Following a freshman campaign that saw her capture three individual top-10 finishes while leading her team to four top-five placements, Morehead State women's golf's MacKenzie Neal garnered postseason honors from the Ohio Valley Conference.
A freshman from Richmond, Ky., Neal earned a spot on the OVC's All-Newcomer Team the league announced Tuesday afternoon. She becomes the 15th golfer in program history to be named to the All-Newcomer Team, becoming the first freshman since Gabriela Villalba Arias in 2016 to be named to the team while giving the program a member on the team for the second consecutive season, joining redshirt junior Bridget Connolly who earned a spot in 2019.
"MacKenzie has proven herself to be one of the top freshmen in the league and made an immediate impact on our team," said head coach Stephanie Barker. "She makes the choice every day to improve in all areas of her life which inspires us all."
Amongst newcomers in the OVC (freshman and transfer students), Neal led the group in scoring average with a 75.8 stroke average, a figure that ranks eighth amongst all golfers in the conference. For Morehead State, she owns the team's lone round under par, fashioning an opening round 71 (-1) at the MSU Greenbrier Invitational, a total which marked one of three rounds under par at the event.
Across four stroke-play events, this season; Neal captured three top-10 individual finishes while finding herself on two All-Tournament Teams. Her best finish of the year came in her first career event as she completed the MSU Eagle Invitational tied for third (79-74-153; +9). Neal followed up her best career finish by earning a second top-five finish at the MSU Greenbrier Invitational, finishing fifth (71-77-76-224; +8) at the event.
In two match play events, Neal accrued a 4-3 match record in seven individual matches this season across the Mid-American Match Play and Oyster Shuck Match Play events, capturing two victories in each event. Her four match-play victories helped Morehead State to back-to-back top-three finishes for the first time since the 2016-17 season while the team's victory at the Oyster Shuck Match Play was the program's first tournament victory since 2016.
Additionally, Neal recorded the program's first hole-in-one since Katie Rice in 2016 at the Mid-American Match Play Championship as she aced the 141-yard, Par-3 17th hole at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club in Lakewood Ranch, Fla.
Off the course, Neal maintains a 4.0 GPA as a biology/pre-med major, helping the women's golf program achieve a cumulative team GPA of 3.89 for the spring semester and a 3.80 for the 2019-20 academic year.
"The team and I are very proud of MacKenzie and are thrilled she has earned this well-deserved honor," added Barker.