STILLWATER, Okla. – University of Arkansas sophomore Gabriela Lopez
played 17 great holes of golf in the opening round of the 2014 NCAA Central Regional at Karsten Creek in Stillwater, Okla., Thursday.
But ah, the pesky 10th hole.
Lopez’s struggle on No. 10 summed up the round for the fourth-ranked Razorbacks who opened with a 21-over 309 on the first day of NCAA Regional action. Arkansas is tied for 16th in the 24-team field.
Lopez lost her ball three times on the hole and finished with a five-over 77 playing the other 17 holes one-under for the day.
Freshman Summar Roachell
emerged as the early leader for Arkansas. The Conway, Ark., native put together a solid, three-over 75 and was Arkansas’ low round of the day.
Roachell was one-under at the turn with three birdies on the front nine. She was the first to tee off for Arkansas in the 8:36 a.m. time spot and opened play with cool temperatures, dark conditions and a heavy, steady rain.
Those conditions gave way by the time Lopez teed off at 9:20 a.m. The temps skyrocketed as the sun came out and the wind picked up on the narrow, visually challenging Karsten Creek course.
In addition to Roachell’s 75 and Lopez’s 77, Arkansas got a four-over 76 from senior Emily Tubert
and a pair of nine-over 81s from sophomore Regina Plasencia
and senior Emma Lavy
for the day.
“I was able to see some putts go in early on the course and that gave me a lot of momentum out there today,” Roachell said.
“Well I think we learned a lot about this golf course today,” Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor
said. “Tee balls got us in a lot of trouble today but I think it’s from being really aggressive instead of hitting into the fat part of the fairways. But it is what it is and we have a lot of hard work ahead of us in the last two days. There’s no other group in the country I would rather be in this war with and we’re going to go to work and make it happen.”
“It was good to finish with the birdie (on 18),” Lavy said. “Especially on days like today. It’s good to see something positive before going to sleep on it and coming back tomorrow.”
The Razorbacks will have an afternoon tee time Friday and hope to move up into one of the top eight spots in the final round Saturday to advance to the NCAA Championship later this month in Tulsa, Okla.
* Course: Karsten Creek, Stillwater, Oklahoma
* Par 72, 6,200 yards
* Arkansas is the second-highest ranked team in the 24-team field
* The top eight teams from each of three NCAA Regionals (Central, East and West) advance to the NCAA Championship in Tulsa, Okla.
* Two players, Gabriela Lopez
and Emma Lavy
both birdied the final hole of the round
* Three players doubled 13 and one other bogeyed one of the toughest holes on the course
* One player, Summar Roachell
, turned one-under and two others, Gabriela Lopez
and Emily Tubert
turned even par
* Statistically, the 10th hole was the most difficult playing +0.77
* Hole 10 produced 11 “other” scores higher than a double bogey
* The first round had only four eagles
* Arkansas, at plus-21, is just 14 strokes off the lead and only seven strokes back of the coveted eighth-place
* Arkansas has a 12:56 p.m. tee time Friday
In 140 characters or less
* .@SummarRo24 paced @RazorbackWGofl in the first round of the NCAA Central Regional. Check http://www.ArkansasRazorbacks.com for complete results
* Follow http://www.golfstat.com for live updates throughout the NCAA Central Regional
* Good luck to @RazorbackWGolf at the 2013 NCAA Regional. Finish strong and #GOHOGS
For more information on Arkansas women’s golf, follow @RazorbackWGolf on Twitter.