start strong at NCAA Central Regional
- An opening round 308 put the University of Arkansas women's golf team
in good spirits after the first day of play at the 2004 NCAA Central Regional
Championship in Normal, Ill., Thursday.
Conditions were windy and temperatures reached
91 at the University Golf Course in Normal, by mid-morning Thursday. The
Lady Razorbacks were in an early group and finished just as temps reached
their peak for the day.
"Overall, I thought we played well," said
Arkansas head coach Kelley Hester. "Our scores were close and we played
with a lot of confidence today. I feel like we can make a move in the
next couple of days and we'll just see what happens."
The Lady Razorbacks battled 15-20 mph winds
on the more difficult back nine to start the day. El Dorado, Ark., native
Amanda McCurdy and The Woodlands, Texas, senior Melissa Murray were both
at plus five to start the day. McCurdy finished as the team's leader with
an even front nine to end at plus-five 76 on the first day.
Sophomore Courtney Mahon was at plus-three
followed by junior transfer Sarah Trew at plus four through nine holes.
Mahon finished with a six-over 77 for the afternoon.
Trew was in the clubhouse first for Arkansas
finishing the day with a six-over 77. Trew birdied three, a dog-leg right,
and sank her putt to drop a stroke on the final nine holes.
Murray rounded out the Arkansas scores with
a seven over 78 for the Lady Razorbacks. She parred eight of her last
nine holes on the day.
Junior Gena Johnson, a Hot Springs, Ark.,
native paced the Lady'Backs and was two over making the turn. Johnson
had three bogies and one birdie in the opening holes of play.
Johnson birdied the par three 17th hole carrying
the water to the green where she punched in picking up a stroke for Arkansas.
Johnson finished with a 76 but left the tent failing to sign her scorecard.
The Lady'Backs' counted Trew's score only
giving up two strokes for the miscue.
"It's unfortunate," said Hester. "Gena feels
horrible but we are going to be O.K. It only cost us two strokes and hopefully
it won't change our place in the field."
The 24-team event was far from complete when
the Lady Razorbacks left the course with the final group teeing off at
2:00 p.m. Arkansas was tied for eighth place when the first group was
finished. Defending Southeastern Conference winner and fifth-ranked Vanderbilt
paced the field along with No. 6 New Mexico at 298.
Number 10 Arizona was third with a 299 followed
by defending national champion and eighth-ranked Southern California at
300. Number 21 Michigan State was fifth at 302, followed by No. 27 Missouri
at 303, No. 33 Texas A&M at 305 and No. 35 Texas Christian and No. 29
Arkansas with 308.
Oklahoma, ranked No. 11 was 10th with a 311,
No. 16 Tulsa was next at 319 and No. 45 Kansas State was 12th with a 326
when Arkansas left the course.
Complete results and placement was not yet
available but point your browser o www.ladybacks.com for all the latest
scores and results.