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    SEC Golf Update - 3/29

    Gamecocks Fifth After Opening Round Of Bryan National Collegiate

    GREENSBORO, N.C. — The South Carolina women’s golf team got off to a strong start at the Bryan National Collegiate on Friday afternoon, shooting an 8-over 296 on the Champions Course at Bryan Park Golf and Enrichment Center.

    The Gamecocks’ round of 296 is their third lowest of the season and it leaves them 15 strokes back of tournament leader Virginia (281) with two rounds of play remaining.

    Carolina has four golfers in position for a top-20 finish after each posted a solid round on Friday. Freshman Sarah Schmelzel led the way as she matched her career-low with a 1-under 71 and is tied for fifth place. Sophomore Justine Dreher and junior Samantha Swinehart, who is playing as an individual, each carded an even-par 72 and are in a tie for ninth. Junior Suzie Lee is in a tie for 15th after turning in a 1-over 73.

    “Overall there were a lot of positives to build on from today’s round,” South Carolina head coach Kalen Harris said. “Sarah, Justine, Suzie and Sam played solid golf today. We are looking forward to the next two days.”

    Schmelzel, who has one top-20 finish this season, birdied two of her first four holes to get to 2-under par. A bogey on the par-3 seventh left her at 1-under as she made the turn. She bogeyed the 10th hole but bounced back with a birdie on No. 11 to get back to 1-under. After three straight pars, she birdied the 15th but gave the stroke right back with a bogey at 16 to move back to 1-under, where she finished the day.

    Dreher was at 2-over through 14 holes but she closed strong, making birdies on two of her last four holes to get back to even par heading into the clubhouse. She recorded four birdies, four bogeys and 10 pars on the afternoon.

    Swinehart played steady golf throughout the day. Her only blemish on the scorecard was a bogey on the par-5 sixth, as she made the turn at 1-over. After recording eight straight pars on the back nine, Swinehart sank a birdie putt on the 18th to close out her day at even par.

    A native of East Northport, N.Y., Lee had a rough start as she double bogeyed her second hole. However, she recovered and played the rest of her round at 1-under, recording three birdies and two bogeys.

    Gamecock freshmen Chelsey Couch and Mary Fran Hillow are in a tie for 78th and 87th, respectively after carding rounds of 80 (+8) and 84 (+12).

    Virginia holds a five-shot lead over Vanderbilt heading into the second round. The Commodores turned in a 2-under 286. North Carolina and Arkansas are tied for third after each shooting a 294 (+6). Virginia’s Elizabeth Brightwell sits atop the individual leaderboard after shooting a 4-under 68.

    Auburn’s Fernandez Tied For 5th After Day 1 At Bryan National Collegiate

    GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The No. 28 Auburn women’s golf team finished its first day of play at the Bryan National Collegiate tied for eighth with a 10-over 298. Diana Fernandez led the Tigers with a 1-under 71.

    Hosted by Wake Forest and North Carolina-Greensboro, the Bryan National Collegiate is a 54-hole tournament played at the Bryan Park Golf and Enrichment Center Champions Course in Greensboro, N.C. The par 72 course is playing at 6,386 yards for the tournament.

    Junior Fernandez, who carded four birdies on the day, is tied for fifth with a 1-under 71, and freshman Jamie Yun carded a 2-over 74 to tie for 24th. Junior Marta Sanz is tied for 33rd with a 3-over 75.

    “Diana had a great round,” said head coach Kim Evans. “She has been working hard, and it was just a matter of time. Jamie also played very well.”

    Senior Carlie Yadloczky is tied for 64th after carding a 6-over 78, and sophomore Victoria Trapani carded an 11-over 83 and is tied for 84th.

    Virginia leads the tournament with a 7-under 281, and Vanderbilt is in second at 2-under 286. North Carolina and Arkansas carded 6-over 294s to tie for third after the first round, and South Carolina is in fifth with a 9-over 296.

