Women's Golf In Lead After First Day Of NCAA Championships
May 20, 2003
West Lafayette, Ind. - Three Trojan golfers shot 36 on the back nine as the No. 3 USC women's golf team overcame rough weather today to take a four-stroke lead after 18 holes of the 2003 NCAA Women's Golf Championships held at Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex.
On a day when scores for most teams were high because of the challenging elements, USC shot a 17-over-par 305 as a team to lead by three strokes over No. 8 Oklahoma State (308). No. 11 Ohio State is third (309), followed by No. 9 Florida (313) and No. 10 UCLA (314).
'When you play in difficult conditions, that's what separates the field,' said USC head coach Andrea Gaston. 'We were right in the teeth of the wind on our first few holes. We had to play par fours like they were par fives. We came through it well. We can't think too far ahead of ourselves, but it's nice to be in the lead on the first day.'
Freshman Irene Cho led the Women of Troy by shooting 74 to tie for third. She's two strokes behind Virada Nirapathpongporn of Duke and Annie Thurman of Oklahoma State, who each shot 72 to take the early lead.
'I felt really proud of myself today,' said Cho. 'I stayed in the present. I wasn't paying attention to my score. I made a lot of those five-foot putts that you need to make.'
Junior Anna Rawson also had a good day in the bad weather. She shot 76 to tie for 10th as her father Jim-who traveled all the way from Adelaide, Australia-looked on.
All-American senior Mikaela Parmlid shot 77 for the day to tie for 18th. The highlight of her day came when she birdied the eighth hole with a spectacular 50-foot putt. Senior Becky Lucidi struggled on the front nine, shooting a 42, but she bounced back to join Cho and Rawson with 36's on the back nine.
'The conditions were difficult,' said Lucidi, who is tied for 23rd with a 78. 'When it stopped raining, we got better. We'll take any kind of lead we can get. The more strokes the better.'
Freshman Tanya Dergal shot 80 to tie for 47th.
Round two of the NCAA Championships begins on Wednesday (May 21) with an 8 a.m. tee time. The tournament concludes on Friday (May 23).
USC is seeking its first-ever NCAA women's golf title.
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