Roughly two-thirds of the way through the first round of the NCAA Women’s Golf Regional in Athens, Ga., Monday, the third-ranked Alabama team had a slim lead over Michigan State, But when Bama had some problems on the final three holes of the University of Georgia Golf Course, the Crimson Tide fell to second behind the Spartans.
Michigan State leads the field at 4-under par (284) for a five-shot lead over the Crimson Tide at the 6,344-yard, par 72 course. Host Georgia and Northwestern are tied for third at 5-over par (293). Baylor is fifth at 8-over par (296) and Tennessee is sixth at 9-over par (297). The top six teams at the Athens Regional will advance to the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships, May 19-24 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.
Alabama will be paired with Michigan State and Georgia in Tuesday’s second round beginning Tuesday morning.
“The goal at any regional is to put yourself in position to advance,” Alabama Coach Mic Potter said following the round. “We played okay today but we can play better. The key is we are still in position to reach our goal, which is to qualify for the NCAA championships. I thought Lauren Stephenson played great today. I really liked the confidence she showed in her short game.”
Individually, sophomore Lauren Stephenson led the Tide on Monday with a 3-under par 69 to tie for second place. The round is her team-leading 10th in the 60s this season. Stephenson was bogey-free on the front nine with two birdies and posted three birdies against two bogeys on the back nine.
Sophomore Cheyenne Knight is tied for seventh at 1-under par (71), her 17th round of par or better in 26 rounds this season. Freshman Kristen Gillman is tied for 16th at 1-over par (73). Senior Mia Landegren is tied for 38th at 4-over par (76) and junior Lakareber Abe is tied for 78th at 8-over par (80).