Texas women’s golf newcomer Kaitlyn Papp won’t soon forget her first college event of 2018.
Papp, a Lake Travis High School grad, shot a three-day total of 1-under-par 212 to share the individual title at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge that concluded on Tuesday at Palos Verdes Golf Club in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.
The tournament was the Longhorns first of the spring season. Papp posted rounds of 69-71-72 and was the only competitor in the field to shoot three rounds of 72 or better. She shared individual medalist honors with two others who finished in red numbers—Arizona State sophomore Olivia Mehaffey and UCLA junior Lilia Vu.
The victory was Papp’s first as a collegian and it came against one of the strongest fields in women’s golf. UCLA captured the team crown and Texas finished sixth in the 18-team event.
“It’s pretty unreal—to win any college tournament is a blessing, but especially this one because of how prestigious the field was. It just made the win even better,” Papp said.
Papp played well the entire tournament. Her first-day 69 was the table-settler and she was five under par through 11 holes in the opening round. Her day-two even par total of even par left her one shot behind Mehaffy entering the final day. On the last day, Papp displayed her trademark steadiness and owned the lead on her second nine. Turns out her only three-putt of the tournament came on the third-to-last hole, the par-5 fifth (shotgun start format).
She takes away plenty of positives from the event, especially given that she finished atop a field comprised of 96 players with a team affiliation.
“It definitely helps my confidence and shows me I can hang with the best players in the country,” Papp said. “It just validates that for me and is a really good confidence-booster.”
Papp was a blue-chip signee coming out of Lake Travis High School where she was the No. 4 recruit in the Golfweek / Sagarin rankings. Admittedly, she is settling into being a collegian and continues to play at a very high level.
“I definitely learned a lot in the fall about what I needed to do to get better, maintain and keep a good attitude—that’s really all you need,” Papp said.
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