FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Alabama finished the first day at the 2012 SEC Women’s Golf Championships with a nine-shot lead after carding a 9-over-par 297 on the par-72, 6,112-yard Blessings Golf Club Friday in windy and cold conditions.
The Crimson Tide boasts four players in the top-16 individually. Auburn is in second place at 18-over 306 with Florida is in third (19-over 307) and Georgia in fourth (20-over 308) while host Arkansas and Mississippi are tied for fifth (21-over 309).
“We are where we want to be after the first round,” Alabama head coach Mic Potter said. “We made some mistakes, but that is to be expected in weather like this, a lot of wind and cold. I was happy with how we stayed in the present, played one shot at a time and didn’t get frustrated when things went wrong. We were emotionally pretty calm all day and that is what it is going to take out here.”
Sophomore Stephanie Meadow paced the Crimson Tide with a 1-under-par round of 71. She had an eventful day with six birdies and five bogeys. Meadow made the turn at 2-under 35 and made birdies on the 11th and the 16th to go along with bogeys on the 10th, 15th and 18th. She is two shots of the lead of Auburn’s Patricia Sanz and Georgia’s Marta Silva Zamora.
“It was a really solid round,” Potter said referring to Meadow’s 71. “I expected that she would play well here. It is a point A to point B kind of golf course, which is her expertise.”
Senior Brooke Pancake is close behind in a tie for sixth after shooting a 1-over 73. She opened her round with 14 consecutive pars before a bogey on No. 15. Pancake got back to even with a birdie on the par-3 17th, but need two attempts out of the sand on the 18th and made bogey.
Junior Jennifer Kirby shot 4-over 76 and is tied for 11th after 18 holes of play while sophomore Hannah Collier is tied for 16th at 5-over 77. Johanna Tillström’s 7-over 79 was dropped from the Alabama score. She is tied for 28th.
The Crimson Tide will play with Auburn and Florida in Saturday’s second round. Alabama is scheduled to tee off at 9:20 a.m. from the first tee.