Women's Golf Leads At Hilton Head

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – Alabama's second-ranked women's golf team got off to a great start in the opening round of the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate on Friday at the par-71, 6,160-yard Long Cove Club.



Alabama fired a 4-over-par round of 288 to take the first-round lead. North Carolina is in second, four shots back, at 8-over 292. Georgia, Central Florida and Virginia are all tied for third at 13-over 297.

Sophomore Stephanie Meadow fired her lowest round of the season with a 4-under-par 67. She was bogey free on the day with four birdies, including three on the back nine to take the tournament lead. Meadow has a 3-shot lead on UCF's Monifa Sealy and the two are the only players in the field shooting below par on Friday.

Meadow has three career individual tournament victories to her credit, which equals the school record shared by Kathryn Cusick (1997-98) and Jenny Suh (2006-07). It was her sixth sup-par round of the season, and lowers Meadow's scoring average to 72.94.

"The course was pretty easy early in the day, but the wind kicked up on the last four of five holes and things got much more difficult," Crimson Tide Coach Mic Potter said. "We were 3- or 4-under par for part of the day, and I feel like we let it get away a little bit at the end. It comes down to taking each shot, playing it the best we can, and see what happens in the end and that is what we did today.

"Stephanie (Meadow) played very well and Brooke (Pancake) made a great comeback after making a double (bogey) and getting to 2-over par and got back to even. Johanna (Tillström) and Jennifer (Kirby) had rough finishes but they were in position coming in and a couple of pars could have really separated us from the rest of the field."

Senior Brooke Pancake carded an even-par round of 71 on the opening 18 holes. She got off to a shaky start with a bogey, birdie and double bogey on her first five holes but recovered with two more birdies before the turn to get to even par. Pancake then reeled off nine consecutive pars to close her round and finish in a tie for third.

Sophomore Hannah Collier had an up-and-down day as well but sank a birdie on the closing hole for a 3-over-par 74 and a tie for 16th. True freshman Johanna Tillström finished with a 76, but played very well outside of back-to-back double bogeys on the 16th and 17th holes and is tied for 31st heading into Saturday's second round.

Jennifer Kirby was the Tide's drop score in round one with a 77 after shooting 6-over on the back nine. She is tied for 45th after round one.

With the threat of inclement weather on Saturday, the second round will get underway at 8 a.m. (CST) with a shotgun start. Alabama will play with North Carolina and Georgia.

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