May 21, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. - After a two-over-par 290, Stanford took seventh on the 24-team field during the first round of the NCAA D1 Women's Golf Championships on Tuesday at the University of Georgia Golf Course.
The No. 10 (Golfweek) Cardinal, who teed off the first hole during the morning wave, led the tournament through the front nine at two under. In the last nine holes four shots were given back, and Stanford trailed No. 1 USC and No. 53 San Jose State, who are tied for first, by six strokes.
The Trojans and the Spartans posted a 284, while No. 3 Duke checked in third at 286. With a 288, No. 2 Alabama took fourth. Rounding out the top five are No. 6 UCLA and No. 7 Purdue, who are both tied for fifth at 289.
"We had four very solid rounds today," said Anne Walker, Stanford's Margot and Mitch Milias Director of Women's Golf. "We didn't try to do anything fancy. We just played our game and with a conservative strategy. The players showed a lot of patience."
In a strong start, Mariko Tumangan managed to go three under through 14 holes. Two late bogeys on 15 and 18 set her back two strokes. The sophomore carded a one-under-par 71, tying for sixth with freshman Lauren Kim.
"My ball striking was great today," said Tumangan who hit 12-13 fairways and made around 30 putts. "I was leaving myself many chances for birdies. Tomorrow, I want to keep the same calm and cool demeanor and stick to my routine."
For Kim, who opened with a birdie on the first hole, the front nine started slower with bogeys on holes three and eight.
"I try not to get ahead of myself on the course, especially as early as after the first hole because anything can happen during the span of a round," Kim said. "Generally though, a birdie on the first hole is exciting because it gets my momentum going and helps me set a positive tone for the rest of the day. Positive thoughts at the beginning of the round remind me to stay patient with myself, which--like Coach has emphasized--is important on a course and tournament like this."
Kim went on to make birdies on the 10th and 15th for a solid 71.
"The back nine just seemed consistent," Kim continued. "I had gotten into a rhythm and was really in the present moment. Everything just felt smooth. I had simple thoughts and was not overthinking at all. I was hitting the ball better than the past couple of days and that helped me hit greens and keep playing `boring' golf."
Boring far describes Mariah Stackhouse's round. The freshman was two over through six holes but came back with birdies on the seventh and ninth to be even at the turn. But back-to-back bogeys on 11 and 12 followed. Once again, at two over, Stackhouse maintained focus, posting birdies on 15 and 18 to finish on par.
"I've come to accept the fact that bogeys will happen," said Stackhouse who is tied for 20th at 72. "So I just handled them with the expectation of getting some birdies and eliminating them in the next couple of holes."
"After our practice rounds, I was pretty confident in my ability to score out here," Stackhouse continued. "My goal for today was to hopefully get an under-par start but definitely to have a steady round and be in a good position for the second round."
"We accomplished our goal today and now it's time to hit the refresh button and prepare to compete tomorrow," Walker said. "I think as teams continue to build their course knowledge, we will see some more low scores. At the same time, hole locations are only going to get tougher and that is when the true separation will happen."
Stanford tees off the 10th hole at 11:50 a.m. (ET) with Arizona State and Texas.
"Being back in Georgia has been great so far," Stackhouse, a Riverdale, Ga., native, said. "The feel of the weather, trees, and people has been really warm and familiar. Both my parents were here today, and some of my friends might come throughout the rest of the week, so that's pretty cool."
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