Women's Golf In The Lead After First Round At SEC Championship; Haley Wilson Tied For Lead
April 17, 2009
BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. - With three players in the top five after the first round, the No. 6 Auburn women's golf team stormed out to a six-stroke lead Friday in the first round of the 2009 Southeastern Conference Championship. Freshman Haley Wilson, a native of Fort Mitchell, Ala., leads the three Tigers at the top of the leaderboard as she is currently tied for first with a 1-under-par 70.
Hosted by the University of South Carolina, the SEC Championship is a 54-hole stroke play event being played at the University Club at Cobblestone Park in Blythewood, S.C. The par-71 course is playing at 6,204 yards for the tournament.
As a team, Auburn carded a 5-over-par 289 in the first round, the third-lowest round at the SEC Championship in school history, taking a six-stroke lead over Tennessee and Arkansas. The Lady Vols and Razorbacks are currently in a tie for second with an 11-over-par 295, followed by host South Carolina in fourth with a 15-over 299. Georgia and Alabama round out the top five with 16-over-par 300s.
"It is a pretty difficult golf course and it was a windy day, I think we were pretty anxious to get started," said Auburn head coach Kim Evans. "I think we just wanted to get out there and see what we could do. The first day is over, we got a feel for the course, had three really stand-up rounds out of Haley Wilson, Cydney Clanton and Candace Schepperle. They stepped up big and had a really nice day for us.
Playing in just her fifth tournament as a Tiger, Wilson tied the fifth-lowest SEC Championship round ever at Auburn with her 1-under 70. Wilson started off slow with a bogey and a double-bogey on the front nine, finishing the first nine holes at 2-over-par, but she rallied down the stretch with birdies on Nos. 10, 14 and 15 to jump into a tie for the lead with Ole Miss' Ashley Lance and Arkansas' Lucy Nunn.
"Playing in her first SEC Championship and just comes right out of the gate, was comfortable and really played strong," said Evans. "I could not be more proud of Haley and how she did today."
Just one stroke behind Wilson was the junior-sophomore combination of Schepperle and Clanton. Both carded even-par 71s in the first round to give Auburn three players in the top five. Both players were steady in their first round, combining for 25 pars and six birdies.
"Cydney and Candace are just strong veterans and they had good first-team All-America-type rounds today," said Evans. I am proud of how they played and carried themselves on the golf course. We've worked so hard this season to prepare for this and it is good to see them take things step by step and keep working hard."
Also tied for fourth with Schepperle and Clanton was Tennessee's Nathalie Mansson with an even-par 71.
Rounding out the Auburn lineup were freshman Patricia Sanz and senior Mariana Macias. Sanz finished the day in a tie for 31st with a 6-over-par 77 while Macias posted an 11-over-par 82 to come in tied for 53rd.
In the hunt for the team's seventh SEC title, Evans said the team cannot focus too much on the first round because the field is so strong.
"I hope it is a good thing to have the lead after the first day. But, there are so many good teams out here and this is a good golf course, so anything can happen," said Evans. "We just have to go back out tomorrow, play our game and take care of the little things that we can control."
Tee times in the second round of the SEC Championship are set to begin at 7:30 a.m. on the Nos. 10 and 10 tees. Auburn's tee times will go from 8:20 - 9 a.m., off the No. 1 tee, along with Tennessee and Arkansas.
For those that would like to follow along with the action, live scoring is available at www.GolfStat.com.
BLYTHEVILLE, S.C. -- First-round results from the 2009 Southeastern Conference Championship hosted by the University of South Carolina at the University Club at Cobblestone Park. Par: 71. Yardage: 6,204.
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