HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – University of Arkansas junior Emma Lavy fired a career-best 68 leading the eighth-ranked Razorback women’s golf team to the top of the leaderboard after first round action at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate in Hilton Head Island, S.C., Friday.
Lavy and the Razorbacks opened on the back side of the course at Long Cove Club and the Fayetteville, Ark., native came out of the gates strong.
Lavy recovered from a bogey on her second hole to finish with four birdies including three in a row on holes 16, 17 and 18 to turn at three under. She played the front nine even leading the Razorbacks to a 293 and a two shot lead over the field.
“Emma was just super solid,” Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor said. “She had 24 putts today and hit some great golf shots. I just can’t say enough about the way she was playing.
“We started on the hardest part of the golf course,” Estes-Taylor continued. “It was about 45 degrees and blowing before the sun finally came out. We got through the hard part pretty much unscathed and then just finished strong.”
Freshman Gabriela Lopez is tied for second overall with a first round 71. Lopez struggled with her second hole, No. 11, with a double and then posted back-to-back bogeys but recovered with three birdies to turn even. She would pick up two more birdies and bogey on the front nine to finish one under.
Junior Emily Tubert finished with a 76 and is tied for 34th while freshman Regina Plasencia is tied for 49th with a first round 78. Senior Victoria Vela rounds out the Arkansas scores with an 81 and is tied for 63rd overall.
“We talk a lot about using the first round to put ourselves in great position to win the tournament and we did that today,” Estes-Taylor said. “We still have a lot of golf left to play and we have to stay in every golf shot and commit to the process. This course is demanding and we have to stay focused for the next two rounds.”
Third-ranked North Carolina is second shooting 295 and is tied with No. 35 LSU. SEC member No. 11 Vanderbilt is fourth with 296 followed by No. 4 Alabama, No. 29 Tennessee and No. 17 Arizona State in a three-way tie for fifth with 297. The rest of the field includes No. 42 UCF in eighth with 298, No. 19 Virginia with 301, No. 44 Wake Forest with 304, No. 14 Georgia with 308, TCU with 311, Furman with 313, No. 46 South Carolina with 314 and No. 37 Auburn with 315.
Play continues Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. central with the Razorbacks pairing up with North Carolina and LSU for round two.
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