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UK golfers Jacob Cook, María Villanueva Aperribay bring home tour wins

Kentucky golfers Jacob Cook and Maria Villanueva Aperribay brought home summer tournament titles this weekend.
UK men's golfer Jacob Cook (left) wins the Lexington City Golf Championship over teammate Cooper Parks (middle), while UK women's golfer Maria Villanueva Aperribay wins the World Amateur Golf Rankings’ Championship of the Principality of Asturias Absolute Women 2020.
UK men's golfer Jacob Cook (left) wins the Lexington City Golf Championship over teammate Cooper Parks (middle), while UK women's golfer Maria Villanueva Aperribay wins the World Amateur Golf Rankings’ Championship of the Principality of Asturias Absolute Women 2020.(UK Athletics)
Published: Jul. 12, 2020 at 5:01 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kentucky golfers Jacob Cook and Maria Villanueva Aperribay brought home summer tournament titles this weekend. Cook finished in front of UK teammate Cooper Park in the Lexington City Golf Championship, while Villanueva Aperribay won the World Amateur Golf Rankings’ Championship of the Principality of Asturias Absolute Women 2020 in a tournament in Spain

Men’s golfers Cook and Cooper Parks earned a 1-2 finish at this weekend’s Lexington City Golf Championship, with Cook edging Parks by a stroke.

The tournament is a three-day, 54-hole event, played on three different courses in Lexington. This year’s event saw the players take on the Lakeside Golf Course, the Gay Brewer Jr. Course at Picadome and Kearney Hill Golf Links.

Cook fired rounds of 73-66-68 for a 207 and 9-under par scorecard. Parks shot rounds of 71-68-69 and concluded the tournament at 8-under par. Another Wildcat, Jackson LaLonde, earned a seventh-place showing with scores of 74-71-70 to enable three UK players to earn top-10 finishes among a field of 70 golfers.

This marks the second spectacular performance of the summer for Cook who finished as the low amateur at the Unbridled Event at Boone's Trace National Golf Club in Richmond, Kentucky, in May.

Cook fought off a slow start at Lakeside by playing 2-under par over his final five holes to head into the second day with some momentum. The Frankfort, Kentucky, native generated six birdies and capped his round with an eagle on the par-five 18th at the Gay Brewer Jr. Course to move into contention heading into the final round. He then matched Saturday’s round with six birdies at Kearney Hill and edged the field by a stroke thanks to a birdie on the par-five 18th.

Parks enjoyed a big day at the Gay Brewer Jr. Course as well, with a tournament-low round of 68. He began the day with a birdie on the opening hole and eagled the par-five 17th to highlight his round. The Campbellsville, Kentucky, native capped his tournament in style with an eagle on today’s final hole to move into second place.

LaLonde produced his lowest round of the weekend on Sunday with five birdies highlighting his round. He got to 3-under over the first seven holes to open up to a hot start.

As for Villanueva Aperribay, the incoming transfer is the latest Wildcat to capture a title at a summer tournament with a victory at the World Amateur Golf Rankings’ Championship of the Principality of Asturias Absolute Women 2020. For the 2020-21 roster, it’s the group’s sixth summer championship.

Villanueva Aperribay earned medalist honors at La Llorea Municipal Golf Course in Asturias, Spain, with a comeback in the third and final round. The transfer from Augusta started the day in fourth place and a couple of shots back, but she made an impressive charge on the front nine Sunday to put herself in position to win.

After a double bogey on the fourth hole, Villanueva Aperribay went birdie, birdie, par, birdie, par, birdie over her next six holes as she made the turn to the back nine. With plenty of competitors just a shot or two behind, Villanueva Aperribay managed to hold them off for a 1-over-par 73 in the final round. She finished at 4-over par for the tournament (74-73-73).

Coupled with freshman Marissa Wenzler’s second championship of the summer earlier this week – at the Heritage Classic at Heritage Hill Golf Club in Shepherdsville, Kentucky – the Wildcats are up to six titles since the end of the 2019-20 season with a number of other top finishes. 

More opportunities await Kentucky’s star-studded 2020-21 roster this week. Castle, Frye, Ott and Wenzler are all competing in the North & South Women’s Amateur Championship at Pinehurst (courses No. 2 and No. 4) in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Considered to be one of the top amateur tournaments of the summer, the 120-player field begins play Tuesday with stroke play before a 32-player match-play bracket.

Villanueva Aperribay’s weekend triumph is the latest proof of power the UK women’s golf roster will wield in 2020-21. Villanueva Aperribay was a major contributor for Augusta last season, appearing in six-team events with a 73.6 stroke average in her first year of collegiate golf.

Although just a freshman in 2019-20, Villanueva Aperribay played with the consistency of a veteran. She finished in the top 25 in four of her six appearances with 13 of her 18 rounds at 74 or lower, including five rounds of par or better. In all four of those top-25 finishes, Villanueva Aperribay posted a 54-hole score of 219 or better with a season-low of 218 at the Illini Invitational at Medinah in October. Her best finish was in February at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic, where Villanueva Aperribay tied for 16th with a 3-over-par 219.

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