HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – University of Arkansas junior Gabriela Lopez fired a first-round one-under 70 and is tied for second place leading the No. 4/5 Razorback women’s golf team to a tie for third at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate in Hilton Head Island, S.C., Friday.
Lopez and junior Regina Plasencia are both inside the top 10 and helped Arkansas to a 293 for the first round. No. 2/3 Southern California leads the field with a 285 followed by No. 8/7 LSU in second with 291. The Razorbacks are tied with No. 6/6 Duke and No. 55/48 North Carolina in third place.
Lopez was steady all day with four birdies and three bogeys in her round. She opened her day on hole 10 and turned even. She played the front nine one-under shooting 70 on the day.
Plasencia is tied for 10th overall with a one-over 72. She also started on the 10th hole and played the back nine one over. Plasencia picked up another stroke on the fifth hole on the front side but birdied the eighth hole, her second to last hole, coming in.
Sophomore Summar Roachell is tied for 35th overall in the clubhouse with a 75. Freshman Jordy LaBarbera is tied for 48th shooting 76 and sophomore Samantha Marks is tied for 63rd with a 78.
The Razorbacks are in the midst of a solid season with five top five finishes including two team titles this year. Arkansas is coming off a win at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, in the first event of the spring and face a tough stretch over the next couple of weeks.
Arkansas has faced several strong fields in the first five events of the year but this week’s field might be the best of the season. Top-ranked South Carolina along with No. 2 Southern California, No. 4 Arkansas, No. 6 Duke, No. 8 LSU, No. 9 Mississippi State and No. 10 Virginia are the headliners. The rest of the field is littered with Golfstat.com top 25 teams.
It was a true test of golf today. It was 38 degrees and windy. We had some players who went out there and stayed patient. We relied on our short game a lot. Gaby’s one-under was just solid. I’m really proud of Reginia’s one-over. She made some great up-and-downs today. Summar and Jordy just fought hard. I love the way they compete and they way they battle. We are in a good position for the last two days to go out and get the wind. That is what we train to do. I’m excited about what I saw today and the way the fought when it was tough.
DARIUS RUCKER INTERCOLLEGIATE FIELD (Golfstat/Golfweek rankings)