Freshmen Farah O’Keefe, Lauren Kim acing early tests for Texas women’s golf team

The Texas women’s golf team is primed for a strong showing at the upcoming NCAA Championship in the spring, thanks to a mix of exceptional freshmen and experienced veterans. Led by head coach Ryan Murphy since 2014, the team is focused on finishing the fall semester on a high note at the prestigious Stanford Invitational in California. This tournament will feature top-ranked teams like the host Stanford Cardinal and the No. 5 Longhorns.

Murphy is pleased with the team’s performance so far this semester and hopes for another successful outing at Stanford. He emphasizes the depth of their roster and the stellar performances they have delivered.

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The team’s success is largely attributed to the standout performances of freshman golfers Farah O’Keefe and Lauren Kim. These two players have emerged as key contributors to the team’s strong fall campaign. Additionally, senior Bentley Cotton, a graduate of Westlake High School, has been a valuable asset to the team. Other players, including Selina Liao, Cindy Hsu, and Bohyun Park, have also made important contributions this fall.

O’Keefe’s talent and impact should come as no surprise to local golf enthusiasts. As a high school golfer at Anderson, she led her team to a Class 5A team championship and won an individual state championship in 2022. Since joining the Longhorns, she has continued to impress, achieving top-five finishes and earning the title of Big 12 women’s golfer of the month. O’Keefe’s exceptional performance at the Windy City Classic in Chicago earlier this month, where she tied the team’s 18-hole scoring record, solidifies her reputation as a formidable player.

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Murphy, who was previously an assistant coach for the UT men’s team during Jordan Spieth’s time there, compares O’Keefe’s mental toughness to that of the PGA star. He commends her parents for instilling great values and attributes her impressive demeanor on the golf course to their teachings. Alongside her mental strength, O’Keefe exhibits remarkable power and finesse in her game, particularly in her play on and around the greens.

Last week, it was Lauren Kim who stole the spotlight at the Jackson T. Stephens Cup in Dallas. The Canadian golfer from British Columbia won a four-hole playoff to secure individual honors. Murphy praises Kim for her exceptional performance in all aspects of the game, highlighting her precision in hitting fairways and her consistency in approach shots.

According to Murphy, the rapid rise of freshmen like O’Keefe and Kim showcases the early development of golfers. They have already competed in the prestigious U.S. Women’s Open, highlighting their exposure to top-level competition even before entering college.

This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Freshman Farah O’Keefe, Lauren Kim acing early tests for Texas golf


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