ST. GEORGE, Utah – The eighth-ranked University of Arkansas women’s golf team is in striking distance of one of the coveted top six spots after round one of the NCAA Regional Championship in St. George, Utah., Thursday.
Arkansas battled a tough golf course, changing conditions, wind and rain shooting a 22-over 306 and is in seventh place in the 18-team field. The Razorbacks are just five strokes out of fourth place and just one stroke back of the top six, the place needed to advance to the NCAA Championship.
Junior Gabriela Lopez led the Razorbacks and is tied for ninth place overall posting a two-over 73 at Entrada at Snow Canyon. Freshman Alana Uriell is tied for 16th with a plus-four 75 after first round action.
Lopez was solid through the first six holes playing even despite the more than hour-long back-up on the early holes. Lopez turned two-over but got one stroke back with a birdie on the par four 379-yard 10th hole. Lopez strung together six more consecutive par holes finishing the back nine even.
Uriell was one-over through 16 holes with birdies on the seventh and 10th holes. She picked up a stroke on 14th but, like the rest of the field, struggled with the 17th and 18th holes. She finished with a 75.
Arkansas finished the final two holes 10-over as the wind gusted and the rain started. The average score for the 96 players in the field was 78.61 for the day with four holes on the back nine ranking as the most difficult of the day.
Sophomore Samantha Marks is tied for 26th shooting 76, followed by Regina Plasencia and Summar Roachell who both shot 82 and are tied for 74th.
Top-ranked Southern California leads the field after the first round. The Trojans were nine over with a 293. The rest of the top five includes No. 38 California 297, No. 22 UNLV with 301, Wisconsin at 33 and No. 16 Stanford in fifth with 304. Arkansas is one shot behind New Mexico State who shot 305 and is in sixth place overall.
From Shauna Estes-Taylor
This is definitely a demanding golf course and with the wind blowing 20-30 miles per hour it just never lets up. You have to pay attention and be aware of hole locations and really make good decisions out there. It was a little bit of a tough finish for us. We got out to an okay start but the last four holes here are the ones that define your round. You have to be super disciplined and committed. You have to stand up on the tee box, see your shot and hit it there. I think another round of golf on this course is helpful. We are where we need to be but it is a process and we have to go day-by-day and tidy up a few things from today.
Alana is a tremendous ball-striker and hits a lot of fairways. In championship golf that sets you up for success. She gets better every day and learns on the golf course. She hasn’t played a ton of competition coming into college and she has just matured and taken advantage of her opportunities.
We just need to do what we are capable of. We are a talented golf team and we have all the tools. We have trained from August till now and I feel certain the team knows what they need to do and we will take care of business.
|T9||Gaby Lopez (1)||73||+2|
|T16||Alana Uriell (5)||75||+3|
|T26||Samantha Marks (3)||76||+4|
|T74||Regina Plasencia (2)||82||+11|
|T74||Summar Roachell (4)||82||+11|
|1||No. 1 Southern California||293||+9|
|2||No. 38 California||297||+13|
|3||No. 22 UNLV||301||+17|
|5||No. 16 Stanford||304||+20|
|6||New Mexico State||305||+21|
|7||No. 8 ARKANSAS||306||+22|
|T8||No. 9 Virginia||308||+24|
|No. 44 SMU||308||+24|
|T10||No. 48 TCU||313||+29|
|Middle Tennessee State||313||+29|
|T12||No. 25 San Diego State||315||+31|
|No. 50 Denver||315||+31|
|T14||No. 36 Colorado||316||+32|
|No. 32 Miami||316||+32|
|17||No/ 17 Vanderbilt||319||+35|