Photo Courtesy: UA Athletics (Walt Beazley)
ATHENS, Ga. (Univ. of Ark.) - Junior Emma Lavy fired a one over 73 leading the fifth-ranked University of Arkansas women's golf team to an 11th-place start after first round action at the 2013 NCAA Championship in Athens, Ga., Tuesday. Arkansas shot eight-over 296 for the first round.
Lavy was tied for third for much of the second half of her round but a miscue on nine, her final hole of the day, saw her slide back a bit on the leaderboard. Despite the tough finish, Lavy was ready to tee it up again.
"There are just so many birdies out there on this course," Lavy said.
"You have to keep that in mind on this golf course and keep the good things in front of you. I wish I had one more hole to play today.
"This is a beautiful golf course and the greens are rolling true," she continued. "We work really hard and we know how good we can play. We've played hard all year and the champion is going to be the champion at the end of the week and we think we are good enough to be there."
Lavy, a Fayetteville, Ark., native, is tied for 33rd after her first round. She opened on the 10th tee box and birdied her first hole to start her day. She went on to birdie 14 and 15 as well but doubled the 16th moving to one-under.
Lavy moved to two-under with a birdie on the par four second hole, the 11th of her round and would remain there until her final hole. Lavy counted a seven on the par four final hole after overshooting the flag on her approach. The ninth hole is a double-green sharing space with the 18th hole and Lavy's ball caught the high side on nine, hung up for a moment and then dribbled down to the far side of the other green. Her first putt didn't quite make it up the hill but she got off the course leading the Razorbacks.
Freshman Gabriela Lopez and senior Victoria Vela are tied for 46th overall and are in the clubhouse with 74s. Lopez was on fire to start her round with three birdies on 15, 16 and 17. She turned two-under but played the front nine four over wrapping up her round. Vela played the back nine plus three and birdied the fifth hole moving back to two-under for the day.
Junior Emily Tubert counted a 75 and is tied for 64th and freshman Regina Plasencia is tied for 89th overall with a 77.
Tubert struggled out of the gate with a double on her first hole and bogeys on the 12th and 14th holes turning at four-over. She would bogey two more holes before taking control of her round with three birdies in the final six holes.
Plasencia turned a plus two getting her only birdie of the round on the par five 17th hole. She played the front nine three over for the day.
Top-ranked Southern California and No. 48 San Jose State both fired a four-under 284 to lead the field after the first round. Third-ranked Duke is third with 286, followed by No. 2 Alabama with 288. The rest of the top 10 includes No. 8 UCLA and No. 7 Purdue are tied for fifth with 289, No. 13 Stanford with 290, No. 4 Oklahoma with 291, No. 12 Arizona State with 293, No. 14 Tulane is 10thh with 296. The Razorbacks are 11th with 296 followed by No. 25 Michigan State, No. 9 Arizona and No. 24 Northwestern are tied for 12th with 298.
The rest of the field includes No. 18 Texas, No. 17 UC Davis, No. 10 Florida and No. 6 Vanderbilt are tied with 299, No. 40 Mississippi State with 300, No. 35 Oregon and No. 47 Wisconsin with 301, No. 15 Oklahoma State with 303, No. 32 South Carolina with 304 and No. 38 Auburn with 305.
NCAA Championship action continues Wednesday with Arkansas' teeing off beginning at 6:30 a.m. central.