PALO ALTO, Calif. — The University of Arkansas women’s golf team endured a tough opening round at the 2010 NCAA West Regional in Palo Alto, Calif., Thursday.
The Razorbacks had a good practice round and several of the players have seen the Stanford University Golf Course but Arkansas still shot a 24-over 308 and is tied for 23rd after the first round of play.
“We got off to a really rocky start today,” said Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor. “It’s pretty hard to dig yourself out of that hole. We did a good job finishing. I think Tiffany (Phelps) birdied two of her last three and Vicky (Vela) birdied 17 so we finished strong but we’ve gotta get out of the blocks a little stronger tomorrow.”
Senior Kelli Shean, a Cape Town, South Africa, native, paced Arkansas with a two-over 73. Shean and the Razorbacks started on the back nine and she quickly dropped a stroke on the par five 12th with a great birdie putt.
The senior would fall back to even with a bogey on the 18th after leaving her second shot just short of the green.
Shean made the turn and bogeyed the par five first hole moving to plus-one. Shean added another stroke on the par four fifth hole and would finish her round two-over 73 for the day. She came off the course tied for 26th overall but several teams were still out on the course.
“Kelli was solid today,” Estes-Taylor said. “She managed the course well and took care of business today.”
Freshman Vela turned in a plus-six 77 in her first NCAA Regional. Vela had two birdies in her round on Nos. 8 and No. 12.
Senior Alex Schulte turned in a 78, followed by senior Phelps with a nine-over 80. Senior Kristin Ingram rounded out the Arkansas scores with an 83 in the first round.
“We’re going to go out there and fight in the next two rounds,” Estes-Taylor said. “Like I told the girls, there’s no one more ready for a fight than we are. We have two more rounds of golf and we’re going to go out and give it all we have.”
The Razorbacks have afternoon tee times beginning at noon Pacific, 2 p.m. Central. Teams will be paired based on their two rounds for the final round Saturday. The top eight teams from each of the three NCAA Regional Championships advance to the NCAA Tournament.