Aug. 20, 2009
AURORA, Ill. - Arizona incoming freshman Sherlyn Popelka won two of her three matches for the European team at the recently completed PING Junior Solheim Cup, Tuesday and Wednesday at the Aurora Country Club.
In front of her soon-to-be head coach Shelly Haywood, Popelka was one of the few bright spots for a European side that surrendered the trophy to the United States team, 15.5-8.5. Popelka accounted for almost a quarter of her team's points as she was victorious in the Four-Ball competition on Tuesday before capturing her singles match on Wednesday.
Popelka, a native of Zurich, Switzerland who most recently attended the Annika Academy in Reunion, Florida, teamed with Klara Spilkova of the Czech Republic to defeat Ana Gulugian and Stephanie Kim by a tally of 5 & 3. Popelka was hot early as she had five birdies in her morning round, impressing the LPGA official working her match with her solid putting.
Though Popelka and her partner dropped their afternoon foursome match by a score of 3 & 2, the future Wildcat did not dwell on the setback on the final day of competition. She went about doing her best to make up a three-point deficit that the European team faced heading into the final day.
Popelka was one of the most dominant players on Wednesday as she jumped out to a 6-up lead after eight holes thanks to four birdies on the front nine and cruised to a 4 & 3 win over Kim. Though her team came up short, Popelka impressed many onlookers with her steady play with Haywood leading the cheers.
"Sherlyn was very consistent through the entire competition and showed she is a very good putter," said Haywood, who begins her third season in charge of the Arizona program. "It was a huge honor for her to represent Europe and her country and we can't wait to get her here to Tucson."
The Arizona women's golf team plays in its first tournament September 25-27 at the Mason Rudolph Championships in Nashville, Tennessee at the Legends Club of Tennessee, an event hosted by Vanderbilt University.