Women’s golf team kicks off season in Puerto Rico

You know you picked the right sport when playing it involves walking along the ocean in Puerto Rico, which is exactly where the women’s golf team will begin its spring season Sunday.

The Lady Puerto Rico Classic, hosted by Purdue University, will be the Horned Frogs’ first tournament since the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown in October.

The Puerto Rico tournament will be held at the Coco Beach Golf and Country Club in Rio Grande and is scheduled to last Sunday through Tuesday.

“It’s great competition; it’s a great golf course,” said Angie Ravaioli-Larkin, who is in her 15th season as head coach of the team. “It’s usually beautiful weather … it’s right off the ocean.”

The team has played in the tournament before, so they will be familiar with the course’s surroundings, she said.

Ravaioli-Larkin said the team has spent recent weeks qualifying among one another to see who will be attending the tournament. There are nine players on the team, but only the five top qualifiers travel to tournaments, she said.

“Our real focus is just concentrating on what we can do,” Ravaioli-Larkin said. “Playing one shot at a time and taking it as slow as we can.”

The tournament will feature eight teams in Golfweek’s top 50. Three of the top teams in the tournament are the University of Georgia, Purdue and Kent State – all ranked in the top 25 in the latest Golf World/NGCA Golf Coaches’ poll.

TCU is ranked 37th in Golfweek’s latest rankings and is just outside of the top 25 in the Golf World poll.

The team will follow the Lady Puerto Rico Classic with the Central District Invitational in Parrish, Fla., on Feb. 16 and 17. The Mountain West Conference Championship, where the team will try to reclaim the conference title they last held in 2007, will begin April 16 in Seaside, Calif.