Cowgirl golf to enter Hurricane Invitational shorthanded

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Lianna Bailey during round one of the Big 12 Women's Golf Championship at the Golf Club of Oklahoma, Broken Arrow, April 14, 2019.

The Oklahoma State women’s golf team is off to its hottest start since the 2011-12 season with two straight top-5 finishes against challenging competition. 

The Cowgirls will take this hot start into their third tournament in Coral Gables, Florida on March 2-3 for the Hurricane Invitational. The University of Miami is hosting the event at the Biltmore Golf Club.

The cowgirls enter the tournament ranked No. 16 in the golfstat.com rankings, the same position they were in before the Lady Puerto Rico Classic. 

This will be the Cowgirls first time back at the Hurricane Invitational since they finished fourth in the 2012-13 season. 

The Cowgirls will be without one key piece in this event. Sophomore Lianna Bailey will miss this event and possibly more due to a back injury. 

“(Bailey) has some back issues; we don’t know how long she’ll be out,” coach Greg Robertson said. “She might miss a couple of tournaments. She just had an MRI done so we are evaluating what steps to take from here. It’s a setback for sure, playing without her.” 

Bailey has been a big part of the Cowgirls success this season through the first two Spring events. Bailey finished T-2 in the UCF Challenge with a score of 7-under par including a career low round. In the Cowgirls second tournament she finished T-12 with a score of 2-over par. 

Robertson said with golf everyone just has to go out and play their game and the Cowgirls should compete despite Bailey’s absence. 

“With golf it’s just they all go out and do their own thing, and so it’s not really that anyone needs to feel like they’ve got to do anything more than what they’ve done in the past,” Robertson said. “Each player goes out and plays the best that they can.”

Instead the Cowgirls will bring Emma Whittaker, Isabella Fierro, Maja Stark, Hailey Jones and Han-Hsuan Yu. Senior Michelle Forsland will travel to her first tournament of the season for the Cowgirls and will compete as an individual. 

Fierro has high expectations for herself and the team for this third tournament. She enters the tournament ranked No. 24. 

“If I could get the win that would be awesome,” Fierro said. “I know the golf course I played it six or five years ago, so I kind of know how it’s like, I know what the weather is like. I know it’s going to be a little bit windy, so we’re having a great team. A team win would be really nice.”

Sports.ed@ocolly.com