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(Texas Sports)

Texas Longhorn Kaitlyn Papp made waves on Monday as the first amateur golfer since Michelle Wie in 2005 to play in the final group of the U.S. Women's Open, played over the weekend at Houston's Champions Golf Club. Papp finished as low (best) amateur tied for ninth at +3 with an up-and-down back nine that should make Texas fans hopeful for another star on the pro circuit.


Papp is a senior at the University of Texas after graduating from Lake Travis High School. The Austin native caught the attention of the golf world this weekend with her unique style and shot routine that had the announcers of the tournament baffled. The former Big XII player and freshmen of the year's ability to drive the ball in addition to Papp's patience kept her in the tournament untill the last day.

Papp came into the fourth and final round Monday after having an up-and-down Round 3. After bogeying the second hole, Papp was able to battle back on eight for a birdie before having back-to-back bogeys on 16 and 17. She tied for fourth, trailing group leader Hinako Shibuno by four strokes to start the day.

Papp's caddie for the Open that was hosted in Houston was University of Texas Associate Head Coach Kate Golden. Golden totaled eight top-five finishes and 14 top-10 showings while she was on the LPGA tour.

Golden's experience and relationship with Papp's was on display for the entire weekend, but especially in the back nine of the final day when it was clear Golden's mentorship helped calm down the young golfer and had her finish strong.

To start the day, Papp was able to shoot par through the first four holes, but bogeyed par 5 on the fifth. While it wasn't costly at the time, shooting par would have given her a stoke against first place Shibuno, instead of pushing her back to seventh. Papp battled back shooting a birdie and finishing even through the front nine.

Papp struggled on the back nine, double bogeying 11 and putting her two over par. It essentially put any shot at the title out of reach. Back to back bogeys down the stretch had Papp ending the day +3 and tied for ninth place on the leaderboard to end the day. The senior finished strong, ending her day on a birdie on the 18th hole.

Had she turned pro, Papp could have won the $143,976 prize for ninth place.

Not only did the 22-year-old golfer have a good enough showing to get a top 10 finish, but it also allows her to come back and compete next year at the Womens Open. Her accomplishment will give further recognition to one of the powerhouse programs in the nation when it comes to collegiate women's sports.

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