LEXINGTON, Ky. — Already believed to be the highest-rated signee in program history, Kentucky women’s golf freshman Jensen Castle is now being billed as one of the top freshmen in the country by Golfweek.
The first-year Wildcat, one of four freshmen in the most decorated class in UK women’s golf history, was tabbed this week by Golfweek as one of the “top 10 freshmen to watch in women’s college golf in 2019-20.”
Castle arrived on campus last week with impressive pre-college credentials. She checks in at No. 10 overall in the latest American Junior Golf Association national rankings and No. 4 in her class. Golfweek listed her at No. 14 in the latest Golfweek class of 2019 rankings.
The West Columbia, South Carolina, native has vaulted up the rankings after a decorated high school career. She’s a two-time South Carolina state champion, winning once at the 5A level and once at the 3A level. In her most recent state title, in 2018 at Gray Collegiate Academy, Castle ran away from the field with a 10-shot victory to set the two-day state tournament record with a 137.
Castle also won the state title at the 5A level in 2016 at White Knoll High School. She also led the team to a state runner-up finish and owns the nine, 18- and 36-hole records at White Knoll.
Five times Castle was named All-State and five times she made All-Region, including one year on the boys’ team.
Castle repeatedly placed in the top 10 in national AJGA events, but her most notable showings took place at two of the most prestigious tournaments in the country, the ANNIKA Invitational USA in January 2019 and the Girls Junior PGA Championship this summer. Castle placed second in both events against some of the best golfers in the country.
She was also a three-time member of the Can-Am Junior Team, placed seventh at the 2018 AJGA Girls Championship, was a member of the East team that won the 2019 Wyndham Cup, and qualified for the U.S. Girls’ Junior this summer.
Castle is expected to be a key piece of the 2019-20 Kentucky women’s golf team, which will begin play Sept. 9-10 at the Minnesota Invitational in Woodbury, Minnesota. Castle and Co. recently arrived on campus to begin preparing for the season.
UK lost two key seniors with the departures of the record-setting Leonie Bettel and Claire Carlin but the Wildcats welcomed the most talented recruiting class in school history with Castle, Marissa Wenzler, Janika Rüttimann and Kelsey Wylie, in addition to the returns of seniors Sarah Shipley – who won two tournaments this summer – and Josephine Chang, juniors Rikke Svejgård Nielsen and Sarah Fite, and sophomores Casey Ott and Ryan Bender.
UK will play in four team events in the fall season, including hosting the Bettie Lou Evans Invitational for a third straight season. The full 2019-20 schedule is available at UKathletics.com.