RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico – University of Arkansas All-American Emily Tubert fired a two-under 70 leading the 12th-ranked Razorbacks to the top of the leaderboard after first round action at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, Sunday.
Tubert and the Razorbacks counted a 291 in the first event of the spring season and hold a two-stroke lead over No. 6 Alabama and TCU who are tied for second with 293.
"It was a good start for us," Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor said. "We were a little competition rusty and want to tidy a few things up in the coming days but I was pleased with the effort and execution in the first round."
Tubert, a Burbank, Calif., native, opened play on the fifth hole on the course and was one over after five holes. She rallied with three birdies in a row on holes 11, 12 and 13 and finished her round with six pars and a birdied to shoot 70 in the first round.
"Emily started a bit slow but really found her confidence and swagger out there," Estes-Taylor said. "She is our leader and she did a good job today."
Also playing well were a pair of freshmen for the Razorbacks. Gabriela Lopez and Regina Plasencia are tied for fourth overall shooting one-over 73s.
Junior Emma Lavy and senior Victoria Vela are tied for 22nd overall with rounds of 75.
Alabama and TCU are just two strokes behind the Razorbacks. No. 20 Texas Tech is fourth with a 296, followed by No. 25 Iowa State in fifth with a 299. The rest of the top 10 includes No. 24 Northwestern with 300, No. 28 Kentucky with 301, No. 19 Purdue with 303, No. 21 North Carolina State with 304 and No. 32 SMU with 305. The rest of the field includes No. 29 auburn with 306, Kent State with 312, Michigan with 313, No. 36 Indiana with 314 and Nebraska with 326.
Play continues Sunday and Monday for the Razorbacks.
"This was a great group effort today," Estes-Taylor said. "Our success was a testament to how well we prepared. We had an attack mindset and approached the golf course like every hole was a birdie opportunity. I think if we keep that mindset the scores will take care of themselves."