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    Friday SEC Golf Report

    Lopez, Razorbacks lead the field at LSU

    BATON ROUGE, La. – Gabriela Lopez and Emily Tubert counted par or better rounds leading the eighth-ranked University of Arkansas to the top of the leaderboard after first round action at the LSU Golf Classic in Baton Rouge, La., Friday.

    Lopez is tied for the lead shooting a one-under 71, while two-time All-American Tubert posted an even par 72 and is tied for fourth overall.  Arkansas has a five-stroke lead shooting 293 on the first day of play.

    "This is a championship golf course and it requires a lot of strategy,” Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor said.  “Blessings is such a great tool to prepare us for these events and these types of courses.  This is as proud as I have been after a round of golf.  Everyone was focused and committed to the plan and it was a complete team effort.”

    Lopez and the Razorbacks teed off around 10 a.m. at the University Club and she opened on hole 10.  Lopez counted back-to-back bogeys on 11 and 12 but quickly settled down shooting even on the 13th and 14th holes.  Lopez then went birdie-bogey-birdie and made the turn at plus-one.

    The freshman pared the next five holes before back-to-back birdies dropped her to one-under where she would finish.

    “It was a great round for Gaby today,” Estes-Taylor said.  “She was really focused and for her to go one-under really helps the team.

    Junior Tubert also played well opening with a 72 in the first.  Tubert also started from the 10th tee box and picked up a birdie with a three on the par four 12th hole.  She moved to two-under with a birdie on 17 and added her third birdied of the round after the turn on hole one.

    The Burbank, Calif., native gave all three strokes back with three bogeys on the front side but still finished even and is in the hunt.

    Junior Emma Lavy finished the day with a two-over 74 and is tied for 13th.  Senior Victoria Vela is tied for 21st with a first round 76 and freshman Regina Plasencia is tied for 34th overall with a 78.

    “Emma got off to a tough start but stayed strong today and finished well,” Estes-Taylor said.  “Victoria picked up two birdies in the final four holes to count a 76 for us and we needed that.  It was really a group effort today.”

    Arkansas has a five-shot lead over No. 25 Tulane who is second with 298.  TCU and No. 43 Florida State are tied for third with 301 followed by No. 20 North Carolina State with 302, No. 36 Kentucky with 304, No. 29 Tennessee with 305, NO. 30 LSU with 306, Missouri with 309, No. 18 Georgia with 315, Wake Forest with 316, No. 38 Ole Miss with 322, Louisiana-Monroe with 323 and UNC-Wilmington with 335.

    “East hole demands a lot of precision,” Estes-Taylor said.  “The greens are tricky and you have to pay attention to where the hole locations are.  We have to create a plan and stay committed to that.  We have to trust the plan on every hole.  We are going to take this one day at a time, one hole at a time. Everyone is in such a good place mentally and mechanically and if we just keep our goals in mind and commit to our plan, we’ll have a shot on the last day.”

    Georgia Golfers 10th At LSU

    BATON ROUGE, La. --- The Georgia women's golf team opened play at the LSU Golf Classic with a 27-over 315 on Friday, placing the 18th-ranked Bulldogs 10th in the team field.

    Rocio Sanchez Lobato's 4-over 76 was the best score of the day for Georgia, which also counted a pair of 78s from Emilie Burger and Manuela Carbajo Ré and Abby Johnson's 83. The Bulldogs dropped an 84 from Amira Alexander. Kailey Walsh, who is competing as an individual, also shot 78.

    "I feel like we're really not that far away," head coach Josh Brewer said. "We let some very little things turn into big numbers on certain holes today. We'll try to correct that and move up a little bit tomorrow and gain some momentum headed in the right direction."

    No. 8 Arkansas leads the team field after posting a 5-over 293. No. 25 Tulane is second at 298, followed Florida State and TCU both at 301, No. 20 N.C. State at 302, Kentucky at 304, Tennessee at 205, LSU at 308, Missouri at 209, the Bulldogs at 315, Wake Forest at 316, Ole Miss at 322, Louisiana Monroe at 323 and UNC Wilmington at 335.

    Gabriela Lopez of Arkansas, Erica Popson of Tennessee and Maribel Lopez Porras of Tulane are tied for the individual lead at 1-under 71. For Georgia, Sanchez Lobato is tied for 21st; Burger, Carbajo Ré and Walsh all are tied for 34th; Johnson is tied for 55th; and Alexander is tied for 62nd.

    Kentucky Women’s Golf in Sixth after Day One of Tiger Golf Classic

    BATON ROUGE, La. – The University of Kentucky women’s golf team opened up play at the LSU Tiger Golf Classic on Friday, carding a 16-over-par, 304 and are in sixth place in the 14-team field. The Wildcats are 11 strokes off the leader Arkansas, who is 5-over, and just six shots off from second place.

    Freshman Sarah Harris paced the Cats on Friday with a score of 1-over-par, 73. Harris tallied a team-high 13 pars and was 3-over through the first five holes before stringing together nine straight pars and sinking birdies on holes 15 and 18. The Hermitage, Tenn., native is tied for eighth overall and is just two strokes off the leader.

    Freshman Cylia Damerau carded a 3-over-par, 75, recording three birdies on the afternoon. Damerau is tied for 16th on the leaderboard.

    Junior Liz Breed is tied for 26th after posting a 5-over-par day. Breed charted a team-best six birdies on Friday, including three on both the front and back nines. Senior Ashleigh Albrecht was 7-over on the afternoon and is tied for 46th.

    Senior Betsie Johnson was 11-over-par and is tied for 55th, while fellow senior Heather Lott, who is competing as an individual, was 12-over and is tied for 62nd.