Warner Paces Wildcats On First Day in New Mexico
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The first day of the Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational ended with the No. 22 Arizona Wildcats in a tie for eighth place in a very tight leaderboard. At 8-over for the tournament, Arizona is part of a pack of nine teams within seven strokes atop the team standings. Sophomore Therese Warner led Arizona with a score of 3-under par after both rounds of action on Sunday, which put her in the top five of all players.
"Our team overcame a slow start to the day and posted stronger scores as the day went on," said head coach Laura Ianello. "Therese played outstanding throughout the first two rounds, and I'm looking forward to her finishing strong. Our team is capable of posting good scores in the third round, which will enable us to move up the leaderboards tomorrow."
Warner's opening round of 69 marked her second lowest of the season, trailing her career-best round of 65 to open this year's Wildcat Invitational. Behind Warner, fellow sophomore Gile Bite Starkute used a second-round score of 70 to give the Wildcats a second player in the top 20 going into Monday's final round. The round of 70 to close Sunday ties the Lithuanian's lowest round of the season and second lowest of her career.
The Wildcats posted strong scores on the back nine holes of the first round as all Arizona players on course combined to sink 14 birdies compared to just four before the turn. Those 14 birdies through the final nine holes of the first round were more than the 10 birdies putts made by the entire lineup in the entire second round.
Arizona is part of the pack of teams within striking distance of co-leaders, Denver and Pepperdine, at 1-over par. The Wildcats will tee off in the third and final round of the event on Monday morning at UNM Championship South Course.