NEW ORLEANS- Tulane sophomore Gemma Dryburgh fired a 3-under 69 to take the top spot on the leaderboard and the Green Wave combined for a 2-over 290 total for first place during the opening round of the Old Waverly Bulldog Invitational at the Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Miss.
Tulane started its 2012 fall opener with a bang, as four Green Wave rank among the top-11 players in the field and three golfers are ranked in the top-5 following the opening day. TU owns a two stroke lead over a pair of Southeastern Conference members- Arkansas and Kentucky.
Today, Dryburgh set the tone with three birdies on her first nine holes, dropping to 3-under at the turn. Following a bogey on the 11th hole, she rebounded with her fourth birdie of the day on 15 to finish with the low round of the day. She owns a one stroke advantage over Arkansas' Emma Lavy.
Senior Maribel Lopez Porras overcame three bogeys with three birdies during her round today to finish even and sits in fifth place, while classmate Meghan Chapman returned to the golf course for the first time in over a year after being sideline with an injury. Chapman shook off the rust and posted a 2-over 74 for 11th place.
The freshmen tandem of Silvia Garces and Madison Opfer each produced solid rounds for the Green Wave in their first collegiate outing. Garces logged a 3-over 75 and sits in 20th place, while Opfer went to the clubhouse with a 4-over 76 for 27th place.
Freshman Emily Penttila, who is playing as an individual, didn't let her first college outing get the best of her, as she carded a 1-under 70 and sits in third place.
"I am extremely proud of the way everyone played today, including Emily, who is playing as an individual," Tulane head coach Andrew Pratt said. "We shot 2-over today in our season opener with two freshmen in the line-up and Meghan Chapman, who sat out most of the last year, and I don't think I could have asked for anything more. I thought we were very well prepared with nine solid days of practice leading up to the tournament and the team came out today and executed our plan. We need to keep it going. There are some great teams in this field and it will be a battle for the title."
Second-round action begins at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday with the Green Wave will tee off on the first hole and will be grouped with golfers from Arkansas and Kentucky. Thirty minutes prior to the second round, a 9/11 tribute will be held around the 18th green.
1 Tulane 290 (+2) 1 Gemma Dryburgh 69 (-3) T3 Emily Penttila 70 (-1)* T5 Maribel Lopez Porras 72 (E) T11 Meghan Chapman 74 (+2) T20 Silvia Garces 75 (+3) T27 Madison Opfer 76 (+4)
1. Tulane (290, +2); T2. Kentucky (294, +6); T2. Arkansas (294, +6); 4. Mississippi State (297, +9); 5. Murray State (302, +14); T6. Southern Miss (307, +19); T6. South Florida (307, +19); 8. Memphis (308, +20); T9. Kennesaw State (309, +21); T9. Cincinnati (309, +21); 11. South Alabama (328, +40).
1. Gemma Dryburgh, Tulane (-3), 2. Emma Lavy, Arkansas (-2), T3. Emily Penttila, Tulane (-1)*, T3. Ashleigh Albrecht, Kentucky (-1), T5. Maribel Lopez Porras, Tulane (E), T5. Heather Lott, Kentucky (E), T5. Emily Tubert, Tulane (E), T5. Gabriela Lopez, Arkansas (E)*, T5. Delaney Howson, Murray State (E), 10. Rica Tsa, Mississippi State (+1), Nine players tied for 11th place, including Meghan Chapman, Tulane (+2)
*competing as an individual