    Individually, Virginia’s Elizabeth Brightwell holds the lead with a 4-under 68. Vanderbilt’s Rene Sobolewski is in second after carding a 3-under 69, and Virginia’s Brittany Altomare and Briana Mao are tied for third with 2-under 70s. A four-way tie for fifth is shared among Auburn’s Diana Fernandez, Wake Forest’s Marissa Dodd, North Carolina’s Casey Grice and South Carolina’s Sarah Schmelzel with 1-under 71s.

    “We are looking forward to tomorrow and to getting things going in the right direction,” said Evans.

    Lopez tied for ninth, Razorbacks tied for third

    BROWNS SUMMIT, N.C. – University of Arkansas freshman Gabriela Lopez posted an even-par 72 and is tied for ninth leading the sixth-ranked Razorback women’s golf team to a tie for third place overall with a 294 after first round action of the Bryan National Collegiate in Brown’s Summit, N.C., Friday.

    Lopez turned even with a birdie on the fifth hole and a bogey on the ninth and was steady with two birdies and two bogeys on the back nine for a 72 on the Champions Course.

    The Razorbacks were six-over with a 294 tying ninth-ranked North Carolina in one of the toughest fields Arkansas has faced all season.  Fifteenth-ranked Virginia is the first round leader tearing up the course with a seven under 281 to start play.  Seventh-ranked Vanderbilt is second with a two-under 286, followed by No. 6 Arkansas and No. 9 Virginia with rounds of 294.

    Junior Emily Tubert is tied for 15th overall with a one-over 73, followed by senior Victoria Vela who is tied for 24th with a 74.

    Tubert picked up two bogies on the front nine but got one back with a birdie counting a three on the par four 13th hole.  Vela’s score card had a bit more ink on it as the Mansfield, Texas, native opened with the first of two front-nine birdies and had five bogeys to start the round.  She finished with two birdies and a bogey on the second nine.

    Freshman Regina Plasencia is tied for 33rd with a 75 and junior Emma Lavy is tied for 64th with a 78 rounding out the Razorback scores.

    “It was a solid round of golf today out of Gaby with a 72,” Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor said.  “I was really proud of how Victoria fought with that two over and also for Emily as well.  We didn’t have our ‘A’ game today but this team found a way to get it done and keep us in there.  We have some things to tidy up for tomorrow - just some little mistakes that we usually don’t make.  The more times you play this golf course the farther you get on it.  Tomorrow they will be even more comfortable with their game plan and go out there and climb that leaderboard and post a good number.”

    Arkansas and North Carolina are tied in third place two-shots better than No. 47 South Carolina who is fifth with 296.  The rest of the field includes No. 2 Duke and No. 46 Wake Forest tied for sixth with 297, No. 43 auburn and No. 26 Michigan State tied for eighth with 298, No. 23 North Carolina State and No. 19 Georgia tied for 10th with 300, Louisville and No. 5 Florida tied for 12th with 304, No. 30 Tennessee with 306, No. 42 Florida State with 307, UNC-Wilmington with 311 and UNC-Greensboro with 316.

    Georgia Golfers Tied For 10th At Bryan Park

    BROWNS SUMMIT, N.C. --- The No. 19-ranked Georgia women's golf team posted a 12-over 300 in Friday's opening round of the Bryan National Collegiate at the Bryan Park Championship Course, leaving the Bulldogs tied for 10th.

    Georgia is just six shots from a third-place tie between No. 6 Arkansas and No. 9 North Carolina.
    "We were really pretty close," head coach Josh Brewer said. "We let a few simple things turn into some big numbers and then we didn't make up that ground by converting some birdie chances we had. If we correct that, we'll be fine."

    Emilie Burger shot even-par 72, Georgia's low loop of the day, and is tied for ninth individually. Additional counters were a 73 by Manuela Carbajo Ré, which has her tied for 15th; a 77 from Rocio Sanchez Lobato, which ties her for 56th; and a 78 by Amira Alexander, which places her in a tie for 64th. Kailey Walsh notched an 83 and is tied for 84th.

