Feb. 26, 2012
NEW ORLEANS - The opening round of the 2012 Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate Golf Championship wasn't exactly kind to the Tulane golf team as the Green Wave struggled through windy conditions with a 13-over 301 total and sits tied with No. 2 Alabama and No. 33 Florida State in 10th place at the English Turn Golf & Country Club.
The Green Wave will be grouped with golfers from the Crimson Tide and Gators for Monday's second round and the groups will tee off from the 10th tee, beginning at 8:18 a.m. Live results for each round are available at www.Golfstat.com.
The field played with temperatures in the mid-50's but a chilly wind and overcast skies ruled the day. Despite the conditions, Tulane hung tough through the first 12 holes with a 4-over total and was sitting near the top of the leaderboard. But as the weather continued to deteriorate late in the round, so did the Green Wave. Tulane combined for a 9-over total through the final six holes and dropped to the bottom half of the standings.
"We kind of got off to a rough start today, but we hung in through the first 12 holes," Tulane head coach Andrew Pratt said. "Watching everybody and the way they were playing, I thought we were hanging in there okay. I know the last six holes are tough and we would give a couple of shots back. But for us to finish the way we did was very disappointing and our team knows that. They are going to come out tomorrow fired up. We played our last six holes 9-over then as a team and you can't do that in a field like this."
One of the bright spots for the Green Wave was senior Stephanie Wagstaff, who finished as the Wave's top individual for the first time in her career. Wagstaff got off to a rough start with a double bogey on No. 2 and was forced to settle for a bogey on No. 5 for a quick 3-over tally. However, she responded with a birdie on No. 8 and entered the turn at 2-over. One the back nine, she added two more birdies to drop back to even. However, she posted two bogeys to end the round with a 2-over 74 and sits in 14th place.
"I hit more greens today than I normally do and I was putting well," Wagstaff said. That gave me a lot of confidence so if I did miss a green, I got up and down. We are used to playing in the wind and it got pretty windy on the back nine but I just made sure I was really good with my calculations and I picked a shot that was going to hit on the green."
TU freshman Gemma Dryburgh was rolling along for the Wave at 1-over, but the 15th hole proved disastrous for the rookie as she was forced to settle for a triple bogey and moved to 4-over. She made up a stroke with her birdie on No. 16 and finished with a 3-over 75 for 27th place.
Fourth-ranked USC braved the elements the best with a 5-over 293 to stake its place atop the leaderboard on Sunday. Pac-12 Conference rival Oregon, the nation's 20th-ranked squad, is one stroke back in second place, while No. 13 Duke is third at 7-over and No. 17 Colorado and No. 19 Baylor are each tied for fourth place at 9-over.
"Most of the day, we kept the ball in play," USC head coach Andrea Gaston said. "We didn't really putt exceedingly well and I wish we could have made a few more putts. I think we had some nice opportunities but we weren't used to the greens. They are a little bit bumpy. We had a few tap-in birdies and I think that helped us."
"With the weather, we enjoy challenging conditions. I feel like that since our ball-striking is pretty good, these conditions can favor a team like ours."
Oregon's Cali Hipp raced to the lead in the individual race with a 3-under 69 and sits three strokes ahead of teammate Cassy Isagawa, Tulsa's Marita Engzelius, USC's Lisa McCloskey and Colorado's Alex Stewart, who are each tied for second place.
"It was a little windy out there," Hipp said. "I felt like I hit the ball well. I made some good putts and it just kind of happened. Sometimes you just have one of those days. I just stayed focused on my targets. I tried to not get distracted when I did hit a bad shot because I knew it was going to happen. Everybody hits bad shots and there is nothing you can do about.
"For tomorrow, I'm going in with the same attitude. I think that is what helped me the most today. Just keep going at it and just keep chipping away."
T10 Tulane 301 (+13) T14 Stephanie Wagstaff 74 (+2) T27 Gemma Dryburgh 75 (+3) T35 Ashley McKenney 76 (+4) T35 Maribel Lopez Porras 76 (+4) T69 Samantha Troyanovich 81 (+9)
1. USC (+5), 2. Oregon (+6), 3. Duke (+7), T4. Colorado (+9), T4. Baylor (+9), 6. Tulsa (+11), T7. Texas A&M (+12), T7. Auburn (+12), T7. Florida (+12), T10. Alabama (+13), T10. Tulane (+13), T10. Florida State (+13), 13. Kennesaw State (+20), 14. Ole Miss (+22), 15. East Carolina (+25)
Individual Results (Top-10 Only):
1. Cali Hipp, Oregon (-3), T2. Cassy Isagawa, Oregon (-1), T2. Marita Engzelius, Tulsa (-1), T2. Alex Stewart, Colorado (-1), T2. Lisa McCloskey, USC, T6. Chelsey Cothran, Baylor (E), T6. Hayley Davis, Baylor, (E), Andrea Watts, Florida (E), T6. Doris Chen, USC (E), T10. Malin Johnson, Florida State (+1), T10. Lindy Duncan, Duke (+1), T10. Jennifer Kirby, Alabama (+1), T10. Natalie Gleadall, Ole Miss (+1)