The UW Women's Golf team finished tied for fourth place after the first day of the NCAA San Antonio Regional at Briggs Ranch Golf Course. The Huskies had three golfers finish 2-under for the day even while star Jennifer Yang struggled to a 2-over score for the day.
The Huskies are playing for a chance to move on to the NCAA Finals in Florida at the end of May. To qualify, the Huskies need to finish in the top six to make the cut and move on.
Full UW Press Release follows. Thanks to Ricky Brackett for his full report.
Dawgs T-4th At NCAA San Antonio RegionalRelease: 05/07/2015
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – No. 6 Washington is off and running at the NCAA San Antonio Regional, ending the first round tied for fourth place, just five shots off the lead. The Dawgs need to finish in the top six at the three-day event to earn a trip to the NCAA Finals in Florida later this month.
“It’s the old line that you can’t win it on the first day, but you can lose it,” said head coach Mary Lou Mulflur. “We played pretty well and gave ourselves a chance at just five back.”
The second-seeded Huskies played with top seed UCLA and third-seeded Texas A&M and were the last group on the course, Thursday. Four Huskies played the Briggs Ranch Golf Course under par to put UW in solid position.
No. 14 Tennessee, the No. 4 seed, leads after round one, firing a round of 12-under 276. The No. 3 Bruins are second at 10-under, while No. 21 Baylor is third at 8-under. The Dawgs are tied with No. 11 Texas A&M at 7-under 281. No. 43 Texas is currently in sixth place and the last team in qualifying position at 1-under, one shot better than Oklahoma who is seventh at even par.
Seventh place is what the Dawgs are trying to avoid as that would be the first team out of qualifying. Washington is currently seven shots clear of that spot with 36 holes to play.
Individually, Yupaporn Kawinpakorn on Kansas and Hayley Davis of Baylor hold the lead of 5-under. Four players are one shot back at 4-under. The Dawgs have a trio of player at 2-under three shots back and tied for 14th.
“Overall it was a really consistent day,” said Mulflur. “We showed the balance that we always do. Lots of teams would like to have the score we throw out.”
Charlotte Thomas, Ying Luo and Cyd Okino each fired rounds of 2-under 70 to lead the Huskies. Thomas led the team in birdies, making five, including four on the front nine. Luo had her round to 4-under through 14 holes, having not made a bogey, but played the last four holes at 2-over. Okino had the cleanest round with just one bogey, playing the final 11 holes at 1-under.
“Those three got off to a good start, which was important,” said Mulflur. “We needed to take a little better advantage on the par fives on the back nine.”
Eimi Koga was the final scoring player, shooting a round of 1-under 71. She rebounded from an opening double bogey to play the rest of the round at 3-under with five birdies. Koga is tied for 24th, four shots off the lead.
“Eimi really battled today,” said Mulflur. “To make a double on the first hole can be a little intimidating, especially in your first NCAA experience, but to come back was really impressive.”
Jennifer Yang rounded at the Husky squad with a round of 2-over 74. Yang double bogeyed the sixth hole, but played the rest of the round at even par. She is tied for 46th after entering the tournament as the top-ranked Husky player.
The Dawgs will be back on the course on Friday morning for the second round of the NCAA San Antonio Regional. Washington will tee of the first hole, playing with Texas A&M and Texas, beginning at 8:24 a.m. local time or 6:24 a.m., PT.