Arkansas women’s golf, past and present, will be well represented for another year at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by Procter & Gamble. The LPGA tournament is back for its 16th year (if you count the rain in 2007), hosted at the Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers. Senior Kajal Mistry received a sponsor exemption for the event, while Hog alumni Maria Fassi (2015-19), Stacy Lewis (2004-08), Gaby Lopez (2012-16), Brooke Matthews (2017- 21) and Alana Uriell (2014-18) returned to northwest Arkansas.
“[The NW Arkansas Championship] has been an essential part of our program since this event arrived in northwest Arkansas,” said head coach Shauna Taylor. “Most importantly, it’s about showcasing our home and showing our community commitment and pride in hosting such a great event and getting the community to come together and showcase our home…People around can see what an amazing place Pinnacle Country Club is and what a special place Northwest Arkansas is around this event and throughout the year.
On Friday, Mistry will be in the morning squad, while the professional Hogs will play in the afternoon. Fassi and Matthews, as well as Lewis and Lopez are paired in the same groups.
The official Friday tee times and groups are as follows:
- 9:17 a.m. (tee 1, group 23) – Kajal Misty
- 12:16 p.m. (tee 10, group 26) – Alana Uriell
- 12:49 p.m. (tee 10, group 32) – Maria Fassi and Brooke Matthews
- 1:22 p.m. (tee 10, group 38) – Stacy Lewis and Gaby Lopez
Official Saturday departures:
- 7:16 a.m. (start 1, group 1) – Alana Uriell
- 7:49 a.m. (tee 1, group 7) – Maria Fassi and Brooke Matthews
- 8:22 (tee 1, group 13) – Stacy Lewis and Gaby Lopez
- 2:17 p.m. (tee 10, group 48) – Kajal Mistry
Mistry is playing in her second NW Arkansas Championship after qualifying last year. At the championships in 2021, Mistry carded a 77 in the first round and a 73 in the second round. The native of Johannesburg, South Africa received an honorable mention Golfweek All-American and an All-SEC First Team selection. Mistry led the Hogs in scoring average (73.18) and par or better (14), while winning MountainView Collegiate with a career low of 206 (68-67-71).
Fassi is back in the natural state for his sixth, fourth as a professional, NW Arkansas Championship. Last year, Fassi finished tied for 15th after shooting a 208 (68-67-73). The Mexican product is currently ranked No. 67 in the CME rankings, having recently earned a career-best third place finish at the Kroger Queen City Championship Presented by P&G. After winning the 2019 NCAA Championship, Fassi turned professional and is in her fourth year on tour. In 2021, Fassi made the cut in seven events and represented Mexico at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where she finished tied for 23rd.
A staple in the NW Arkansas Championship is Lewis, who has played in all 15 editions of the event. The 13-time LPGA Tour winner (two major wins) is a two-time champion from Northwest Arkansas, winning the 2007 watered-down event and the 2014 championship. Last season, Lewis finished sixth at tied with a 201 (67-68-66). Currently, Lewis is ranked No. 54 in the CME rankings. Her best result this season was when she teamed with Fassi at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational (69-65-67-59=260). Lewis has won a myriad of accolades both on the professional and amateur level. At Arkansas, she became the first NCAA individual champion, winning in 2007.
Lopez caught the world’s attention after recently earning her third retrospective tour victory at the Dana Open presented by Marathon. Ranked No. 25 on the CME Rankings, Lopez is playing some of the best golf of her career as she is in her seventh year on tour. Lopez is back for her 10th NW Arkansas Championship, seventh as a professional. His best result at this event came in 2017, finishing 10th with a 203 (68-68-67). As a Razorback, Lopez was a 2015 NCAA Championship runner-up.
LPGA rookie Matthews is competing in her first NW Arkansas championship as a professional. The Rogers native, who grew up with the Pinnacle Country Club in her backyard, made two championship cuts as an amateur, highlighted by her 71st-place finish last year (67-70-74=211). In his senior year at Arkansas last fall, Matthews broke the NCAA 54-hole scoring record, finishing 25 strokes under par. Matthews’ best result as a professional was at the Dow Great Lakes Invitational with a 264 (71-62-71-60).
In his first year on the LPGA Tour, Uriell is competing in his sixth Northwest Arkansas Championship. Last season, Uriell recorded a 71 in the first round and a 69 in the second round. In 2021, Uriell made six cuts. Uriell’s best result of the season is 16th place, where she finished 8 under par (69-73-68-70) at the ITBC Classic presented by Barbasol. As a Razorback, Uriell was named a WGCA second-team All-American in 2018 and was a two-time All-SEC selection.
Pinnacle Country Club – Rogers, Ark. – Par 71 – 6,548 yards
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