May 8, 2008
Top-seeded UCLA wasted no time in establishing itself as the team to beat, skating to a two-stroke lead after the first round of the NCAA Women's Golf Central Regional, hosted at the University of Texas Golf Club in Austin.
The Bruins posted an opening round score of 283 (-5) and led second place TCU (285, -3) by two shots. Big Ten champion Purdue was third at even par 288, followed by Denver at 292 (+4) and Nebraska at 294 (+6). After 54 holes, the top eight teams will advance to the NCAA Championship in two weeks at the University of New Mexico.
Individually for the Bruins, freshman Maria Jose Uribe torched the golf course for five birdies, an eagle, no bogeys and a first round score of 65 (-7). The round was Uribe's best as a collegian and lifted the Bruins to the front of the pack. The defending U.S. Women's Amateur champion had been struggling lately before recording three birdies on the outward nine for a 33. At the par 5 14th, she stuck a fairway wood to within inches of the cup for a tap-in eagle. For the day, she was three-under on the par threes.
Sophomore Sydnee Michaels, the 2007 NCAA East Regional champion, posted an even par score of 72. Michaels, who bogeyed the first hole, rallied with three birdies through 14 holes to drop to two-under par. But bogeys at the 15th and 18th holes pulled her even, tied for 14th.
Junior Maiya Tanaka was enjoying a solid round, two-under par through 17 holes, until a triple bogey seven at the 18th elevated her score to 73 (+1). She was tied for 19th.
Junior Tiffany Joh overcame a string of bogeys to battle back to one-over par 73. Joh played the outward nine in three-over 39 after making bogeys on holes seven through nine. She settled down on the inward side, birdied the 12th and 14th holes and was also tied for 19th.
Freshman Glory Yang was tied for 30th after posting a 74 (+2). She double bogeyed the first hole and bogeyed the third before settling down. A birdie at the 14th brought her to one-over, but she bogeyed the 15th and made three straight pars for a round of two-over par.
Trailing Uribe in second place was Purdue's Maria Hernandez, who aced the second hole on her way to a score of 66 (-6).
The second round continues Friday.
For the complete results, click here.