Albuquerque, NM The 16th-ranked Virginia women’s golf opened play at the 2008 NCAA Championships with a solid performance, shooting 8-over 296 to finish the first round tied with No. 12 Alabama for ninth place. The 72-hole tournament featuring 24 teams runs through Friday at the University of New Mexico Championship Course.
“I feel like we’re in a good position after the first round,” said Virginia coach Kim Lewellen. “We certainly could have played a little better, but like everyone else, we are still getting used to the course, especially the greens that are very large and were fairly hard today. I don’t think we had our best day putting.”
The Cavaliers were led by junior Lene Krog’s 2-under 70 and junior Jennie Arseneault’s 1-under 71. Krog is seventh overall while Arseneault is tied for ninth. Virginia, USC and Auburn were the only three teams to have two players finish in the top-10 after the first round.
Sophomore Whitney Neuhauser shot 5-over 77, freshman Calle Nielson finished at 6-over 78 and first-year Joy Kim shot 7-over 79. Neuhauser is 85th overall, Nielson is 97th and Kim stands 106th.
“Lene and Jennie really played well today,” Lewellen said. “That’s how they’ve practiced all week. They’ve been swinging their clubs well, with a lot of confidence and they played that way today. Joy, Calle and Whit are the types of players who will give us good scores and good rounds this week. I know they are disappointed about today, but their games will come back. They just didn’t have their best today.”
Virginia got off to a good start, making the turn at 1-over par. The Cavaliers combined for nine birdies on the front nine, but managed just one over the final nine holes. Arseneault had four birdies on her front nine to make the turn at 2-under.
No. 2 USC took the championship’s early lead by shooting 4-under 284. No. 3 UCLA and No. 10 Auburn are tied for second at 1-over 289 and No. 4 Arizona State is fourth at 290. Top-ranked Duke shot 299 and is in 18th place. No. 14 Wake Forest, the third ACC team competing at the tournament, is tied for fifth at 293. The Deacons had the best round among the 12 teams that played during the morning portion of the first round, including Virginia.
Wake Forest’s Nannette Hill leads the field at 5-under 67. Only 14 players in the field of 126 competitors managed to shoot under par during the opening round.
“The wind is suppose to pick up the next three day and that will toughen up the course,” Lewellen said. “There is a lot of pressure out there and I think our team did a good job with that today. This is a new experience for all of them except Lene, who played as an individual last year. If we can all get on the same page, well, it will be fun to see what we can do.”
Virginia will tee off at 12:20 (MT) during the second round. Live scoring links are available at VirginiaSports.com and Golfstat.com.
University of New Mexico Championship Course
Par-72, 6,424 yards
First Round Results
1. USC 284
2. UCLA 289
2. Auburn 289
4. Arizona State 290
5. Denver 293
5. Wake Forest 293
7. Oklahoma State 294
8. Texas A&M 295
9. Virginia 296
9. Alabama 296
11. Georgia 297
11. Tulsa 297
13. TCU 298
13. Texas 298
13. UC Davis 298
13. Arkansas 298
13. Purdue 298
18. Duke 299
19. LSU 300
20. Florida 301
21. South Carolina 306
22. Arizona 307
23. Furman 312
24. UNLV 314
1. Nannette Hill, Wake Forest 67
2. Sydnee Michaels, UCLA 69
2. Belen Mozo, USC 69
2. Azahara Munoz, Arizona State 69
2. Alexandra Phelps, New Mexico* 69
2. Candace Schepperle, Auburn 69
7. Lene Krog, Virginia 70
7. Paola Moreno, USC 70
9. Jennie Arseneault, Virginia 71
9. Ashley Freeman, Texas A&M 71
9. Camilla Lennarth, Alabama 71
9. Garreth Phillips, Georgia 71
9. Stephanie Sherlock, Denver 71
9. Margaret Shirley, Auburn 71
* Competing as individuals
7. Lene Krog 70
9. Jennie Arseneault 71
85. Whitney Neuhauser 77
97. Calle Nielson 78
106. Joy Kim 79