    No. 15 Virginia blistered the layout to the tune of 7-under 281 to grab a five-shot lead over No. 7 Vanderbilt. Following the Razorbacks and Tar Heels are South Carolina at 296; No. 2 Duke and Wake Forest both at 297; Auburn and Michigan State both at 298; the Bulldogs and No. 23 N.C. State both at 300; Louisville and No. 5 Florida both at 304; Tennessee at 306; Florida State at 307; UNC Wilmington at 311; and UNC Greensboro at 316.

    The Cavaliers' Elizabeth Brightwell grabbed the individual lead by carding a 4-under 68, a shot better than Rene Sobolewski of Vanderbilt.

    Georgia teed off from No. 10 and played the back side of the course first on Friday.

    Burger turned at 2-over. She birdied No. 11 but bogeyed No. 12 and No. 14. A second birdie at No. 15 put Burger back at par, but she lost two strokes with bogeys at No. 16 and No. 18. After five straight pars, Burger notched back-to-back birdies at No. 6 and No. 7 before closing with a pair of pars.

    "Emilie made par putts to keep her round going and finally made a couple of birdies late," Brewer said. "Hopefully, that will jumpstart her through the weekend. Manuela was steady all day. She had a few birdie chances she could've converted but still played well. The other three were pretty close but just didn't give us the number they had a chance to post."

    First Day at Bryan National Collegiate Proves Tough For No. 5 Gator Women’s Golf

    GREENSBORO, N.C. – The fifth-ranked University of Florida women’s golf team had a tough first round at the Bryan National Collegiate, shooting a 304 (+16), to be in a tie for 12th place heading into round two. Only two teams shot under par on Friday, but the round was one of UF’s highest of the season and will give them some work to do with two rounds left in competition.

    Individually, sophomore Camilla Hedberg (Sitges, Spain) was the top Gator after round one as she carded a 75 (+3) and will be in a tie for 33rd going into round two. Only seven shots separate her from the leader, Elizabeth Brightwell of Virginia, who finished the first day with a four-under (68).

    “It was a tough day for us.  We didn't get much going,” Florida head coach Emily Bastel said. “We have two days to get it back and will learn from today's mistakes.”

    Virginia had four of its five players finish round one in the top 16 of individuals with three coming in the top three. Those rounds, helped the Cavaliers take over the top spot in the team standings at seven-under (281) and will have a five-shot lead over second-place Vanderbilt, which sits at two-under.

    Even though the scores weren’t exactly what UF was looking for in the first round, Hedberg’s round started off well with a birdie at No. 10, but she only carded one more birdie the rest of the way as she had five bogeys to drop to three-over after 18 holes.

    Junior Elcin Ulu (Istanbul, Turkey), who was coming off her best tournament as a Gator at the SunTrust Gator Invite, actually found herself in the top-25 before making the turn as she parred out the first eight holes she played. But, on her ninth hole, the course’s 18th, Ulu dropped in a bogey, her first of the day. She rebounded well to make birdie on two of the next three holes, but suffered setback again with a double-bogey on the par four, second hole. Ulu went on to make three more bogeys to finish with a 76 (+4) and will be a tie for 45th going into round two.

    The Gators were able to get a little bit of consistency from their No. 5 player in freshman Ursa Orehek (Domzale, Slovenia), who also came into the clubhouse with a four-over (76). Orehek, in only her second tournament back from injury, kept the bogey number low in her round, but wasn’t able to add any birdies to her score. The 76 is her third-best round of the spring and she will look to build on that during Saturday’s second round.

    As for the remaining two Gators in the field, good rounds were hard to come by as senior Mia Piccio (Bacolod City, Philippines) shot a 77 (+5), while Isabelle Lendl (Goshen, Conn.) came in with an 81 (+9). Piccio currently sits in a tie for 56th place, while Lendl will start Saturday’s round in 81st place.