April 22, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - The opening round of the 2013 Conference USA Women's Golf Championships is in the books and Tulane's 20th-ranked squad combined for a 3-over 291 total to take the top spot on the leaderboard, while freshman Silvia Garces fired a 1-under 71 and sits in third place at the Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club in Gulf Shores, Ala.
Tulane will join golfers from East Carolina and UCF during Tuesday's second round and the groups will begin teeing off from the first hole at 8:35 a.m. Fans can follow live scoring of each round at www.Golfstat.com.
The Green Wave placed four of its five golfers among the top 10 individuals today and TU finished strong by carding a total of seven birdies on the final three holes and a total of 17 for the round.
"We got off to a good start today and then endured a rough spell through seven, eight and nine as a team, but we played decent in the middle of the round and finished strong," Tulane head coach Andrew Pratt said. "I am very proud of Silvia and her 1-under score today. That was absolutely huge for us. Emily was solid and Gemma and Madison really hung in there and gave us a good score. Maribel had one of her few off days, but I am confident she will rebound on Tuesday. We have a job to do and that's to take one shot at a time and control our emotions and they did a solid job of that today."
Garces logged four birdies and tied for the second lowest round of her young career. She will begin Tuesday's second round just one stroke off East Carolina's co-leaders of Nico Engstroem Skaug and F. Gustafsson Spang, who are each at 2-under.
Freshman Emily Penttila finished even for the day and is in fourth place. Penttila was 2-over through 14 holes, but produced birdies at holes 15 and 18 to drop back to even.
Sophomore Gemma Dryburgh and freshman Madison Opfer are both tied for eighth place after each golfer shot a 2-over 74. Dryburgh was 3-over at the turn but finished 1-under on the back nine, while Opfer was 4-over entering the final two holes and came up with a pair of clutch birdies for a solid finish.
Senior Maribel Lopez Porras, the defending C-USA individual medalist, went to the clubhouse with a 3-over 75 and is 14th place.
East Carolina sits two strokes back of Tulane in second place, while UCF is third (+13), SMU is fourth (+14) and Tulsa and Memphis are each tied for fifth place, each at 16-over.
1 Tulane 291 (+3) 3 Silvia Garces 71 (-1) T4 Emily Penttila 72 (E) T8 Gemma Dryburgh 74 (+2) T8 Madison Opfer 74 (+2) T14 Maribel Lopez Porras 75 (+3)
1. Tulane (+3), 2. East Carolina (+5), 3. UCF (+13), 4. SMU (+14), T5. Tulsa (+16), T5. Memphis (+16), 7. Old Dominion (+17), 8. Southern Miss (+21), 9. UTEP (+22), 10. UAB (+41), 11. Marshall (+47)
Individual Results (top-10 golfers only)
T1. Nico Engstroem Skaug, East Carolina (-2), T1. F. Gustafsson Spang, East Carolina (-2), 3. Silvia Garces, Tulane (-1), T4. Emily Penttila, Tulane (E), T4. Felicia Espericueta, SMU (E), T6. Kimberley Bradbury, Old Dominion (+1), T6. Monifa Sealy, UCF (+1), T8. Gemma Dryburgh, Tulane (+2), T8. Madison Opfer, Tulane (+2), T8. Vicky Correa, Southern Miss (+2), T8. Samantha Morrell, Old Dominion (+2), T8. Paola Robles, UCF (+2), T8. Fanny Wolte, East Carolina (+2)