USC, Behind Felibert 1-Under, Leads NCAA Championships After 1st Round

May 22, 2007

Senior Veronica Felibert fired a 1-under 71 to lead the No. 4 USC women's golf team - in pursuit of its second team title - into first place after the opening round of the 2007 NCAA Women's Golf Championships on Tuesday (May 22) at the LPGA International Legends Course in Daytona Beach, Fla.

USC, the 2003 NCAA title winner riding the momentum of its second consecutive NCAA Central Regional title less than two weeks ago, combined for a 7-over 295, two strokes better than second-place North Carolina (297) and Louisville (297). Stanford is fourth (299), two-time defending champion Duke (300) is fifth, Denver is sixth (302) and UCLA, Georgia, Vanderbilt, Purdue and UC Irvine are tied for seventh (303).

Troy also led the field after the first round of the 2006 NCAA Championships, holding a one-shot lead over Arizona State. USC ultimately finished second.

The Trojans, appearing in their 10th straight NCAA Championships final, all under 11th-year head coach Andrea Gaston, were led by Felibert's best effort since the fall season. The Venezuelan senior's 71 was one off her season best round and her best 18-hole performance since firing a 70 on Nov. 1 at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown.

Felibert, who also played some of her best golf of the 2005-06 season at last year's NCAA Championships, was 1-over on the front 9 with a double bogey on the 6th hole and a birdie on the 9th. That first birdie catapulted Felibert into a run in which she birdied four of six holes (the 9th, 11th, 12th and 14th), ultimately finishing the back 9 at 2-under.

She is tied for fourth overall, two strokes back of UC Irvine leader Selanee' Henderson (69). Duke's Amanda Blumenherst and Stanford's Lauren Todd are tied for second at 70.

Junior Paola Moreno is tied for ninth after a 1-over 73 round that reflected her steady play all season. The 10th-ranked player in the country according to Golfweek.com, Moreno birdied the 17th hole and bogeyed the 2nd and 18th holes and was par for the rest of the course.

Freshman Belen Mozo was similarly consistent in her first NCAA Championship outing, posting a 3-over 75, tied for 22nd overall. A bogey on 8 left her 1-over on the front 9. A birdie on the 16th hole helped offset bogeys on 10 and 17 for her 3-over effort.

Junior Dewi Claire Schreefel began the defense of her 2006 NCAA individual title with a 4-over 76 that left her tied for 39th. Par after four holes, the two-time All-American stumbled with bogeys on 5, 6 and 7 and a double bogey on 11. But after the double, she re-grouped and with a birdie on 17, finishing the final seven holes at 1-under.

Senior Catalina Marin rounded out USC's efforts on the first day with a 5-over 77. She was 3-over on the front 9 and 2-over on the back 9 with a birdie on the 10th hole.

USC will tee off with Duke and Stanford on Wednesday at 8 a.m. EDT on the 10th hole. Pairings and starting times for Thursday and Friday will be determined after Wednesday's results.

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