Tide Women's Golf 9th At NCAA Tourney
Senior Kathleen Ekey and freshman Brooke Pancake led the Crimson Tide with 3-over-par rounds of 75 and are tied for 25th place heading into Wednesday's second round.
In the team race, Alabama is 11 strokes behind Denver, who edged the Tide in the NCAA East Regional and holds the first round lead at 6-over-par 294. UCLA is second at 8-over 296 with North Carolina is third at 11-over 299 and USC fourth at 301. LSU and Arizona State are tied for fifth place at 14-over 302.
"I didn't think we played particularly well," Alabama Coach Mic Potter said following Tuesday's opening round. We didn't drive the ball nearly as well as we normally do, but it is a hard golf course and there is a lot of golf left to play. I always worry about us playing in the afternoon and getting this afternoon round over with is good. We need to come out tomorrow morning and play better."
Courtney Harter is tied for 50th after 18 holes but her birdie on the 15th hole was sandwiched between three pars on each side for a 77. Harter shot 40 on the opening nine holes and bogeyed the 10th and 11th before playing the final seven holes at 1-under-par.
"I was really proud of Courtney (Harter)," Potter said. "She got to 6-over after 11 (holes) and played it 1-under from there on in and that really helped us. We just have to take better care of our ball, and we will be fine. Tomorrow (Wednesday) morning the conditions should be perfect, so we will see what we can do."
Pancake, a true freshman from Chattanooga, Tenn., shot even-par 36 on the front nine with a birdie on the third hole and a bogey on the sixth. She closed with a 39 on the back side, carding bogeys on the 11th, 15th and 17th holes.
"I know the score is not where I want it to be, but I felt really good about my game today," Pancake said. "Hopefully it will just keep getting better and better and putts will start falling. I was not nearly as nervous as I thought I would be. After playing the SEC Championships and regionals, coming out here was just like another tournament. This golf course is challenging and it takes a lot out of you, but that is good because it equalizes the field. Luckily we have been here before and there is a lot of good golf ahead of us this week."
Ekey opened with a 39 on the opening nine holes but rebounded with a birdie on the 11th hole. She then reeled off six straight pars before a bogey on the 18th for a 3-over-par 75.
Sophomore Camilla Lennarth was the Tide's No. 4 scorer on Tuesday with a 6-over-par 78 and is tied for 60th place. Junior Rhea Nair rounded out the Alabama scorecard in the first round with an 8-over-par 80.
Alabama tees off at 7:50 a.m. CDT on Wednesday for the second round. The Tide will be playing with Purdue and Southern California. Live stats can be found at www.golfstat..com. Golfstat will also webcast the 16th, 17th and 18th holes on Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the again from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
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