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    SEC Women's Golf in the NCAA Tournament

    Alabama Women’s Golf Leads after First Round of NCAA Championships
    FRANKLIN, Tenn.  – The Alabama women’s golf team has the first-round lead at the 2012 NCAA Women’s Golf Championships at 2-under-par 286 on the par-72, 6,377-yard North Course at the Vanderbilt Legends Club.
    Brooke Pancake, who fired a 4-under-par 68, led the second-ranked Crimson Tide in round one. The Chattanooga, Tenn., native is in a tie for third place at the end of the first day with teammate Stephanie Meadow one-shot back in a tie for fifth with a 69.
    In the team race Virginia is second place at even-par 288, after an incorrect scorecard cost the Cavaliers six shots. Duke is in third at 1-over 289 with North Carolina fourth (292) and Arizona State and UCLA tied for fifth at 5-over 293.
    The Tide’s Jennifer Kirby shot 2-over 74 and is tied for 34th while Hannah Collier birdied two of her final three holes for a 75. Courtney McKim shot 82 and did not count toward the UA team total. Virginia’s Portland Rosen leads all individuals with a 6-under 66.
    It marks the first time the Crimson Tide has led the NCAA Championships at the conclusion of any round in the team’s eight appearances. Alabama will tee off at 8:25 a.m. (CDT) on Wednesday and be paired for the second straight day with Colorado and Tennessee.

    Tubert’s 73 leads Razorbacks in first round
    FRANKLIN, Tenn. – University of Arkansas sophomore Emily Tubert fired a one-over 73 leading the Razorbacks in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Women’s Golf Championship in Franklin, Tenn., Tuesday.
    The Burbank, Calif., native paced the No. 43 Razorbacks to a plus-15 303 at Vanderbilt University’s Legends Course.  Arkansas is tied for 20th overall after one round in the four-round tournament.
    “It’s been a common denominator with this group to get out to a slow start,” said Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor, “but I think with this course the more rounds you get in, the better they are going to be.  We did a lot of good things and there are some holes out there we can take advantage of.  This group is prepared.  They have hit every golf shot possible this year and there is a lot of golf left and they know what they need to do to climb.  I fully expect them to bounce back tomorrow.
    Tubert and the Razorbacks opened play on the 10th tee with a morning start.  The Razorback All-American opened with three pars before a birdie on 13.  She played the next two one-under but bogeyed 16 moving back to even.  Tubert then ripped her tee shot on 18th (her ninth hole of the morning) and was on the green in two on the par five.  She tapped in for a birdie turning one-under.
    Tubert gave the shot back on the first hole of the second nine and played even through 15 holes.  She finished bogey, birdie, double, birdie, playing her second nine two-over.  Tubert is tied for 27th overall.
    “I did a lot of really good things today but I didn’t putt as well as I would have liked too,” Tubert said.  “I feel like I played so much better than I scored and I feel like I’m in a good position.  You really have to trust the game plan out here.  Some of the pins are tricky and you have to trust your lines.  It’s hard to aim at the middle of the greens and not necessarily at the pins but you have to trust the preparation and make it happen.”
    Sophomore Emma Lavy finished the day with a three-over 75.  Lavy turned plus-two with a bogey, a double and a birdie in the first nine holes.  Like Tubert, the Fayetteville, Ark., native had more ink on the second nine with a bogey on three, followed by a birdie and a double on four and five.  Lavy finished second with a birdie and two pars coming in.  Lavy is tied for 47th overall.
    “I hung in there,” said Lavy.  “I had two doubles and that really hurt me.  I haven’t hit the ball well in a while so I was kinda figuring that out and dealing with it.  I was able to get some birdies and make that up.  The biggest challenging is committing to not wanting to hit right at each pin.  We have to trust the game plan and the preparation on this golf course.”
    Junior Victoria Vela finished with a five-over 77 in the first round.  The Mansfield, Texas, native had five bogeys and no birdies in her round.  Vela is tied for 85th overall.
    Sophomore Emily Podzielinski carded a first-round 78 in her first ever NCAA Championship appearance and freshman Hally Leadbetter rounded out the Razorback scores with a seven-over 79 Tuesday.  Podzielinski is tied for 96th and Leadbetter is tied for 104th overall.
    “We have dug ourselves a little bit of a hole but that isn’t anything we are not familiar with and we are certainly capable of digging ourselves back out again,” said Estes-Taylor.  “I love this group and I couldn’t be more proud of what we are doing.  This is a marathon, not a sprint, and we just have to keep grinding away out there.”
    Second-ranked Alabama finished strong with a two-under 286 and took the lead in the late holes of the afternoon session.  Early leader No. 27 Virginia is second with 288 followed by No. 8 Duke with 289, No. 6 North Carolina with 290 and No. 1 UCLA, No. 5 Arizona State and No. 7 LSU in a tie for fifth overall with 292.
    The rest of the field includes No. 33 Purdue with 293, No. 26 Oklahoma with 294, No. 24 Michigan State with 296, No. 3 Southern California, No. 11 Colorado and No. 32 Texas tied for 11th overall with 297, No. 22 North Carolina State and No. 17 Baylor are tied for 14th with 299, No. 14 Tennessee with 300, No. 12 Texas A&M with 301, No. 25 South Carolina and No. 15 Florida with 302, No. 34 Arkansas and No. 16 Ohio State tied for 20th with 303, No. 19 Pepperdine and No. 10 Vanderbilt with 306 and No. 40 Stanford with 309.

