Jennie Arseneault will end her career at Virginia on the sidelines.
The All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection will not be in the Cavaliers’ lineup next week at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md., for the NCAA Championship. The senior was left out of Virginia’s NCAA regional lineup last week, too, after struggling with her swing over the past month.
“Very much a joint decision,” Virginia coach Kim Lewellen said. “She played a lot this week, and again, the ball is not going where she wants it to go.”
At the ACC Championship in mid-April, Arseneault did not break 80 in the last two rounds and finished 32nd. While the Cavs were at the NCAA East Regional, she went to Myrtle Beach, S.C., to work with her swing instructor, Hugh Royer III, a former PGA Tour and Nationwide Tour player.
When she rejoined the Cavs at practice Tuesday, Arseneault continued to struggle with her swing, especially off the tee. When nothing changed by Thursday, she told Lewellen that she’d be more help off the course than on it.
“One more week and I could have been ready,” Arseneault said. “All year I had been hitting the ball great – even par, 15 greens a round, all the fairways. It’s something that no one expected to happen. It’s a combination of shock and being disappointed knowing there’s nothing we can do about it now.”
Virginia, the top-seeded team at the East Regional and No. 6 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, advanced to the NCAA Championship with a fourth-place finish in Gainesville, Fla. Sophomore Joy Kim replaced Arseneault in the lineup and shot 74-79-72 (T-53).
Prior to the ACC Championship, Arseneault tied for sixth at the Bryan National Collegiate and finished fifth at the Liz Murphey Classic.
“It’s heartbreaking for both of us,” Lewellen said. “Both of us cried a little bit and hugged a little bit. It just stinks because of the timing.”
Arseneault will not travel with the team to Caves Valley for the national championship May 19-22. However, she said she’ll be there during the week to watch the event.
“I had so many things that I wanted to do with my college career, and I really thought this was going to be my year,” Arseneault said. “Even though I’m not playing, I’m still a part of the team. I’m going to do everything I can to help my team.”