Tide Women's Golf Has NCAA Lead

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – The Alabama women's golf team has the first-round lead at the 2012 NCAA Women's Golf Championships at 2-under-par 286 on the par-72, 6,377-yard North Course at the Vanderbilt Legends Club.

"It was a nice start to the tournament," Alabama Coach Mic Potter said. "You can lose today, but you can't win. You have to keep yourself in position. I like the fact that we played late today and early tomorrow, and we can come back and keep our momentum going.

"It is all about positioning right now – there is a lot of golf to be played. It is as much endurance, patience and staying calm as it is anything."

In the team race, Virginia is second place at even-par 288, after an incorrect scorecard cost the Cavaliers six shots almost three hours after they completed their round. Duke is in third at 1-over 289 with North Carolina fourth (292) and Arizona State and UCLA tied for fifth at 5-over 293.

"It is important to play well on the first day, but we are not thinking about winning the tournament," Potter said. "We are thinking about doing the best we can all week long.

"As far as the leader board goes, it wouldn't have bothered me either way (if Alabama led or not). I think we have to take care of our business. I would not have cared what the lead was today. We just have to come back out and play well tomorrow."

Brooke Pancake, who fired a 4-under-par 68, led the second-ranked Crimson Tide in round one. The Chattanooga, Tenn., native returned to her home state and is tied for third place at the end of the first day. Teammate Stephanie Meadow is one-shot back in a tie for fifth with a 3-under-par 69 that included three birdies in her final five holes.

"I felt really comfortable out there today, Pancake said. "I had a really good mindset going into the round. It is nice to be playing my last college tournament in my home state with a lot of support out here. I had the mindset that good or bad I'm going to enjoy myself."

The Tide's Jennifer Kirby shot 2-over-par 74 and is tied for 34th while Hannah Collier birdied two of her final three holes for a 75. Courtney McKim shot 82 and did not count toward the UA team total. Virginia's Portland Rosen leads all individuals with a 6-under 66.

It marks the first time the Crimson Tide has led the NCAA Championships at the conclusion of any round in the team's eight appearances. Alabama will tee off at 8:25 a.m. (CDT) on Wednesday and is paired with Colorado and Tennessee for the second straight day.

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