    Gamecocks Tied for 18th After Opening Round of NCAA Championship

    FRANKLIN, Tenn. - South Carolina posted a 14-over 302 on Tuesday in the opening round of the 2012 NCAA Women’s Golf Championship at the Vanderbilt Legends Club.

    The Gamecocks finished the day in a tie for 18th place, but with three rounds remaining, they are not out of the mix as they are 10 strokes back of the top five and 16 strokes behind tournament leader Alabama (286).

    Senior Katie Burnett and juniors Amanda Strang and Meredith Swanson all turned in solid rounds to lead Carolina. Burnett carded a 2-over 74 to tie for 34th. Strang shot a 3-over 75 and is in a tie for 47th, while Swanson produced a 4-over 76 to wrap up the round tied for 70th.

    “It was a little bit up and down. We didn’t have our greatest day but we are right in there,” South Carolina head coach Kalen Harris said. “Katie, Amanda and Meredith really fought hard today. Overall it wasn’t a real easy day for our squad. For a down day, we did all right and kind of salvaged the round. Hopefully, we can get out early tomorrow and put up a good number.”

    Burnett got off to an inauspicious start with a double bogey on the first hole. However, she settled down to play even par the rest of the way and finished the round off with a birdie on the par-5 18th to build some momentum heading into the second round.

    Strang played her best golf of the day on the front side with an even-par 36, but after making par on her first two holes on the back nine, she struggled at times down the stretch. She recorded four bogeys to go along with a birdie and two pars to head into the clubhouse at 3-over.

    Swanson was headed for a high round after making the turn at 5-over 41 but she bounce back nicely on the back nine with a 1-under 35, including a birdie on the par-5 14th, which was one of only four by the Gamecocks on the final nine holes.

    “I’m very proud of her. That was huge for us,” Harris said of Swanson’s round. “Today was just a day that we hung in there. It wasn’t a day where we had anybody go low. Some of the teams had some low numbers, so we know it’s out there.

    Freshman Justine Dreher turned in a 5-over 77 and is tied for 85th, while sophomore Suzie Lee shot a 79 and is in a tie for 104th.

    Second-ranked Alabama holds a two-shot lead over Virginia (288). Duke is in third with a score of 289 (+1), followed by North Carolina (290), UCLA (292) and Arizona State (292). Virginia’s Portland Rosen leads all individuals after firing a 6-under 66.

    The Gamecocks are slated to tee off in the second round on Wednesday beginning at 7:33 a.m. CT on hole No. 10. Carolina will be paired with top-ranked UCLA and Southern California for the second straight day. Live scoring is available at

    Sanchez Lobato Opens NCAAs With A 74

    FRANKLIN, Tenn. - Georgia's Rocio Sanchez Lobato fired a 2-over 74 in the first round of the NCAA Women's Golf Championships at Vanderbilt Legends Club on Tuesday, leaving her tied for 34th individually.

    "'Ro' was really solid today," head coach Kelley Hester said. "She only missed a couple of fairways and the bogeys she made were greens that she missed. She was just real consistent, putted well, her speed was great. Everything was right around the hole."

