Northwestern from the Chicago area and Kent State from near Cleveland have fine teams to be sure, but perhaps the women on those teams were a little more acclimated to the weather at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill., than were the women on Alabama’s golf team. One thing is sure: the Crimson Tide did not perform well in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship in the wind, rain, and cold over the 6,343-yard, par-72 course Friday.
Alabama is in 21st place at 40-over-par. Northwestern leads the tournament at 12-over with Kent State second at plus 15.
“This golf course would be a lot of fun to play on a nice day,” Alabama Coach Mic Potter said after the round. “It was not fun today. It was grind and we didn’t do a good job of grinding. Sometimes you just have to take bogey and go about your business. We made too many doubles. We came up here three weeks ago and played in pretty similar conditions in a tournament in Chicago so I felt we were well-prepared for a day like this. But this is a very challenging golf course and we’ve got to do a better job of managing ourselves. We have a lot of holes left and typically we get better as the tournament goes along.”
Sophomore Cheyenne Knight (78) and freshman Kristen Gillman (78) shared the low round for the Crimson Tide on Friday as they both finished at six-over par and are tied for 34th place, six shots off the individual lead, entering Saturday’s second round. Sophomore Lauren Stephenson (85) is tied for 110th at 13-over par. Junior Lakareber Abe (87) is tied for 117th at 15-over par. Senior Mia Landegren (89) finished at 17-over par and is tied for 126th.
Alabama will again be paired with Stanford and Florida in Saturday’s second round and will begin play at 7:30 a.m. CT from the first tee.