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Lewis one-under leading No. 26 Arkansas at the NCAA Central Region Championship

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Lewis one-under leading No. 26 Arkansas at the NCAA Central Region Championship

Jump to complete results ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The 26th-ranked University of Arkansas women’s golf team carded a seven-over 291 in first round action at the 2007 NCAA Central Regional in Ann Arbor, Mich., Thursday. The Lady Razorbacks were paced by a one-under 70 from junior Stacy Lewis. Lewis ended her day in a four-way tie for seventh within striking distance of the day’s leader. Vanderbilt’s Jacqui Concolino paced the field with a four-under 67 to lead after the first round. In addition to Lewis’ success, Arkansas got a 72 from sophomore Lucy Nunn and a 73 from freshman Corinna Rees to pace the team. Rees’ 73 was a career-best at Arkansas and she was tied for 21st after the first day’s play while Nunn is tied for 13th overall. Freshman Kristin Ingram counted a 76 and is tied for 44th overall while freshman Alex Schulte added a 77 in the first round and is tied for 62nd. “I’m really pleased with the day,” said Arkansas head coach Kelley Hester. “Corinna played great at two-over and Lucy had a really good round. Stacy put together an outstanding round especially after not being able to finish at SECs. It’s a pretty difficult golf course and we only got in half of the practice round yesterday so I’m pleased after the first round.” Arkansas opened the day on the first tee of the par-71, 6,116-yard University of Michigan Golf Course with five good tee shots. The Lady’Backs finished with seven birdies on the long-playing course that was still soaked from Wednesday’s heavy rain. The rains played havoc with Wednesday’s practice round as the Lady’Backs were delayed in starting and then played just 10 holes before leaving the course due to lighting in the area. Arkansas walked the remaining eight holes just to be sure that the team was able to see the course before playing Thursday. Rain, however, was not a factor Thursday as cool temperatures and a light breeze greeted the morning players. Conditions heated up at the turn as the clouds burned off and the humidity was noticeably higher. Despite the change, Arkansas finished strong, especially through the final four holes playing plus two as a group. “I liked the way we finished,” said Hester. “We played the last four holds well. They were long par fours and I think we did a good job overall, especially on 18 where you have to clear the water.” Four of five players shot par on 18. As for Lewis, Lady Razorback fans were excited that she was able to compete. The Woodlands, Texas, native pulled herself out of the 2007 Southeastern Conference Championship at Old Waverly, Miss., two weeks ago when a chronic back problem flared up. Lewis was limited in practice and was listed as day-to-day prior to the start of the regional. “Players all seem to dig just a little deeper in the post-season,” said Hester. “Stacy’s practice days were limited but she worked really hard on the days she had. She’s a great competitor and I think she’s pretty close to 100 percent right now.” “We’re kind of hoping to sail through this,” said Lewis of the regional. “We’ve had some really close calls (at regionals) in recent years and we’re hoping that we won’t cut it quiet so close this year. We have a young team and we just get better every time we play. We’re going into this thinking that every round is a new day and we’re trying to approach it as though we are in ninth place each day and need to move up. Then, you just play your game and see what happens.” The Lady’Backs’ 291 was good for fifth place after the dust settled Thursday. Ninth-ranked Southern California emerged as the day one leader with a one-under 283. Number 50 Indiana surprised the field and is tied for second place with No. 23 TCU with rounds of 289. Fourth-ranked SEC rival Vanderbilt has a one-stroke advantage over Arkansas at 290 and 291, respectively. Third-ranked Georgia is further back in the field but well within striking distance with a 292 in sixth place followed by No. 10 Tennessee with a 294, No. 22 Michigan State with 295 and No. 28 Kent State and No. 15 Arizona rounding out the top ten with 297. Play continues Friday and Saturday with the top eight teams from this and two other regional sites advancing to the NCAA Championship in Dayton Beach, Fla., May 22-25. For more information about Arkansas golf, please log on to LADYBACKS.COM.



Sports Category : Golf (W)