March 8, 2009
SORRENTO, Fla. - Auburn sophomore Cydney Clanton (70) finished the first day of the UCF Challenge at 2-under par as she led the eighth-ranked Tigers (290) to a tie for fifth. The Concord, N.C., native is currently tied for eighth, individually.
Hosted by Central Florida, the UCF Challenge is a 54-hole tournament being played at the par-72, 6,301-yard Red Tail Golf Club. The three-day tournament features 13 teams ranked in the GolfWeek top-25, including No. 1-ranked Arizona State.
Auburn started the day working through the front nine following an 8:00 CST tee time.
Clanton was followed by freshman Haley Wilson (73) and Candace Schepperle (73) tied for 32nd, freshman Patricia Sanz (74) tied for 40th and senior Mariana Macias (83) tied for 93rd. Competing as an individual, sophomore Sarah Thead (80) tied for 87th.
"We really had a good day today," said Auburn head coach Kim Evans.
"I was really pleased with Patricia and Haley. They had a goal to not get lost in the day and I think they accomplished that. Cydney stepped up big to lead us through the first day."
Clanton made the turn at even par following a birdie on No. 1 and a bogie on No. 5. The 2008 NGCA Freshman-of-the-Year dropped another stroke to an early back-nine bogey but recovered, carding 3-under through the last seven holes.
Wilson, competing in just her second collegiate event, made the turn at 1-over. The Fort Mitchell, Ala., native then carded nine-consecutive pars, to bring in her 73.
Schepperle was the only Tiger to complete the front nine under par.
The 2008 Golf Week Mid-Season All-American was 1-under after 17 but lost three strokes to the par-5 No. 18.
As a team, Auburn in tied for fifth with Tennessee (290) at 2-over par.
No. 2 UCLA (282) is in the lead followed by top-ranked Arizona State
(284) in second. No. 6 Oklahoma State (286) and No. 11 LSU (286) are tied for third.
"This is a great tournament and a really good field," said Evans.
"We won't see another like it until NCAAs.
"The course is fantastic. It makes you use every club in your bag.
There is a lot of risk and reward."
Florida's Jessica Yadloczky (66) is in the individual lead followed by a three-way tie for second at 4-under.
Action at the UCF Challenge continues Monday with Auburn being paired with LSU and Tennessee for an 8:45 a.m. CST tee time. Live scoring will be available via www.golfstat.com.