Buffs, Bouraeda Fourth After Day 1 of Lamkin Invitational
RANCHO SANTE FE, Calif. – They might have had a little rust to shake off, but the University of Colorado women's golf team has put themselves in fourth-place after the first two rounds of the Lamkin Invitational on Monday, their first collegiate tournament in 11 months.
The morning was a little cool and perhaps nerves added a little to their scorecards, but the Buffaloes shot a 13-over 301 to start the event at The Farms Golf Course, a par 72, 6,318-yard course. The second round was better as the team put together a 295 to combine for a 20-over 595 on the day.
"It is difficult coming from playing on winter greens and then all of a sudden you are on real greens, because ours go dormant and dead in the winter," head coach Anne Kelly said. "Being able to hit off of the ground that is not frozen and green grass, it takes a little but I expected us to be a little rusty and quite honestly we were. I definitely see great signs. There's a bunch of talented players on our team. We just need to get playing and get going."
Southern California currently has the team lead, finishing the day with a 585. The Trojans shot a 7-over 295 in the first round and followed it up with a 2-over 290 in the second. They have a six-stroke advantage over Pac-12 rival UCLA (302-289—591). CU is just two-strokes behind the host, San Diego State, which put together rounds of 301 and 293 and has a two-stroke advantage over TCU (299-299—598).
Eight of the 11 teams finished the second round before play was called due to darkness at 5:45 p.m. PT. Those three remaining teams (see the agate below) will finish their second round before starting the final round Tuesday morning.
The star of the day for the Buffaloes was junior Malak Bouraeda, who is currently in fourth-place after recording a 3-under 141 (75-66). She is just one stroke from first place, thanks in part to a strong second round (66), which was the best round of her collegiate career and was also the first time she has recorded a round in the 60s while competing for the Buffs.
"Malak rocked it this afternoon and that was with a bogey on the back nine," Kelly said. "I'm definitely proud of Malak. She played so well. It was fun to watch."
Bouraeda, who was recovering from three herniated discs and two pinched nerves this fall, did not start hitting balls until this past October, but if you saw her second round scorecard, it would be hard to tell.
"I got lucky that my injury happened when it did," she said. "I think it couldn't have come at a better time where I had five, six months to recover and get better and stronger. It was really hard not practicing and sitting out, but that time was the best for my body to recover. I think I was able to come back mentally ready and stronger."
Her first round included a pair of birdies and 11 pars, but she also had five bogeys, which put her at 3-over during the morning round. But her next round saw an improvement by nine strokes as she carded a 6-under 66. The difference? Putting.
"I just made a lot more putts in the second round," she said. "I tend to do this where I play 36 in a day and I tend to do better in the second than the first. I wasn't expecting a nine-shot difference. A lot more putts fell in the second than the first."
In total, Bouraeda made eight birdies in that second round and five were on the back nine. After carding a 2-under 34 on the front nine with three birdies, one bogey and five pars, she gave it everything she had for her final nine holes. Bouraeda made par on No. 10 and No. 11 before sinking a putt for birdie on No. 12. Then came the par-4, 355-yard No. 13.
"I had a shot [on No. 13] where I hit the pin on the fly and it almost went in the water," Bouraeda said. "I was so annoyed that I just chipped it in and I think that helped my momentum in that four holes and get more birdies. I birdied the hole before that, which was nice to birdie not putting."
She was on a roll at that point recorded back-to-back birdies on No. 14 and No. 15 to put her at 6-under with three holes left in the round. Unfortunately, her streak ended there as recorded a bogey on No. 16 before making par on No. 17. She ended the round with one final birdie to give her a 32 (4-under) for the back nine.
Senior Kirsty Hodgkins is currently tied for 20th. She had the best start for CU, recording a 72 in the first round, which also had her tied for third. Her two bogeys of the round were canceled out by a pair of birdies and she made par on the remaining 14 holes. But she has some trouble in the second round, finishing up with a 79 to record a 7-over 151 for the day.
"Kirsty played a pretty solid round in the morning, she just had a rough second round, which is too bad," Kelly said.
Coming in third for the Buffs is sophomore Ellie Gower, who is tied for 26. Gower carded rounds of 76 and 78 for a 10-over 154. Just one stroke behind her are teammates Kelsey Webster (junior) and Hailey Schalk (freshman) as both finished with a 155 to tie for 31st overall. Webster recorded rounds of 81 and 74, while Schalk shot a 78 and a 77. Overall, Kelly was pleased with what her team gave her on the first day back.
"Hailey showed good signs," Kelly said. "The first round, the first day is always a little nerve-wracking. Kelsey made a really nice comeback after a rough first round, as did Ellie Gower. She played the back nine really well. That front nine gave her a lot of trouble."
There is a three-way tie for first as Sara Kjellker (SDSU), Allisen Corpuz (USC) and Emma Spitz (UCLA) each finished the day 4-under (140).
The second day of action starts Tuesday at 7 a.m. PT with the conclusion of the second round before starting the final round of play.
NOTES: With her round of 66, Malak Bouraeda has entered some top-10 lists in CU's record book … it is tied for 3rd on a par 72 course … her 6-under (for one round) is tied for third in CU history and has been done seven other times; the last time a Buff recorded a 6-under was Brittany Fan on May 7, 2018, also in the second round … Her 66 ties for the fifth-lowest 18th hole score in school history … Her 32 on the back nine is tied for the fourth-lowest in school history … this was the 10th sub-par round of her career.
|TOP 5 INDIVIDUALS|
|T1.||Sara Kjellker, San Diego State||74-66—140|
|T1.||Allisen Coupuz, USC||71-69—140|
|T1.||Emma Spitz, UCLA||70-70—140|
|4.||Malak Bouraeda, Colorado||75-66—141|
|5.||Napat Lertsadwattana, New Mexico||73-70—143|
|3.||San Diego State||301-293—594|
|9.||UC Irvine||322- play suspended|
|10.||Long Beach State||323- play suspended|
|11.||Hawai'i||327- play suspended|