Tide Women's Golf Off To Fast Start

ATHENS, Ga. – The No. 2 Alabama women's golf team posted a 10-under-par 278 to take the lead on the first day of competition at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic on Friday at the par-72, 6,335-yard University of Georgia Golf Course.

Crimson Tide junior Jennifer Kirby also set the pace as an individual by tying the tournament record of 6-under-par 66, two strokes better than teammate Brooke Pancake. The 10-under par team performance puts Alabama atop the leader board going in to round two, six strokes ahead of Georgia, seven better than South Carolina and eight ahead of Florida.

"I felt like coming in that Jennifer was on the verge of playing great," Alabama Coach Mic Potter said. "She has the capability of just dominating, and I thought she was getting closer and closer to that. She has more control of her golf ball than she ever has, and I'm very confident in her putting. That said, she had a few today where she hit good putts and they just didn't go in. She is really good at staying in the present and not getting ahead of herself and that paid off today."

Maybe the most important score of the day for the Crimson Tide came from freshman Johanna Tillström, who carded a 1-over par round of 73 and is tied for 25th.

"The key for us today was definitely Johanna (Tillström)," Potter said. "You expect Brooke (Pancake), Stephanie (Meadow) and Jennifer (Kirby) to play that way. For us it comes down to that fourth score and to get Johanna going the way she is capable, and give her some confidence, will save us some shots and is really key."

Kirby, from Paris, Ontario, Canada, recorded six birdies in an eight-hole stretch to get to 5-under after 11 holes. She made six straight pars before making birdie on the par-5 18th to close her round. Pancake fired a bogey-free 68 on Friday, closing with back-to-back birdies on the 17th and 18th holes.

Sophomore Stephanie Meadow put together a solid round of 1-under-par 71 on the opening day. Meadow, who just returned from a Curtis Cup training session for the Great Britain and Ireland team in Scotland, is tied for 11th heading into Saturday's second round.

Alabama was able to drop Hannah Collier's 8-over-par 80 in the first round. The Tide will play with Georgia and South Carolina on Saturday.

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