    Sanchez Lobato teed off from No. 10 and played the back side of the course first. She turned at 3-over after recording bogeys at No. 12, No. 14 and No. 16. The freshman from Marbella, Spain, regained a stroke with a birdie at No. 1. Following six consecutive pars, Sanchez Lobato bogeyed No. 8 before bouncing back with a birdie at No. 9.

    "My game was pretty consistent today," Sanchez Lobato said. "I played so-so on the first nine holes and shot 3-over, but then I came back pretty well and shot 1-under on the second nine. I'm pretty happy with my result today. I was hitting the ball better onto the greens (on the second nine) so I was able to make some birdies."

    Hester said Sanchez Lobato accomplished one goal vital to remaining in the hunt.

    "You have to avoid big numbers," Hester said. "'Ro' wasn't even close to a big number all day today."

    Virginia's Portland Rosen, playing in the No. 5 spot for the Cavaliers, fired a 6-under 66 to grab the first-round individual lead. Rosen was the first player to tee off in the morning, began her day with an eagle-2 and notched five more birdies before turning at 7-under.

    Rosen leads Purdue's Laura Gonzalez, who was runner-up at this spring's Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic, by a stroke.

    No. 27 Virginia appeared to grab the team lead as well after originally posting a 5-under 283. Elizabeth Brightwell signed an incorrect scorecard, however, inking for an even-par 72 when she actually shot 73. Her effort was disqualified, but she will be eligible to play the remaining three rounds.

    Instead, No. 2 Alabama leads the team field at 2-under 286, while the Cavaliers are second at 288.

    Mansson Leads Lady Vols at NCAA Championships

    NASHVILLE, Tenn.- Led by senior Nathalie Mansson’s 2-over 74, the 14th-ranked Tennessee golf team is in 16th place after the first round of competition on Tuesday at the 2012 NCAA Women’s Golf Championships.

    The Big Orange used four birdies over the last three holes to tally a 12-over 300 team total as the team finds itself 14 shots out of first place after 18 holes on the 6,377-yard Vanderbilt Legends Club course.

    “My goal for this tournament was to have every round under 300 and we missed a little putt on the last hole to shoot under 300, so that was a little disappointing, but we were well over 300 a few holes ago, so we took advantage of No. 9 – a hole we need to birdie – and got some shots back. I feel good about tomorrow and going right back with a quick turnaround.”

    The Lady Vols will tee off of No. 1 at 8:25 a.m. CT on Wednesday in a group with Colorado and tournament leader Alabama. Live scoring is being provided by, while @LadyVol_Golf will have live updates via Twitter.

    The No. 2 Crimson Tide hold a two-shot lead after carding a two-under 286 in round one. No. 27 Virginia is in second (288), while No. 8 Duke sits in third place (289).

    Individually, Virginia's Portland Rosen fired a 6-under 66 and holds a one-stroke lead in the medalist race.

    Mansson paced UT with her 2-over performance. The Stockholm, Sweden, native started the round with a bogey on No. 10, flying the tenth green. She recovered, however, carding birdie on the par-4 No. 11 and was even through 15 holes before picking up two bogeys in her final three holes.

    Junior Sara Monberg and freshman AJ Newell each turned in 3-over 75s for Tennessee in Tuesday’s first round. Monberg managed to hit 18 fairways and 18 greens in the round, but the Juelsminde, Denmark, product found five bogeys in the round to finish three over.

    Newell opened her first NCAA Championship with a round punctuated by three birdies, but spotted by a double bogey on No. 1 to finish at +3. The Lady Vol duo share a slice of 47th place heading into the second round.

    Rounding out the scorers for the Lady Vols was sophomore Chessey Thomas. Tennessee’s most consistent scorer from the NCAA Central Regional, Thomas was hurt by three double-bogeys over the first nine holes. The Spokane, Wash., native managed to make an adjustment at the turn, however, shooting two-under 34 in her second nine. Her four-over 76 tally is good for a tie for 70th.

    Junior Erica Popson carded a 5-over 77 in the Championship’s opening round. She is tied for 85th.

    In its 11th NCAA Championships appearance all-time, Tennessee is seeking to surpass its best finish ever at the national tournament, a fifth-place performance in 2000.