avery Ranch to play at the ASC Championship.