Cats, Cards wage a Battle of the Bluegrass in Florida. After a tie, who gets the trophy?

·3 min read
UK Athletics

The Kentucky women’s golf team began its spring season with a rivalry matchup Tuesday, but was unable to bring hardware back to Lexington from its annual matchup with Louisville.

This year’s Battle of the Bluegrass between Kentucky and Louisville took place in Naples, Florida, at Club Pelican Bay, with UK and U of L playing to a 4-4 tie in the match-play event.

Louisville won the most recent head-to-head meeting between the schools in 2019, which meant the Cardinals retained the Battle of the Bluegrass cup with Tuesday’s result.

UK picked up victories on Tuesday from fifth-year senior Rikke Svejgård Nielsen, junior Jensen Castle, sophomore Laney Frye and freshman Marta López Echevarría.

Castle — who gained national attention last August by becoming the first UK golfer to win the U.S. Women’s Amateur — and Frye were UK’s scoring average leaders during the fall season.

Prior to Tuesday’s event, UK and U of L decided that each individual match would result in a winner, meaning no half points would be awarded from an 18-hole tie and instead those matches would continue until there was a winner.

This proved consequential Tuesday.

Kentucky led the match 4-3 and redshirt junior Ryan Bender led Louisville sophomore Carly Haines by one hole as the duo played the 18th. Haines won the 18th hole and forced extra holes to be played in the match to determine an outright winner.

Haines eventually prevailed on the 20th hole, ensuring the 4-4 final result and Louisville’s retention of the Battle of the Bluegrass cup.

The Wildcats will hope to use the match-play experience from Tuesday’s event later in the spring season, as both the Southeastern Conference Championship and the NCAA Championship finals feature match play.

Last season, UK advanced as a team to the NCAA Championship finals for the first time in 29 years.

After several more events this spring, the postseason will begin for UK on April 13 with the SEC Championship in Birmingham, Alabama.

UK and U of L meetings this school year

For those keeping track, here’s a look at how each Kentucky and Louisville athletic matchup has played out this academic year.

Cross country: At the NCAA Southeast Regional in November in Louisville, the Kentucky women’s cross country team finished in third while the Louisville women’s cross country team finished in 23rd. At the same event, the Kentucky men’s cross country team finished in ninth while the Louisville men’s cross country team finished in 13th.

Football: Kentucky defeated Louisville, 52-21, on Nov. 27 at Louisville.

Men’s soccer: Kentucky defeated Louisville, 3-1, on Sept. 7 at Louisville.

Track and field: On Dec. 11, members of the Kentucky and Louisville track and field teams, along with competitors from other schools, competed in the Cardinal Classic in Louisville. The meet featured 33indoor events. UK athletes won 20 events. Louisville athletes won nine events.

Women’s basketball: Louisville defeated Kentucky, 64-58, on Dec. 12 at Louisville.

Women’s golf: Kentucky and Louisville played to a 4-4 match-play tie on Tuesday in Florida. Because Louisville won the most recent head-to-head meeting between the schools in 2019, Louisville will retain the Battle of the Bluegrass cup.

Volleyball: Louisville defeated Kentucky, 3-2, on Sept. 15 at Louisville.

There are several upcoming athletic meetings between the rival schools.

UK men’s tennis will play against Louisville on Friday afternoon in Lexington at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex, and the UK men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams will compete against Louisville on Saturday afternoon at Louisville.

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