Three Razorback Golfers Receive Opportunity to Play in 2015 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G

University of Arkansas Junior Gaby Lopez secures Sponsor’s Exemption, and Regina Plasencia and Samantha Marks will compete in qualifier event

The Road to #NWAChampionship came to a close today as the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G announced the recipient of its Sponsor’s Exemption for the 2015 LPGA tournament. University of Arkansas Junior Gaby Lopez clinched the spot with a 71.76 Scoring Average, making her the top ranked Razorback golfer. Regina Plasencia and Samantha Marks were close behind with the second and third scoring averages, giving them the opportunity to play in the tournament’s qualifier event. The criteria for selection included team rankings and academic standing for the golfers.

“I couldn’t be happier to earn an opportunity to compete in my third Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G,” said Lopez. “Not many collegiate golfers have had the chance to test their skills against the best golfers in the world, and to be able to do so for the third year now—I feel very lucky.”

Lopez has played in the NW Arkansas Championship twice, finishing T57 in 2014. The 21-year-old golfer hails from Mexico and took up golf when she was 4 years old. She has played on the Razorback Golf Team since her freshman year at the University of Arkansas. Earlier this year, Lopez finished T3 at the Mexican Amateur Championship. In 2014, she was selected to the All-SEC First Team, her second All-SEC honor. Lopez played in the 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur and is currently ranked 9th in the Golfstat Player Standings.

Razorback Junior Regina Plasencia closed out the season with a 73.16 scoring average and Sophomore Samantha Marks finished with an average of 74.04. Both golfers will compete in the tournament’s qualifier round on Monday, June 22 for a chance to claim each of the two spots available in the official tournament field. Plasencia competed in the 2014 qualifier, finishing with a score of 77. This will be Marks’ first year to compete in the tournament qualifier.

“As their coach, I am immensely proud of each of these student-athletes for their hard work throughout this spring season,” said Shauna Estes-Taylor, head coach of the Razorback Women’s Golf Team. “The competition was fierce and the scoring came down to the wire. Gaby, Regina and Samantha are extremely deserving of these spots, and I know they will represent our Razorback Golf Team very well.”

The Road to #NWAChampionship was announced earlier this year as a partnership between the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G and the University of Arkansas Women’s Golf Team. The program guarantees one Razorback student-athlete a Sponsor’s Exemption into the tournament and two qualifying spots for the Razorback Women’s Golf Team in the 2015 & 2016 LPGA events. Past exemptions have included Stacy Lewis and Emily Tubert.

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