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Tubert's 73 leads Arkansas

Athletic Communications
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FRANKLIN, Tenn. – University of Arkansas sophomore Emily Tubert fired a one-over 73 leading the Razorbacks in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Women’s Golf Championship in Franklin, Tenn., Tuesday.

The Burbank, Calif., native paced the No. 43 Razorbacks to a plus-15 303 at Vanderbilt University’s Legends Course.  Arkansas is tied for 20th overall after one round in the four-round tournament.

“It’s been a common denominator with this group to get out to a slow start,” said Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor, “but I think with this course the more rounds you get in, the better they are going to be.  We did a lot of good things and there are some holes out there we can take advantage of.  This group is prepared.  They have hit every golf shot possible this year and there is a lot of golf left and they know what they need to do to climb.  I fully expect them to bounce back tomorrow.

Tubert and the Razorbacks opened play on the 10th tee with a morning start.  The Razorback All-American opened with three pars before a birdie on 13.  She played the next two one-under but bogeyed 16 moving back to even.  Tubert then ripped her tee shot on 18th (her ninth hole of the morning) and was on the green in two on the par five.  She tapped in for a birdie turning one-under.

Tubert gave the shot back on the first hole of the second nine and played even through 15 holes.  She finished bogey, birdie, double, birdie, playing her second nine two-over.  Tubert is tied for 27th overall.

“I did a lot of really good things today but I didn’t putt as well as I would have liked too,” Tubert said.  “I feel like I played so much better than I scored and I feel like I’m in a good position.  You really have to trust the game plan out here.  Some of the pins are tricky and you have to trust your lines.  It’s hard to aim at the middle of the greens and not necessarily at the pins but you have to trust the preparation and make it happen.”

Sophomore Emma Lavy finished the day with a three-over 75.  Lavy turned plus-two with a bogey, a double and a birdie in the first nine holes.  Like Tubert, the Fayetteville, Ark., native had more ink on the second nine with a bogey on three, followed by a birdie and a double on four and five.  Lavy finished second with a birdie and two pars coming in.  Lavy is tied for 47th overall.

“I hung in there,” said Lavy.  “I had two doubles and that really hurt me.  I haven’t hit the ball well in a while so I was kinda figuring that out and dealing with it.  I was able to get some birdies and make that up.  The biggest challenging is committing to not wanting to hit right at each pin.  We have to trust the game plan and the preparation on this golf course.”

Junior Victoria Vela finished with a five-over 77 in the first round.  The Mansfield, Texas, native had five bogeys and no birdies in her round.  Vela is tied for 85th overall.

Sophomore Emily Podzielinski carded a first-round 78 in her first ever NCAA Championship appearance and freshman Hally Leadbetter rounded out the Razorback scores with a seven-over 79 Tuesday.  Podzielinski is tied for 96th and Leadbetter is tied for 104th overall.

“We have dug ourselves a little bit of a hole but that isn’t anything we are not familiar with and we are certainly capable of digging ourselves back out again,” said Estes-Taylor.  “I love this group and I couldn’t be more proud of what we are doing.  This is a marathon, not a sprint, and we just have to keep grinding away out there.”

Second-ranked Alabama finished strong with a two-under 286 and took the lead in the late holes of the afternoon session.  Early leader No. 27 Virginia is second with 288 followed by No. 8 Duke with 289, No. 6 North Carolina with 290 and No. 1 UCLA, No. 5 Arizona State and No. 7 LSU in a tie for fifth overall with 292.

The rest of the field includes No. 33 Purdue with 293, No. 26 Oklahoma with 294, No. 24 Michigan State with 296, No. 3 Southern California, No. 11 Colorado and No. 32 Texas tied for 11th overall with 297, No. 22 North Carolina State and No. 17 Baylor are tied for 14th with 299, No. 14 Tennessee with 300, No. 12 Texas A&M with 301, No. 25 South Carolina and No. 15 Florida with 302, No. 34 Arkansas and No. 16 Ohio State tied for 20th with 303, No. 19 Pepperdine and No. 10 Vanderbilt with 306 and No. 40 Stanford with 309.

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