Jump to agate COLUMBUS, Ohio – Temperatures in the mid to upper 60s combined with bright sunny skies and a cool breeze for nearly perfect conditions at the 2006 NCAA Women’s Golf Championship on the Scarlet Course at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, Tuesday. The 10th-ranked University of Arkansas women’s golf team took advantage of the ideal conditions counting an opening round 299 at the four-day championship event and is in eighth place after Tuesday’s play. “Overall, I’m very pleased with today’s performances,” said Arkansas head coach Kelley Hester. “We had some three putts we’d like to have back but I think starting with a 299 puts us in a good position for the next round.” Senior Courtney Mahon and sophomore Ashley Medders paced the balanced Arkansas attack with opening round 74s for the Lady Razorbacks and the duo are tied for 21st in the field of 126 golfers. But Arkansas’ solid team effort saw all five players within two strokes of each other. Senior Amanda McCurdy carded a 75 and is tied for 33rd while senior Lindsey Hinshaw and sophomore Stacy Lewis each posted 76s Tuesday and are tied for 46th overall. “There’s only a two stroke difference between our first and fifth scores,” said Hester. “No on was ever out of it. It’s great to see solid rounds from top to bottom.” The Lady’Backs opened the day at 8:00 a.m. Central on the 10th hole, playing the back nine of the par 72, 6,203 Scarlet Course first. Lewis, a Woodlands, Texas, native, was solid in the first nine playing one-under golf with a birdied on the 17th hole, a 175-yard, par-3 pin. She opened her round missing the first three greens but chipped to within a foot of the pin on all three saving par. The front nine wasn’t nearly as kind with five bogeys in the final nine holes, four in the last five. Mahon and Medders’ rounds mirrored each other with both standing at plus two when they made the turn. Each played the front nine even to finish with team-leading 74s. “We had some great up and downs today,” said Hester. “Some of us need to be a little more patient out there but overall, I’m pretty pleased with performances. I can’t say enough about Ashley and Courtney. Both played very well today.” Arkansas’ 299 was the fourth best score of the 12 morning teams and the Lady’Backs are eighth overall after round one action. Fifth-ranked Southern California is leading the field with a three-over 291. Third-ranked Arizona State is second with a 292 followed by No. 16 Florida with 293, No. 20 Arizona with a 296 and No. 13 Wake Forest and No. 1 Duke are tied for fifth place with 297. Southeastern Conference foe and 29th-ranked LSU is in ahead of Arkansas by a stroke with a 298 followed by the 10th-ranked Lady’Backs with a 299. There is a four-way tie for ninth place between No. 7 Purdue, No. 2 UCLA, No. 4 Auburn and No. 8 Pepperdine who all carded 301. Pepperdine’s Eileen Varges leads the field with a 68. Play continues Wednesday at the Scarlet Course with the Lady’Backs again paired with Alabama and Nebraska in the afternoon session. For more information about Arkansas golf, log on to LADYBACKS.COM.